my dear readers. I don’t know if I really am the “Poise Points” type of writer. The Hearth&Home hasn’t asked me if I’m interested in that job yet, anyway. Maybe because I am too honest. This all begins with a status I saw this week. I will title this piece:
“ENTITLEMENT IN THE MIDST OF LOCK-DOWN”
Ah. Marriage. Something that eventually comes to every Mennonite youths mind. Some of those youth are getting engaged during this uncertain, crazy time. Some Canada/America couples have been forced to delay wedding dates. Some lucky couples have been able to get married, albeit with a smaller crowd. There has been food bought and unused, dresses that only a few close friends have seen, and disappointed friends and family who could not attend weddings of nieces, nephews, grandchildren, and family friends. There are airline tickets that have been canceled, and honeymoon destinations changed. The list could go on. The couple themselves have had to put dreams aside, settle for less, and accept that getting married during a pandemic is less than perfect. Some of those couples have gracefully picked up their lives together and gone on.
I would have loved a small wedding but I was told not to say that because “it would offend some of the people who had to have them”. Well, I’m still going to say it. I would have loved it. I might have been weird, because more often than not, our Mennonite weddings could be described as the bigger, the better. That’s fine. Each to their own. I admire the couples who have had to settle for a wedding far smaller than they had dreamed of, yet they realize how little of a thing that is in the big picture.
Pandemic or no, there are still rules of social etiquette. There are still friends and family in the background, trying to pick up pieces and work with the change of plans for you. There are bridesmaids trying to keep the bride upbeat, and best men helping the groom change honeymoon plans. If they are able, people are still giving their guest houses or their homes for the family who has traveled for the wedding. Food is still being made and brought in. It is still a wedding, even though it is perhaps diminished in size. In most places the congregations are unable to attend the wedding, but they are still behind the scenes making sure your day happens. The couple and family need to understand this is a disappointing, stressful time for everyone, mentally and maybe financially.
All over the world, weddings and birthdays and holidays are passing in a completely different way than normal. People are not receiving and giving like they have been able to in the past, either due to financial uncertainty, or being unable to attend events. It is disappointing for the graduates whose end-of-school parties have been canceled, for couples receiving less gifts for weddings, for the grandparents whose 50th anniversary passed unnoticed. It is a disappointing time for everyone.
In the midst of being disappointed, we should look at the other side of things. Be thankful for what you as a couple receives, thanking those who put effort into the wedding, and move on. Be thankful for the school your children have been able to attend and now are missing. This means being grateful that we have the Church to lean on in these uncertain financial times. This means thinking of all those around us who have lost their jobs and are struggling to find work to support their families. This means thinking of the people who have lost loved ones during this time, unable to have a proper church service. This means Thinking of Others.
And you can be sad. Couples who didnt get to see their friends or have that “normal ” wedding. Grads that might not get to wear their matching clothes right now, or sing their song. All of us can grieve what life has tossed at us. But please. Don’t be entitled. We are Christians who have Jesus, more wealth than the world can imagine. We are entitled to nothing. Thank you.