DEAR AMY: I've attended several wedding showers recently where the groom stands around looking bored, posts to social media things like, "Save me," and the attendees offer "condolences" that he has to spend his day with only women. I realize these things are meant in jest, but after witnessing this over and over again, it gets irritating. We women are an important part of the bride and groom's life and have taken a day out of our busy lives to celebrate them and shower them with gifts. And I've got news for the groom — these showers aren't always fun for us, either! How many silly games can one person play? But I'd never post an image saying "save me" just because I'm sick of small talk. Coming from a female attendee, that'd be seen as impolite. Do you agree that this is rude, underlying sexism? Or am I being too sensitive?
DEAR SAVE ME: Back in the day, "wedding showers" were called "bridal showers," and were attended only by women. The prospective groom would sometimes duck in near the end of the event as a "surprise," and basically do his rooster dance in the henhouse. The whole thing was a reenactment of traditional gender roles and people mainly played their part. (Like many people, I have never enjoyed these particular rituals and despite two marriages, I have never agreed to a shower.)
If you are attending "wedding" (not "bridal") showers, then shouldn't other male friends also be included? Aren't men an important part of weddings?
Sadly, the answer is "not really," because while we are currently in a transition phase of finding new ways to form families and to celebrate them, we are still clinging to antiquated rituals, including ways to get people to give us gifts when we don't really need them.
The answer to your direct question is: Yes, the bored grooms at these showers are being rude. The attendees commiserating with them are diminishing their own value as guests.
Yes, it is rude to post "save me" messages at an "off-brand" event. That includes parents who post this from kids' birthday parties, young adults who post this from their grandparents' houses, and that time I posted "SOS, send vodka" from an in-law family reunion.
But sometimes "save me" really IS funny. It is always meant to draw faux sympathy to the person posting it.
Maybe the next time you witness this, you could post a picture of the "save me" guy with the caption: "Someone please save ME from the 'save me' guy."
DEAR AMY: I'm a 26-year-old girl. I've been dating my 25-year-old boyfriend from college for almost five years. We had always planned to live at home with our parents after grad school and save up some money before moving out and renting an apartment together. We've been out of school for two years and are both secure enough in our careers to move in together. My boyfriend and I are on the same page. We just want to get out of our parents' houses and move in together, and then get engaged within the next year. My parents are traditional and have a big problem with me moving in with my boyfriend before we're (at least) engaged. They like him but they can't understand why, after five years, he can't propose. I tried to explain that, in our social network, almost everyone moves in with their serious boyfriends/girlfriends before getting engaged and, for us, it's the "new normal" progression of relationships. I know my parents only want the best for me, but I don't agree with their opinion, and I'm not sure what to do about it.
DEAR FRUSTRATED: I have news for you: You and your cohort did not invent moving in together before marriage. Your parents' generation did that.
You are also not a "girl." You are a woman. By now you should be emotionally, financially, and actually out on your own.
Your parents have the right to their opinions, but I think you should say (to yourself), "OK Boomer," and live your life the way you want to.
DEAR AMY: I appreciated a recent quote you ran in your column from the Dalai Lama. Unfortunately, your misspelling detracted from the message. It's Dalai, not "Dali," as you had it.
DEAR PROOFREADER: I apologize for the error. It's ironic, because I've just started reading "The Dalai Lama: An Extraordinary Life," by Alexander Norman (on sale in February 2020).