LAURIE: I was raised comfortably but decidedly middle class in far upstate New York, and for some reason my sense of what things should cost is hopelessly stuck in the dying-industrial-landscape, cyanide-in-the-Tylenol vacuum of 1983: new cars are $5,000, shoes and pants are $20, and a three-bedroom house with a 2-car garage and an acre of land is $65,000.
Which is why I am having a hard time facing the reality of how much it actually costs to pull off a party where your family and friends get enough to drink and eat in an organized fashion, along with some entertainment that borders on spectacle. All the nasty looks I’ve received lately tell me that it’s tacky to talk about money, but I’ll say it loud and proud: I have a wedding budget of ten grand. Which, to my baby reptile understanding of value, is the equivalent of two brand-new cars, or nearly a year’s worth of my college tuition.
But apparently it won’t get you a Slim Jim platter in the condemned VFW Hall, if the few sources I’ve consulted are to be believed.