Chit Chat

If you have daughters, want to have daughters or are on the verge of having a son-in-law, you owe it to yourself to read the following. Regardless of what you may be told there are only two types of fathers of the bride. Those who pay for receptions and those who are glad they did not have to pay.  I speak with some authority here as both of my daughters had rather large weddings and big, boisterous receptions.

As the father of the bride your responsibility includes the following: Shut Up, Show Up and Pay Up.  Remember those three terms and you will maintain a happy relationship with your wife, your daughter, your family and your daughter’s new family. It ain’t brain surgery.

Shut Up

When your future son-in-law’s mother wants to publish the wedding invitation in the local small town newspaper don’t panic.  I told my daughter and future son-in-law that I would have two no-neck thugs dressed in tuxes checking invitations at the door of the reception.  This comment cost me in ways you do not want to know.

Show Up

As father of the bride you must meet and greet all the attendees at the reception.  This involves a lot of handshaking (Grinning & Grabbing) and you do not want to know where some of those hands have been lately.  You also will have the opportunity to hug all of the ladies.  This is a two-edged sword.  Hugging the young and well endowed females is fun as they often wear low cut dresses and enjoy full frontal hugs.  Your friends and entire family will watch your every move and report every indiscretion.  The other side of the sword is the hugs with the older ladies who use too much perfume and press you close to their aging bosoms while telling you how beautiful the bride and your wife look.

Pay Up

The pay up portion is the most painful.  You will look at every half eaten tidbit and bemoan the fact that someone took one bite from a $5.00 hors’d’ourve.  Your friends will slap you on the back and rave over the fact that you are financing their drinking binge. The 4 bottles of wine you ordered for 400 guests runs out in 30 seconds and by the end of the evening your alcohol count is at 90 bottles of wine and 3 kegs of beer plus a few mixed drinks.  The band informs you that they played an hour over the contract and they want more money and then your daughter runs to you with open arms, gives you a kiss and says thank you for a wonderful evening.  More wine anyone!!!


The subject of this post falls under the larger category we call “Grinning and Grabbing” (smiling a lot and shaking hands a lot). We’ll have more posts on Grinning and Grabbing as time goes on. Perfecting the art of Grinning and Grabbing can be very beneficial in many ways.  A lot of folks would say this category could also be called The Art of Bullshitting – we won’t argue that point at all.

Those who master the art of social chit chat and cocktail banter will find themselves being promoted in their business, going home with eligible singles and sought after on local boards and civic organizations. The process is quite simple but it does require a little preparation prior to venturing out into the real world of phonies, near do wells and ego maniacs.

Remember the phrase Knowledge is Power? Well this is of dire importance if you are to succeed in mastering the fine art of Grinning and Grabbing (bullshit). By the way, we do not mean to offend anyone by using the term bullshit but after all most of the jabber at meetings and cocktail parties really is nothing more than BS. The only way to get through to those who have mastered the art of BS is to out-BS them. This may seem to be an overwhelming task when first taken on but trust us, it is as easy as 1.2.3. Remember this: If you can’t dazzle them with your brillance, baffle them with your bullshit.

Here’s an example: Let’s say you are married to a professional educator and find yourself at a get together with other educators. This can be any level of education from Kindergarten through college. Naturally the conversation will gravitate toward classroom experiences and discussions regarding the education of the great unwashed. You may try to engage these educators in a conversation involving your particular work area but forget it. Remember this will work for any profession.

Do a little research prior to the get together. For instance you might ask the following question. What impact if any is the home schooling phenomenon having on your school district? (you can perform an Internet search using home schooling followed by any state in the union and you will get a plethora of information.) Regardless of the state you will open up a can of worms that will generate a lot of discussion. Please note, you should read a couple of articles regarding the subject and steer the conversation in the direction of your knowledge. This process will work in almost any circumstance.

We can hear some of you already. For instance those of you who are forced to interact socially with a genuine brain surgeon will undoubtedly be apprehensive to look up brain surgery procedures on the Internet and enter into a conversation on the subject in a social gathering. You may be afraid because there is always the possibility that you will find you know as much as the real surgeon and that scares the bejeezus out of you, and it should.

One ice breaker that works very well for us in this circumstance is to say something like this. My college room mate was hit in the head several years ago and underwent brain surgery to relieve some kind of pressure in his cranial cavity. He died and his wife sued the Doctor, the hospital and the HMO. Things worked out well however because she married a podiatrist and now lives in West Palm Beach. This will usually get the conversation changed to something like football or the latest sexual conquest. You win.

Remember you control your own destiny at any social gathering and you can choose to be a wallflower and follow the proven age old adage which is: It is better to stay silent and be thought to be stupid rather than open your mouth and remove all doubt. This old adage was written by someone who was afraid of their own shadow. You have to venture out of your shell if you are to mature and enjoy life to the fullest.

Life Ain’t Brain Surgery. Have an awesome day!

Richard & Terry