When Life is Exhausting…

One of the many, many reasons I gave up personal environmental blogging is that it is so freaking depressing. Thinking about climate change day in and day out could render you catatonic in about a week. Now, I mostly deal with it by adopting an air of professional remove. This mostly works, but every now and then I have bad days.

And frankly? It’s been a really bad week. As much as I try not to internalize the various crises of the world, there’s only so much I can handle at one time and the sheer weight of Greece bailouts, London riots, fabricated debt ceiling crises, S&P downgrades, etc. etc. has me completely exhausted. (Note: I understand that most of these things affect people way worse than me. Still, I can’t help feel a little weary at the state of the world.)

Sometimes you just want to come home and write about hobo weddings. That’s right, hobo weddings.

I learnt about this brand new wedding theme in the Guardian of all places (because US newspapers are doing a shit job reporting on London … thank God for the age of the Internet, I can just turn to the local newspaper for details). Apparently, this Pennsylvania couple had decided that for their wedding it would be just fantabulous to have their theme be hobo wedding. And probably no one would have cared, except that they wrote it up on an Etsy blog. And then still no one would have cared, except that the blog Regretsy, which is occasionally brilliant, completely pilloried the couple and at that point the Internet became OUTRAGED.

When I read all of this, I had a number of conflicting thoughts:

1) Why the hell must weddings have THEMES? What is wrong with the theme of GETTING MARRIED?!! People. It’s a wedding, not a six-year old birthday party. You don’t have to choose between Toy Story party hats and My Little Pony.

2) On the other hand, why is it that the Internets gets up in arms about the most facile of things? Literally, commenters wrote into the Etsy site talking about how they had been SO GENUINELY HURT by this wedding. I mean, really? Some people you’ve never heard of have a hobo wedding somewhere in the world, and you’re genuinely hurt? You must have led a very, very sheltered life.

3) On the third hand, hobo wedding (i.e., poor derelict wedding) is kind of offensive.

4) But is it offensive if it is “reclaiming your heritage?” The couple were inspired by the wedding of the husband’s grandmother who lived through the Great Depression. Since they appear to perhaps have some hobo heritage, does that make the whole thing better? (This makes me wonder how the Internets would react if a black couple decided to have an Antebellum wedding and re-enact the weddings of their enslaved forefathers. The whole idea kind of makes me queasy, but I feel like it would be hailed as TOTALLY revolutionary.)

5) Is having a wedding that implicitly romanticizes poverty offensive or can we find a worth in a wedding that celebrates the small joys that even the desperately poor were able to find in that horrible time? Or is that joy false because the history has been glossed over for so many years?

6) Why must weddings have themes again?

7) Why do wedding conversations online always devolve to a pissing match over who spent the least amount of money?

8) Why am I spending so much time thinking about hobo weddings again?

9) Oh right, because the world is hard, and hobo weddings are silly.


4 responses to “When Life is Exhausting…

  1. Hah! I’ve never heard that song before.

  2. You’re in my brain. I get easily depressed by world events (to the point of emotional paralysis and tears) and I have to learn to turn it off for my own sanity. Also, that was my conflicting thought stream on the hobo wedding too. Except I’d also add… it wouldn’t have been offensive if they didn’t call if a hobo wedding and just went for simple and sweet from the 30s. Hobo poverty sucked and shouldn’t be romanticized. Grit and survival and love despite it all, which happened with many poor-but-stable families during the Great Depression (hobos weren’t lucky enough to be stable) would be fine.

    But yeah, theme weddings always weird me out a bit anyhow. And also yeah, I still like the mental distraction.

  3. Becca, the worst is when people ask you what your theme is like now ALL weddings have to have themes.

    I do think it’s true that they could have framed things differently as 1930s wedding and no one would have been upset. I was thinking that especially because earlier today APW featured a wedding that was partially inspired by Out of Africa, which you know, has in some cases been seen as insensitive, and in this case, it was very clear that though the aesthetic was inspired by that time period, it wasn’t like the couple was romanticizing colonialism.

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