This month's issue of Modern Bride sports a timely and striking heading: HOW TO ASK YOUR PARENTS FOR MONEY (and get it).
What can I say? I bought the damn magazine, because I need somone to tell me AGAIN to address couples as Mr. and Mrs. Karl von Trapp, and turned to the article, not knowing quite what to expect. A lesson on lowering expections? On the use of please and thank you?
The article starts off well, recommending that brides in the market for parent money approach them with a lot of research and information. But if this fails to swing it, you're going to have to resport to manipulation, baby. Play to their insecurities.
"If your parents are picturing an upscale bash, tell them you may have to skip the champagne toast if they can't contribute ...
Lots of people need to ask their parents for help with the wedding. But you'd kinda sorta hope it would be a respectful conversation, not a ruthless rapier to the site of their social fears in order to get what you want. This short little article left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth.
On a side note, when I was a teenager and a student and wanted money myself, sometimes I'd ask my father. He'd lean back in his chair, enjoying himself hugely, and quote Charles's father from Brideshead Revisited. "Oh, I really am the very worst person to talk to about money, because I've never been short of it myself. " Grinning from ear to ear, my father would gleefully quote Waugh: "Your cousin Melchior was short of money too. He went to Australia before the mast."
It became clear that that such was to become my fate. And so I arrived in Seattle. And I'd still play the same stunt on one of my kids. For a while, anyway.