First they took the cookie out of Cookie Monster. Then they took the cookies out of weddings.
I understand that Cookie Monster became Vegetable Monster to teach children healthy eating habits. That was a misguided move, but with an honorable aim. However, what possessed people to take the cookies out of weddings? Growing up in Pittsburgh, I knew that all weddings came with cookies. They were served at the reception, which doubled as a meet and greet of everyone you’d ever known. You would have some raw veggies while chatting with your principal, a cracker as your mother introduced you to your first babysitter, and as the reception ran late, you’d have a cookie as you chatted with your friends. By the time the chuppah started you would be fortified; when the glass was broken you’d be hungry, but not ravenous. The cookies acted as a light and sweet start to a positively sweet and homey affair. Or as homey an affair as you can have at a 250-person wedding in an impersonal hotel ballroom.
Then I grew older, left behind my principal and first babysitter, and the cookies disappeared. Sure, there were carving stations and sushi rolls at these New York weddings, but there was not a single cookie.The light reciption grew into a meal which left people groaning. This was no light affair; it was a serious business of gorging on food and expense. What had happened?
Nothing had happened, is what I was told. the error was mine; New York weddings don’t come with cookies. Occasionally crackers and cut vegetables make an appearance, but they are not required fare. Cakes were acceptable, though mainly in the outskirts of Brooklyn. I don’t know why.
New York wasn’t the problem, I was told – it was Pittsburgh. Somehow that small town in the foothills of the Alleghenies had developed a serious cookie problem. At every wedding in the district, there is a cornucopia of cookies. I know this is true, beyond my experience, because the New York Times says so. And if you don’t believe those big town papers, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette backs it up.
Yet I must disagree – a reception without cookies, but including a full-blown meal, is a piteous waste. It is time for all of us to stand up, refuse the meal, and claim a cookie heritage as our own. Do away with the reception meal; serve fruit, vegetables – and throw in some cookies. Your guests will do justice to the sit-down meal you’ve paid for, but none will faint from hunger or low blood sugar in the interum.
Weddings should be like cookies: sweet, short, and enjoyable. Be reasonable: bring back the cookies.