That last post picture of my son Elliot and me was taken at a wedding this past summer. It was Elliot’s first wedding experience, so a big deal for him. For me, it’s always a big deal when I get to spend extended time in his presence. In fact, the highlight for me of the entire weekend was when he came to me (twice!) unbidden for a hug and even better, to invite me to dance. But that’s not the point of this story.
Weddings these days are so different from when I got married. It’s all about the bride and groom now, not the parents, as it should be. I’ve watched close friends and family members shake their heads in confusion as their children plan weddings entirely without parental input. “All I know is where and when to show up,” one friend told me.
I’m actually surprised young people choose to get married at all anymore. If you look at the origin of wedding traditions, they don’t always seem to make sense in today’s culture. I asked my nephew why he thought people are still getting married and he answered maybe it’s for the tax advantages. This nephew and my son are both more financially astute than I ever was at their age, so good for them.
It’s fun to observe the kids at a big party like this wedding. I noticed they have a certain way of dancing, that even my son, at his first wedding, knew about: dancing with a beer in one hand, raised in the air. Interesting, I thought. Maybe a little dangerous, since a lot of the music seems to also require jumping straight up in the air. I have to admit I was moved to do some jumping myself forgetting for the moment I have a bad joint on my right foot. Music can do that to you.
When I commented on the beer in hand dancing, my husband said, yes it seems to be a thing. This phrase “it’s a thing” is also a thing. You can find out whether something is widely accepted or not by asking, Is it a thing? Another thing I notice is how young people pose for pictures with attitude while the grownups basically stand smiling while trying not to blink.
I first learned this whole “it’s a thing” thing while working on assignment at a smaller store with a new group of people. We had all new equipment including smartphone devices set up for inventory control. One morning I couldn’t find any of the many chargers and asked the manager where they were. “The kids take them,” he said. Take them? What do you mean, take them? “It’s a thing,” he shrugged. That’s stealing! I replied, make them give them back! I don’t think we ever got them back.
Some things shouldn’t be a thing.