It runs in the family

In today’s mail delivery, alongside a CD I had shipped from Australia (the Australian Tour Edition of Sumday by Grandaddy), a renewal notice for my MacWorld subscription, and a copy of O Magazine (I swear, it’s not mine), I received something of a proof that I am not the only “different” one in my family: my cousin Chris’s wedding invitation.

Chris and I rarely get to see each other; he grew up in Scottsdale, AZ, while the rest of the Bowers relatives were mostly nestled in the confines of the Salt Lake Valley. Granted, I didn’t see many of my local cousins either while growing up (mostly because I am the youngest of the generation… my eldest cousin has a son who is a year older than me). Yet, despite growing up relatively isolated from each other, it appears we have a few things in common. We’re both designers (granted, Chris actually has a piece of paper that says he’s one), and from the looks of this wedding invite, we both have a sense of humor.

Only seeing Chris every few years (and unfortunately, mostly at funerals), I’ve never had a chance to really get to know him, or even see some of his design work. The invitation gave me a bit of a glimpse into both. Whereas most wedding announcements are just flowery looking pieces of cardstock with a photo included, Chris (and his soon-to-be bride Christine) chose to take a lighthearted, somewhat mocking perspective on things. The invite is a small, silk-ribbon bound book, with the family initials emblazoned on the cover in your standard fare ornate script face. His last name being Bailey, and hers Sommer… well, you can see where this might be headed. Imprinted above the initials are the words “We’re tired of the”… nice. (For my slower readers, it reads “We’re tired of the B.S.” which is funny because of the alternate implications of the letters B.S. See, you’re laughing now. If not, why do you have to be such a jerk?)

The next page is one word: Simplify. Turn the page and you get a large B with “Bailey” encased. The rest of the invitation serves you the regular invitation kit, with one small addition… sarcastic asides. For example, when mentioning the date and time of the blessed occasion, in wedding-standard overwrought fashion (Saturday, the Second of October, Two Thousand and Four at Half Past Four in the Evening), they include a small note: “That’s 4:30pm, October 2.” Or take the location details. The wedding will be on the lawn at a local golf club (nice setting, by the way). They decide to note that “no, you do not have time to squeeze in a quick round before the ceremony.” Classic.

It has always annoyed me that I never had the opportunity to get to know my aunt, uncle and cousins while I was growing up, especially now that I’m starting to see that, of all my relatives on that side of the family, they seem to share the most in common with me (which was also evidenced by a recent family gathering… I love my extended family, but there is something different between the love of a family and the desire to actually hang out with them). I don’t really have the resources to fly down to Scottsdale, get a hotel room for the weekend and attend this event, but now I really want to.