Friday, July 11, 2014

Andrew's Wedding Gift Calculator

Wedding swag


Webster's dictionary defines a wedding as 'an occasion where two people ask their friends and family for kitchen utensils and cash.' If one is invited to such a gathering, how much should one give?

It's actually easy. All you have to do is appraise the past, present, and future value of your friendship. I'll show you how by doing a case study on Cecile and Nick1.

(Amounts have been calculated in New Zealand Dollars because of reasons.)



THE PAST

At first being friends with Cecile was entirely beneficial. She was enthusiastic about my blog and encouraged me to write more (+NZ$50), helped me buy some stylish clothes (+50), and made me laugh with her antics (+100). Things got even better when I met her fiance. Not only was Nick the only person I could talk to about movies with giant robots (+100) but also he was the perfect badminton opponent (slightly worse than me), contributing to my health, fitness, and self-confidence (+200).

Cecile then gave me her old, broken iPhone. It couldn't do much but it worked well enough for me to appreciate the benefits of having a portable games machine/atlas/conversation-ruiner. Because of Cecile I've spent 840 dollars on phones and contracts. She did save me about 300 dollars by getting me banned from a cool but expensive cafe I used to frequent.

At that point they were in the red by 40 dollars, which might have been a factor in them deciding to leave Zurich and go to New Zealand. Just as I'd got used to having them around and started to depend on them as a constant, uplifting source of mental well-being, they skipped town. Cecile gave me a teapot and whatever tea she had lying around her flat, plus some wine glasses. So let's say that's worth 40 dollars and call it even.


THE PRESENT

Every time I write a blog post or a chapter of my book I email it to Nick and promptly receive lucid, detailed feedback . After making some changes I send the new draft to Cecile, and gain the benefit of her weeks of experience as a journalist. The end result is text so vivacious it hosts garden parties, and so stimulating truck drivers read it to keep awake.

Any writer will tell you this is incredibly valuable, so I'm awarding them a bonus of 25% of all my writing income from the last 2 years (+0).


THE FUTURE

Finally, we should consider the wedding itself. It will be held in Nice, meaning I have to take a flight and book a hotel (-255). That will be offset by all the free food and drink at the reception, right?

Wrong. While I'm sure there'll be flowing wine and prosecco (+50), I don't expect to eat much. Cecile has decided to only offer fish, with no meat or vegetarian options, because SHE likes fish and people who don't like fish (e.g. me) can fly across the world to her wedding and then eat breadsticks in a room that reeks of fish. 

Medium rare, please

So after we deduct 10 dollars for the burger and fries I'll have to sneak out and scoff, we can calculate the final total.

Cecile and Nick, your wedding gift will be an invoice for 215 dollars2




1 If you are going to use my methods, note that at Chinese weddings the gift amount is written down in a book, and at Turkish weddings the amount you give is announced to everybody via microphone. You might want to keep that in mind if you care what other people think about you.


140 Euro, 190 USD, 110 pounds

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