July 9, 2013

"Do I seem like a 'social con'?"

"I guess I've got my own distinct mix. I'd say I respect the genuine traditionalists, that I don't seek a traditionalist life for myself, and I tend to scoff at the fence-straddlers.... Be something! Stand for something! Think! That's my message."

That's something I wrote years ago — in May 2005. I'm noticing it this morning because I see in my Site Meter pages that someone found it from the word search "wedding gift for couple who have been living together." The old post begin "Am I the only one who thinks a big wedding is inappropriate for two people who have been living together?" And it got a tremendous amount of pushback from people who — I think — didn't want to hear that they couldn't have a big wedding if they wanted it. I was not myself planning to get married — though I did, 4 years later, get married in the smallest possible wedding — but I thought a wedding shouldn't be all about the bride, but about the feelings and perceptions of the guests. My critics didn't have much of an argument beyond I want, so they resorted to: You social con!

"People who live together and then want a big traditional wedding are very conspicuous fence straddlers," I said back then, and it caught my eye this morning because I just got into that big discussion about the consequences of fornication in which I was accused of speaking "kind of social-connishly."

Quite aside from whether it should work as an argument to call someone a social con, I want to talk about this other thing that gets mistaken for social connishness.