Jeremy Menning in Providence, Rhode Island

Bachelor's Rant

The wedding is nearing. As the bachelor and groom to be, let me testify that people believe its novel to joke about me getting married. Those who consider themselves funny spread crude remarks and insensitive innuendos throughout each of my days. "Hey Jeremy, the clock's ticking. Tick tock tick tock." A message for those people, "Your jokes are not funny. In fact, they are old and worn out...like a race car's tires the day after the Indianapolis 500."

People must believe that this is some right of passage -- those that are married or have been married feel an obligation to tease and torment (albeit in a lighthearted manner). Those that aren't married look at me wide-eyed and slack-jawed: "Oh, man, are you sure you want to do this thing?" This is the basic comment that is often followed by high fives among the bachelors and accompanied by snickering that reminds me of third-grade immaturity. It's a relentless attack of good-natured tomfoolery that jeers at my sanity.

It is a rampant assault of lollygagging coworkers, friends, and neighbors that serves no purpose other than to probe me for a reaction. I was belted with this about a week ago. "You know, it's just about time for you to change your mind. You can still get out now, but there isn't much time left." Yes, someone actually said that to me with a smile on her face and expected me to laugh.

So, this is my reaction. This is my way of saying, "Take your jokes, roll them up, put them into your proverbial pipe, and for crying out loud, light the goddamned thing up and smoke it."

Don't try to explain that it's "just a harmless joke" or you "don't mean anything by it." This is my rant, and your intention doesn't matter. When you joke about my wedding, your joke only matters to the person who plays the butt of it. That would be me, and this is me saying, "F.U."

And, don't worry, I won't take it personally. I'll just ask you to think about what you've said and suggest that maybe instead of offering a comedic anecdote about someone and something you only have your own experiences to speak of, maybe you should keep your jokes to yourself.

What's that? Did I hurt your feelings? The golden rule, my friend, teaches us "to treat others how you yourself wish to be treated." Do you think that rule falls null and void because you choose to hassle me a few months, weeks, days, hours, and minutes before my wedding? So you want to make jokes, but when someone fires back a resentment of that joke you get all touchy.

I know where the conversation is going from here. "Oh, Jeremy, just calm down. You're being too sensitive." OH, REALLY? I'm being too sensitive? Maybe some people just aren't being sensitive enough. I've got to say this...no, maybe I should stand up on my chair and shout so the message is crystal clear. Maybe -- and this is going out on a limb -- but just maybe these people aren't considering what they are saying before they speak it. Maybe the comedians should lay down the matrimonial shtick and consider giving, in their infinite wisdom, some marital advice.

Yes, that is my suggestion. Reel in those words that hold no value other than to barb my delicate state of premarital sanity and give me something I can use. Give advice that could be sound and thoughtful and applicable to the events waiting at eve's edge. Share a graceful and well-placed story of old that might soothe the inner soul of a newlywed to be. Ask a question about my state of being and that of my bride. Ask about the weather, for crying out loud. Give me something...anything but another unbecoming joke about my upcoming wedding vows and me.

It's not that I can't stand the jokes. It's not that I don't need to laugh. It's that this isn't a good time for lame and uncouth tastelessness. It really isn't. If people insist on making these jokes, please know that they are on notice -- I'm busy. Busy planning a wedding, attending to my bride, my family, my dogs, my house, and each and every one of the other 10,000 priorities I have set just ahead of your senseless joke.

So, that is it. My rant over the rain of wedding jokes made in poor taste and with ill timing.

Chances are with this rant that I may have offended someone in a not-so-oblique manner. I never claimed to not be a direct person. I am sincere and prefer to be to the point. If you are offended by what I have to say here, I make no apologies.

Chances are that if you take offense, you may be one of the people this rant is intended to address.


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