I come from a pretty big family and I was born and raised on social etiquette. I'm the one planning, scheduling, RSVPing, marking calendars with showers, weddings, birthdays, etc. and making sure the card is there with check or gift in tow and once at the social event, stay for an appropriate amount of time (at least 2 hours if it isn't a wedding) mingling and socializing before I gracefully depart.
Part of this is that I usually like get-to-togethers. I like people, I like to talk. Another reason is people have come to my parties (and I want them to keep coming) so I give back and go to their thing. 95% of the time, I can handle social obligations.
Today I joined a friend of mine at a wedding in Center City. It was for a young 20-something couple and it was very sweet. I'm used to over the top fancy $15-20K weddings, so in a way it was nice to experience something very chill. I still feel strongly that no matter what your budget, food/beverage and music are priority: It's what people remember and what makes a good time. When I planned my own wedding, I remember going through selfish moments and not wanting to care about my guests. It's our day, I thought. It's all about us. It is. To an extent. But my point above about the give and take, people coming to your events and bringing gifts comes into play. You do want people to have a good time and say thank you too.
So while this wedding was cute and I appreciated all the hard do-it-yourself work that went into it that made it about them and their moments and I was aware and respectful of their budget, I couldn't help but be bored and disappointed after 1 hour. Yes, 1 hour into the reception and I was ready to leave. Me. How did I suddenly become the bored guest checking the watch and fidgeting?
The crowd was OK. The food was nibble food. The jazz quartet was good but no one could dance to the tunes. There was one bar station with beer and wine and naturally, a line. There wasn't a logical flow - some tables with chairs were set up outside as were cocktail tables. Inside, aside from the food stations, nothing was happening. It made it difficult to converse. Aside from the actual museum and its gallery, things were boring and unstimulating.
I love my family but when I see them 6 times over the course of the summer -- enough is enough. I'm a great date when you need to bring someone somewhere who doesn't know a soul - I mingle, make friends, dance. I don't need a babysitter. But something has to keep this brain stimulated no matter what the scenario. Maybe I'm over the social obligations for some time. What would make things more enticing and interesting? Spreading them out over the course of a year? Different people? A guarantee that I'd come out with a new cool friend? Different food? I don't know.
I digress. I'm over it all until Turkey Day.