Whatever you might think of the recent trend of “wedding shaming” groups on Facebook and elsewhere, it’s hard to play dumb about their appeal. The groups, in which wedding hosts, participants, and guests unload their dirty laundry about the weird/rude/inexplicable things people did during ceremonies, receptions, and/or the run-up to both, allow for people in nightmare scenarios to anonymously vent their frustrations...at least unless one of the posts goes viral and all bets are suddenly off.
The stories also offer a window into the bizarre human behaviors that take place when people are invited to somebody else’s party. Take, for instance, a story reported by Philadelphia’s WPVI-TV from a private Facebook page about a woman forced to deal with somebody bringing containers to her wedding, for the sake of enjoying the meal long after the final dance.
WPVI-TV recounted the tale of the mysterious wedding bandit:
...the newlywed wrote that her dad’s friend asked if he could bring his daughter and her husband to their small wedding. She agreed, only to discover later that the guest brought seven containers to take food home and three containers for dessert, plus she swiped a few floral centerpieces. The bride made sure to point out the woman was not struggling financially, and instead wanted to bring things back for other family members.
Though most comments were of the horrified variety, some maintained it wasn’t a big deal, saying any additional food would have been wasted anyway.
Now, we at The Takeout aren’t going to say that it’s uncouth to take a small bite for oneself for the road; whom among us has never wrapped a particularly delicious piece of dessert in a napkin for later? But let’s really think about the logistics of this 10-containers situation for a minute. Where do you keep them? Do you go out to your car and grab them, and if so, at what point in the evening does one do so? Do you clear the whole table into Tupperware in one shot, or do you use multiple people and move in sequenced shifts? This seems like a high-effort approach to wedding attendance, to say the least.
On the one hand, as acknowledged by the initial story, there’s a case to be made for the substantial food waste of the average wedding. Think about how many times you’ve walked out of a ceremony and passed a still-full table of food. But on the other, 10 containers. You don’t break out the full set if you’re not going for volume. The consensus among our staff is that anything one can fit in a purse or pocket is generally fair game; beyond that, you’re line-stepping.
Also, she grabbed the flowers. Sometimes, people are just on the take. C’est la vie.