The Etiquette Of Taking Drugs At Weddings
The Debrief: Narcotics and nuptials. How *not* to be a guest at a wedding.
There’s no getting away from the fact that weddings can, and frequently are, a bit bloody dull (if you’re a bride to be, then of course, we don’t mean yours, but maybe it’s best if you stop reading now anyway).
There’s a blink and you’ll miss it hiatus of fun – somewhere in between the torture of your early teenage years being forced up and down the country, staying in an Ibis ‘family room’ with your parents and bribed into good behaviour with the promise of a pair of flatforms from Shellys, and the mid-twenties oh- fucking-hell-another-bloody-invite, that means no holiday/festival ticket/food for me for the entire summer – where going to the odd wedding feels grown up and fun, but as it’s horribly short-lived (two to three seasons at most), it’s understandable that once your nuptial attendances start getting into double figures that you want to spice them up a bit.
This is where you might, and increasing numbers of guests appear to, turn to a little chemical assistance. It’s no big deal to get the party started with a little livener, right? Wrong. It is a big deal. And actually I don’t think it’s OK.
I’ve had a wanky media job for years where drugs are almost as commonplace as statement glasses and can almost remember the days of lads mags having their narcotics couriered and put on expenses, so I’m no puritan, but having seen a bridesmaid at a quintessentially English wedding (think stately home/string quartet/job lot on morning suits from Austin Reed), snorting coke in the loo as if it was no more of a big deal than reapplying her lippy, then sit sweatily lock-jawed through the speeches, confuse the grans with her increased words-per-minute and ignore the meal that the bride and groom probably spent more time deliberating over than you did your last boyfriend, I thought is this really necessary?
This is supposed to be a day about real love and celebration, not fooling your brain into feeling these things with a complicated combo of pharmaceuticals. You can do that the other 363 days of the year if you really want to (I’ve taken one more off for Christmas day as that seems more than a little depressing). But I know you won’t all agree with me, so here’s my answers to all the pro-drugs-at-weddings arguments that I’ve heard over the years...
1. ‘It’s OK, the bride and or/groom are massive caners themselves’
Oh wake up, weddings are ALL ABOUT BEING HYPOCRITES. Your mate who hasn’t set foot in a house of religion since being fingered aged 14 in your hometown graveyard is suddenly rushing back home every Sunday to attend an 11am service. She hasn’t miraculously and conveniently felt a calling to the church. She just knows that money shot of the confetti throwing will look oh so much more Instagrammable in a pretty village church doorway than in the local town hall and she needs to get some visits under her belt to be allowed to get married there.
Same goes for wearing white (presuming the graveyard fingering wasn’t her last sexual experience), suddenly giving a shit about calligraphy and inviting her boss that she hates. Who cares if she’s normally got a Saturday night habit that’d intimidate Lindsay Lohan – she’s pretending to be perfect for the day and you being an annoying mess is gonna eff that right up.
As an aside, if the happy couple themselves decide that what’s supposed to be the best day of their lives isn’t quite enough to flood their serotonin levels and get on it – and this does happen: I’ve heard of one bride staying up for 48 hours and offering her guests MDMA from her shoulder, (only one of the reason strapless dresses aren’t OK, but that’s not for now) – then this is the only occasion, that’s it’s really OK.
But I’d still feel pretty hollow and depressed about it. Isn’t love meant to be the drug?
2. ‘Everyone else will be doing it’
Really? Great aunt Jean, the father of the bride and that woman in the corner breastfeeding her baby are all totally off their tits, are they?
3. ‘But I’m going to be so bored’
This is a tricky one, but if you really believe that you’re going to have a crap time, maybe don’t go. People get het up over turning down wedding invites but if you’re distant enough mates from the couple to think there’s no way you’re getting through a whole day celebrating with them without a little help then just say no. Politely, of course.
Another wedding you’ve already confirmed for/an already booked holiday are perfect excuses. Chances are they’ll just think, ‘Thank god, that’s £150 a head dinner saved or £300 if she was still going out with that loser’/ ‘Phew we were only inviting her to be polite, now we can use the space for someone we really like.’
4. ‘It’s no different to getting pissed’
Political and ethical arguments on the legalisation of drugs aside, there’s no escaping the fact that yes, it is different to getting pissed actually. Why? In a nutshell it goes like this – chances are you’d neck a bottle and a half of prosecco in front of your mum, but I’m betting you’d be less likely to rack up a line on her Sunday best table cloth.
Plus, even if you’re practically a qualified pharmacist, you don’t always know how your body might react to a particular drug on a particular day (especially if you’re at a wedding in the back of beyond, bereft of your usual dealer, relying on a bag of pills that someone’s creepy cousin Kev bought from the man who runs the chip shop) and no one wants to ruin the dancefloor with a full-blown panic attack/explosive diarrhoea/convulsive fit mid-way through the Macarena.
Sorry narcissists, but being a wedding guest means the day isn’t about you and if you’re indulging in any behaviour that’s going to make the grannies feel uncomfortable then just wait until it’s over. Most weddings finish at 11pm anyway…
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