A programming note: I hosted a live taping of the Savage Lovecastin Seattle on Valentine’s Day, and it went great — thanks to all who came (especially to the five boys who left with butt plugs in their butts) — but i made the mistake of having a drink or five afterward, and i’m so fucking hungover right now that i shouldn’t be sitting upright, much less giving advice. But deadlines are deadlines. So here we go …
Q: I’m a 31-year-old genderqueer in Brooklyn with a large family on Long Island. My only sister got engaged 48 hours ago, and she’s moving fast on planning the wedding. I have two questions.
No. 1 question: I texted my sister the only date I wasn’t available in the next two years, which is Columbus Day weekend 2013. I have my 10-year college reunion, which I’ve been organizing. My sister texted me back that they picked this Columbus Day weekend for the wedding even though they have no idea if the places they want will be booked up. It quickly came out that they didn’t check with anyone about potential conflicts. She wants me to be the maid of honor, and I’m not sure what to do. She’s really upset with me. Columbus Day weekend is of no significance to them (it’s not the anniversary of the date they met or anything), and I can’t reschedule the reunion.
No. 2 question: I was born female but do not identify that way. I’m genderqueer and do not look like a girl. I have not worn a dress in 10 years and feel like I’m in drag in one. In the past, my sister said she would consider putting me in a pantsuit-ish kind of thing at her wedding, which would be great, but I am worried that now I’m rocking the boat too much with this Columbus Day thing and I don’t know if I should just leave it alone. My girlfriend, who is very pretty and feminine, said if I had to wear a dress, she’d go in a suit and bow tie.
Dan, help! If for some reason my sister can’t get her weekend, it will be because they’re rushing and everything is booked, but I have already caused trouble! Is it worth it to fight for the pantsuit thing, or should I just leave it alone and do what she wants? —Thank You So Much
A: No. 1 answer: If your sister didn’t check with anyone — not members of her immediate family, not members of her bridal party — about potential conflicts, then your sister should’ve anticipated that some of the folks wouldn’t be able to attend. Folks who aren’t getting married have lives and commitments of their own, which means they can have conflicts, and your sister could’ve worked around those conflicts if she had cared to ask about them. But she didn’t care to ask, because she seems to be one of those brides-to-be who think an engagement ring on her finger puts her ass at the center of the universe. Here’s hoping your sister can’t get the venue she wants and has to reschedule. If that doesn’t happen, TYSM, tell your sister you’ll be with her in spirit and send a gift.
No. 2 answer: The fact that your sister has been engaged for 48 hours and is already furious with her maid-of-honor-elect is a bad sign. You’ll be doing yourself, both families and your sister a service if you stand up to her now. A little pushback now will either prevent your sister from going Bridezilla or get you dropped from the wedding party. You literally can’t lose. So tell your sister now that you’re delighted to be her maid of honor, if scheduling allows, and that you look forward to shopping for a pantsuit that matches her dress and the dresses of her bridal party. If she tells you that you have to wear a dress to be her maid of honor, TYSM, then it’s clear that the dress is more important to your sister than the person wearing it, and you should tell her to find someone else to model it at her wedding.
Q: A gay friend of mine is getting married in Seattle, and we’re hoping to throw him a most excellent bachelor party. However, as a straight dude, I’m fairly clueless about gay strip clubs in the Seattle area. Can you please recommend one or two good ones? —Straight Best Man
A: There are no gay strip clubs in Seattle, SBM, I’m sorry to say. You can blame the Washington State Liquor Control Board for that sad fact. Adults in Seattle can look at naked people or they can have a drink, but they can’t have a drink while looking at naked people. While there’s enough demand for naked ladies in Seattle to make non-booze-servin’ straight strip clubs economically viable, there isn’t enough demand for naked boys to make gay strip clubs economically viable. (And people have tried.) There is, however, a great gay strip club in Portland, Ore., called Silverado. If gay strippers are a must, plan a road trip as well as a bachelor party.
Q: My boyfriend and I are talking about getting married, and I am incredibly excited about marrying this awesome dude. My problem is that my ideal engagement ring is something that looks nice but is cheap. Seriously, a $50 ring would be perfect. I don’t want something expensive because 1) it’ll make me paranoid about losing it or having it stolen, and 2) I’d rather use the money for something else, like a house. However, my guy wants to spend about a grand on an engagement and wedding ring set. Given his income, this is far from an outrageous expense, but I’d still rather have my $50 cubic zirconia. I’ve talked with him about this, and we joke about how the stereotypical roles are reversed here, with me being the one who wants to go cheap and him wanting something more. But he’s holding fast. Any ideas how I might be able to get my way and make him see that he’s my prize, not the jewelry? —Not A Ring Girl
A: The difference between the engagement ring you’d prefer and the ring set your fiance wants to buy — $950 — ain’t nothin’, NARG, but it’s not enough to buy a fucking house. I could see digging in your heels if your fiance wanted to spend 20 grand on a ring, as that kind of money would go a long way toward a down payment; I could see going to war if he was planning to go into debt to buy you a rock. But learning to pick your battles is the secret to a happy, successful marriage, NARG, and the difference between a $50 ring and a far from outrageous $1,000 ring set isn’t worth fighting about. You want to make him see that he’s your prize? Let him have his way on this.
Q: My brother and his new wife had a three-way with a male hotel receptionist while on their honeymoon. I don’t have a problem with three-ways in theory, but I think it’s wrong to have one on your fucking honeymoon. I was their best man. What am I supposed to do now? —Disgusted Big Bro
A: You’re supposed to shut the fuck up and mind your own business — now and always.
FindDan Savage’s weekly podcast every Tuesday at thestranger.com/savage. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or @fakedansavage on Twitter.