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The youngest gel at U.N. H.Q. for opening ceremonies last evening.

Bow down before your new One World master!


Over at First Things, Russell Saltzman has a piece up on the average cost of weddings these days that makes me, as the father of three teen and near-teen daughters, shudder:

Are you ready: $27,021. This is from an annual survey of young brides eighteen and older who had a wedding in 2011. Nothing is reported of child brides.

This is an uptick from 2010 when the “average” was $26,985. I found no indication where the extra thirty-six dollars went but it is more than the present inflation rate. In 2009, before the recession really kicked in, the average was $28,385. Penny-pinching of a sort marks the two later years, but figures will increase, betcha, as perceptions of economic recovery improve. I don’t know who these “average” people are, but I’m pretty sure I don’t know any of them.

Where one lives affects the “average.” New York City brides shell out a whopping $65,824; some $2,403 going for a dress alone. In North and South Dakota the more sensible brides spend $745 for the dress, but I suppose it depends on how you describe sensible.

A reception hall runs $12,116. Whatever happened to the church basement, or the Legion Hall, or the community center? Wedding budgets—if that word applies at all—range from $65,824 in New York and in Virginia, $14,203.

In a Chicago area wedding the number of invited guests ran about two hundred four at a “luxury” affair; the more ordinary sort averaged only one hundred thirty-six, proving the poor have fewer friends. A majority of weddings extended to three or more days for all the events connected to getting hitched. 

Awk.  I reckon it actually would be a lot more sensible to buy each of them a used car and a ladder.

Actually, Saltzman goes through all of this to make a more important point about marriage:

I’m inclined to think that they are compensating for something, a yearning they can’t define. When we have lost the distinction of Christian marriage in society as a vocation of the baptized in the exercise of the priesthood we share in Christ, then, as Billy Joel sings, “something has been taken out of our soul.” The closest our culture can come to matching the excitement and solemnity of a wedding feast is twenty-seven thousand dollars. Ah, but what else should we expect? With all the de trop nonsense we clergy have allowed and encouraged by silent consent, it’s nobody’s fault but our own.

I think that’s exactly right and have said the same sort of thing many times to my own brood.  Indeed, I sometimes suspect that they bring up, for example, the Kim Kardashian biznay just for the entertainment value of watching ol’ Dad start to foam and froth about profaning sacraments.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

It appears that ol’ Robbo has scored a triumph of sorts by successfully lobbying the eldest gel to choose Latin over French for 9th grade.

I pointed out to her that Latin has many, many benefits.  It will reenforce her English vocabulary.  Reading Caesar and Cicero, Virgil and Ovid in the original will broaden the scope of her historickal awareness.  If she ever chooses to start attending Latin Mass she’ll have the vocabulary and pronunciation down pat already.

I also pointed out that, in terms of both spelling and grammar, Latin’s a heck of a lot easier than French.   Latin always was a working language, sensible and to the point like the people who spoke it.  Somewhere along the line, French turned into an academic one, giving a gang of snotty Frogs the opportunity to sit about inventing new difficulties.   Who needs that?

UPDATE: I am getting slow.  Forgot to mention the most important point: It’ll make this scene all the funnier –


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April 2012