Open Thread: (Self) Love, Marriage, and “Move Fast. Break Things”

June, when the popcult romantics’ hearts turn to thoughts of weddings and legally cemented happy-ever-afters! I grew up in the Jansenist traditions of the Irish-American Catholic Church, where the main wedding planning advice I remember was “If you put on that much of a show, people will think you’ve never had a nice party before and never hope to again.” Our own wedding twenty years ago — requested, and paid for, by my father-in-law — has mostly served as a source of funny-after-the-fact stories. But now we all have an impeccable standard to share with all future wedding planners: Don’t be like Facebook billionaire Sean Parker. As The Atlantic‘s Alex Madrigal reports, “Nothing says, “I love the Earth!” quite like bringing bulldozers into an old-growth forest to create a fake ruined castle”:

Hey, if a billionaire couple wants to spend $10 million on their wedding, it’s neither all that surprising nor interesting, as far as I’m concerned. So, when news and statistics started to trickle out about Sean Parker’s wedding here in California — namely that it’d cost millions of dollars to create Kardashian-level over-the-topness — I was ready to chalk it up to the standard excesses of crazy rich people.

But that was before I read the California Coastal Commission’s report on the Parker wedding’s destructive, unpermitted buildout in a redwood grove in Big Sur. Parker and Neraida, the LLC he created to run his wedding, ended up paying $2.5 million in penalties for ignoring regulations…

To his credit, Parker paid up for the damage and said in a statement that he and his wife “always dreamed of getting married in Big Sur, one of the most magical places on Earth.” And weddings are great and I’m sure it was a good party.

But, of course, that’s also part of the new Silicon Valley parable: dream big, privatize the previously public, pay no attention to the rules, build recklessly, enjoy shamelessly, invoke magic, and then pay everybody off…

Parker may have described his fantasy-wedding fantasies as “Victorian whimsy“, but they come across more as “Gilded Age status-anxiety overkill”. Perhaps he can at least serve as an inspiration, ala Jiggs & Maggie, for some rising star among the new wave of graphic artists…
Apart from sharing wedding war stories, what’s on the agenda for this midweek evening?

142 replies
  1. 1
    kc says:

    To his credit, Parker paid up for the damage

    Oh, no, no, no. No. I’m sorry. That’s not “to his credit” at all.

    Shelling out money that he won’t miss for the damage he caused will not make it all better. What a giant douchebag.

  2. 2
    dollared says:

    Jail. This is what jail is for. To make sure you can’t fuck things up for everyone else and then just write a check.

  3. 3

    This. Unfortunately, I don’t think the Coastal Commission has the power to throw people in jail. I guess we need a new proposition to fix that.

  4. 4
    cathyx says:

    Let’s see if this marriage lasts 2 years.

  5. 5
    piratedan says:

    My nuptials war story involves my poor spouse who was dependent on her father to get her to the church on time and she sits in his car (with her Mother and her sister and brother-in-law) with her dress in a box on her lap. There’s only 45 minutes left before the ceremony is supposed to begin and my soon-to-be-father-in-law has to make a stop at the local Burger King drive-thru prior to getting to the church because he’s hungry. Sad to say, the inconsiderate bastard is still with us.

  6. 6
    Sad_Dem says:

    @Roger Moore: Unfortunately, there is no formal check on the California Coastal Commission’s power. The tales of its abuse of its power are legion.

  7. 7
    WereBear says:

    Back in the 80’s, when I ran an Amiga consulting/repair business, a lot of our clientele were wedding videographers. Oy, the stories!

    One firm rule of thumb was that the more extravagant the wedding, the faster the tape went out the door. Not just for customer service reasons; they wanted to deliver, and get paid, before the happy couple broke up.

  8. 8
    abo gato says:

    Big weddings are stupid. I will never understand the “magic” in them. For someone, or their parents, or anyone to spend the kind of money they do nowadays is just nuts. I would rather see them go to the courthouse and then use the money they saved for a blast of a trip, a down payment on a house, or something that is useful and lasting. If spending it on a trip is questioned, remember SP&T who reminded us that the only two things no one can steal from you are travel and education. So get married for a hundred bucks and then go around the world for crap’s sake and learn something!

  9. 9
    Emma says:

    @dollared: Second the motion. The man is a jackass.

  10. 10
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Stupidest damn custom is the happy couple leaving halfway through the party to start the honeymoon.

    My wife and I were the last ones to leave the hall. That reception was the biggest frickin’ party we’d ever given, or ever going to give, and we were damned if we were leaving halfway through. We closed the joint.

  11. 11
    Betty Cracker says:

    Pro-tip: If you have to form an LLC to manage the goddamned production that is your wedding, do the rest of us a favor and kindly start punching yourself in the face. And don’t ever stop.

  12. 12
    Hungry Joe says:

    Car-through-the-wall/Car-trashing Update #2: A) Some of you may recall that an out-of-control car plowed into the wall of the building my wife works in, ramming her desk into her abdomen. Yesterday she was released after six days in the hospital, minus a gall bladder and a small part of her liver (which regenerates), and with an incision/staples from just south of sternum to just south of navel. Prognosis is 100% recovery, but it’ll be rocky for a while. B) As for the guy who vandalized my car because he thought I parked too close to his truck … I decided to go through my insurance company and not deal with him at all; if eventually they can’t recover the deductible, I’ll just take that loss. Still don’t know whether I’m going to press felony vandalism charges or not, and I don’t know how to go about making up my mind. I’m not out to ruin anybody’s life, but I don’t want him to do this to anybody else, either. Suggestions?

  13. 13
    WereBear says:

    One wedding clip showed the groom on the dance floor, doing a waist-up strip tease. This was to show off the collarbone-to-waist tattoo of the bride’s head that was in place on his hairless chest. (The bride, in fine 80’s style, had a hairstyle which featured many square feet of hair…)

    I turned to the videographer and asked, “Do you know how long this marriage lasted?” He burst out laughing. “Six weeks! We got this one out in record time.”

  14. 14
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Betty Cracker: At that point it’s not a wedding, it’s an IPO. Never mind where the bride is registered, where is she incorporated? Delaware? South Dakota? The Cayman Islands?

  15. 15
    West of the Rockies says:

    The capacity of some humans for greed — piggy, oinking, squealing avarice — with no self-awareness is astonishing. It’s been ever-present, of course, but FSM I wish their were some immediate and public cosmic and karmic justice for such slobs.

  16. 16
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Hungry Joe: No suggestions on the vandal, but jeepers! Glad your wife is okay! I missed that thread. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  17. 17
    MattF says:

    I’ve got a few astonishing funeral stories… but this wouldn’t be the appropriate time to tell them. In fact, thinking about it, the appropriate time to tell them is probably ‘Never’.

  18. 18
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Hungry Joe: I have a suggestion, but it’s illegal, and involves two guys from Rhode Island with a superfluity of vowels in their surnames.

  19. 19
    WereBear says:

    @Hungry Joe: Press charges. How else is he going to learn?

    And it isn’t YOU who is ruining his life. He decided to do what he did to your car, didn’t he?

    All you are doing is reacting. Do police officers lose sleep at night, because they arrested a mass murderer and “ruined his life”? I doubt it very much.

    So glad your wife will recover. It could have so easily been so much worse.

  20. 20
    MikeJ says:

    @dollared: It’s a pity they never did that to Steve “I refuse to get license plates” Jobs.

  21. 21
    tybee says:

    @Hungry Joe:

    press charges. otherwise the asshole will think there are no repercussions to his actions.

    and then sue him for the deductible.

  22. 22
    WereBear says:

    Another classic clip started with the bride locking herself in the bathroom and demanding her psychiatrist. Midway, the groom shoved his own mother into a stack of chairs. The father and brothers descended on him and beat him up… somewhat. (I’m sure the tuxes were rented.)

    It ended with… these two getting married. I think they deserved each other.

  23. 23
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Dear Hardworking White Americans of The Heartland

    These are the people whose personal wealth you devote your votes to protecting.

    Yours in fatigue

  24. 24
    Mnemosyne says:

    IIRC, our wedding cost about $10,000 for 40 guests, with a third of that going to the photographers. That was well worth it, because we got some really amazing pictures from that day.

    We also had a second, separate reception for the Chicagoland relatives that my (step)mom planned on her own. My dad took me aside at one point and said that, if we wanted, he was willing to give us the cost of that reception as a lump sum and forego the party. But I knew my mom had been planning this pretty much since the day she married my dad and gained me as a daughter into the bargain (she had had three sons), so it was more important to G and I that she get to plan the wedding she wanted for me than to have the cash in hand. Some things are more important than money.


    One firm rule of thumb was that the more extravagant the wedding, the faster the tape went out the door. Not just for customer service reasons; they wanted to deliver, and get paid, before the happy couple broke up.

    This story always makes me feel better about it having taken over a year and a half to get our wedding video. It’s as though they were like, “Eh, they’ll be fine, we can get their video to them anytime.” Seven years this year.

  25. 25
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’m so old I don’t have wedding videos, just a series of mosaics…

  26. 26

    @Hungry Joe:

    Still don’t know whether I’m going to press felony vandalism charges or not, and I don’t know how to go about making up my mind. I’m not out to ruin anybody’s life, but I don’t want him to do this to anybody else, either. Suggestions?

    Press charges. This guy needs to deal with the law, and better now than after he’s tried to do the same thing to a driver rather than a car.

  27. 27
    kc says:

    @Hungry Joe:

    Yeah, press charges against the vandal. To hell with him.

    And I’m sorry about your wife! Best wishes for a full recovery for her.

  28. 28
    Elias says:

    The Redwood Wedding?

  29. 29


    and then sue him for the deductible.

    Let the insurance company deal with it. It’s their job, and more trouble than it’s worth for an individual. If the guy is convicted of vandalism, there’s no way in hell his insurance company can deny fault.

  30. 30
    Villago Delenda Est says:



    The damage can’t be repaired with money. There are regulations about this to protect this “magical place” that this shitstain despoiled with his arrogance.

    Like dollared said…jail his ass.

  31. 31
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Hungry Joe:

    Glad for the good news about your wife.

    On the other matter, I’m with the rest of the commenters up to now. Press charges. Asshole needs to be at least given the opportunity to learn.

  32. 32
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Hungry Joe: Have you filed a police report? If so, charges may be filed anyway.

  33. 33
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Hungry Joe:

    I think I’m with the crowd — press the felony charges, but maybe be willing to have him plea down to something that would require some anger management classes and/or mental health treatment. If he can be directed to learn better ways to manage his anger, you’ll be doing him (and everyone around him) a favor.

  34. 34
    maya says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Me – Cave paintings. But the wooly mammoth was some fine eatin’ I tell you.

  35. 35


    The tales of its abuse of its power are legion.

    And mostly as much bullshit as the stories about lawsuit abuse. The ones that aren’t completely made up are complaints by people the Coastal Commission slapped down when they wanted to do exactly the kind of thing the Coastal Commission was created to prevent.

  36. 36
    somethingblue says:

    Sarah Christie, a commission spokeswoman, said her agency learned about the wedding plans in early May and decided to allow Parker and Lenas to proceed with their nuptials at the public campground because the damage already had been done.

    “It didn’t make any sense to cancel the wedding,” she said. “That wasn’t going to help anything.”

    Oh, see, there I have to disagree.

  37. 37
    Svensker says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Yes yes yes. Selfish greedy figging pig. I love Big Sur. I’d love to punch his beady little figging….

    Breathe. Breathe.


  38. 38
    joel hanes says:

    They were careless people, Tom and Daisy- they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.

  39. 39
    cathyx says:

    @Hungry Joe: I might worry about retaliation if I got personally involved. I’d let the insurance company handle it too. He must live in the same area. These kind of guys don’t like to lose if it comes down to a court battle.

  40. 40
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @cathyx: Hit the guy with a restraining order.

  41. 41

    always dreamed of getting married in Big Sur, one of the most magical places on Earth

    But not so magical you didn’t think you could improve on it you asshole.

  42. 42
    cathyx says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: That won’t work against his friend he sends after him.

  43. 43
    Mike G says:


    I used to work with the local Harbor Patrol department. One day a couple of officers walked in laughing. They’d just returned from a call to a wedding reception at a waterfront restaurant that turned into an all-out brawl between the bride’s and groom’s families, including the bride’s mother. No bets on how long that marriage lasted.

  44. 44
    Glidwrith says:

    @Hungry Joe: Honestly, I’d press charges. My own backstory: Some yahoo was taking my picture from his balcony on the ground floor. I noticed he was bare-chested, then figured out the skin continued past his hips. Rather than pass directly by him, I walked around the side of the building then heard another ‘click’. He had followed me out of his apartment and when I stopped to look at him with a ‘Really?’ look on my face, he stepped out in all his, erm, glory. I backtracked to the rental office and announced a naked man was taking peoples’ pictures to the entire office. Just then, a FEDERAL MARSHALL drove up to serve a subpeona on a different matter.

    Long story short, I had the guy arrested, figuring he may have pulled this crap before and not called on it. Alternatively, he was starting his life of crime and I figured he should be stopped. Either way, I had the immediate power of keeping someone from escalating until someone else got hurt or killed. Talked to the police afterwards and the guy was out on parole and had been convicted of assault and battery.

  45. 45
    patroclus says:

    I’m not intending to go to another wedding in my life after watching that Game of Thrones episode and if I get dragged into one, I’m damn sure bolting as soon as the band starts playing the Rains of Castamere.

  46. 46
    Corner Stone says:

    @Glidwrith: And I’ve never forgiven you for it!

  47. 47
  48. 48
    Corner Stone says:

    @patroclus: @patroclus: Unless you’re in By The Grace of God Texas.
    In that case I’d be the one sending the Lannisters *my* regards.

  49. 49
    Violet says:

    @Hungry Joe: Glad your wife is recovering. No advice on what to do about the guy who damaged your car. There are advantages and disadvantages to all your options. If it were me, I’d decide what action would be to serve the highest good–including this guy not getting away with just a financial fine, the health of your wife, your needs re: your car/a new car, society’s desire not to have asshats damaging property at will, etc. Only you can rank the various issues and decide what it right for you.

  50. 50
    gogol's wife says:

    What ever happened to Sarah Plain and Tall?

  51. 51
    TheWatcher says:

    @West of the Rockies: There is, and it resembles closely the French Revolution.

  52. 52
    Hungry Joe says:

    @everbody: Hmmmm … I’m now leaning toward pressing charges. There is a police report, and over the phone the guy admitted to the detective that he did it. He expressed remorse (big surprise there) and a willingness to pay for the damages. I was going to go that route until a friend said something along the lines of “Are you out of your fucking mind?”

    Just to keep this clear: the vandalism and my wife’s injuries are separate, unrelated incidents.

    Just to keep this mess clear: The vandalism and my wife’s injuries are separate, unrelated incidents.

    Oh, and I forgot to update C) we settled the fender-bender our teenage daughter was in a few weeks ago by accepting 30% of the blame, although our insurance guy said it wasn’t her fault and intends to go to arbitration to get our 30% back.

    But while I’ve got you all … as for my wife’s injuries: lawyer, or just deal straight up with the other guy’s insurance company? Worker’s comp will handle all the medical. I’m not looking to cash in — I hate that stuff — but there’s some serious pain and suffering here: I’ve seen it first hand. (If there’s a settlement, you’ll all get a cut.)

  53. 53
    Glidwrith says:

    @Corner Stone: Sure, blame me for your own actions instead of putting up with your crap.

  54. 54
    gogol's wife says:

    @Hungry Joe:

    Press charges.


  55. 55
    Corner Stone says:

    @Hungry Joe: Are you serious? What’s wrong with you?

  56. 56
    Trollhattan says:


    This is reversing it perfectly backwards–to the contrary, the CCComish has a tendency to not use their legal clout, particularly on rich people. Case in point, Malibu:

  57. 57
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @abo gato:

    Big weddings are stupid.

    I couldn’t agree more. My wedding is in a couple weeks. My lovely wife-to-be and I did everything we could to keep it small. Nice, sure, but small. 50 people, a good meal, and some dancing. Done and done. No upper-class affectations. No 5-tiered cake. No tacky-ass “elegance.” No “dream wedding” bullshit. The dream is for us to get married and spend the occasion with the people closest to us. That’s it. The rest of that stuff is for insecure dipshits.

  58. 58
    Redshift says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Stupidest damn custom is the happy couple leaving halfway through the party to start the honeymoon.

    Fine, as long as you make clear that the custom of nobody leaving before the couple is also not in force.

    I still recall the wedding of a young couple of our acquaintance, who had a full Catholic wedding mass, followed by a reception where they were having such a great time they didn’t want to leave, so they stayed a looooong time. Either they didn’t know that traditionally, it’s polite to stay until the couple leaves, or it just never occurred to them to tell anyone otherwise, but there were quite a few tired and cranky people who had to decide when it was okay to leave, well after they would have liked to.

  59. 59
    JPL says:

    Parker has weird taste imo.

    @Hungry Joe: Take care of your wife first and worry about the asshole later.

  60. 60
    Corner Stone says:

    @Glidwrith: Was that wrong? Should I have not done that? If only someone had told me…

  61. 61
    Chris says:

    @abo gato:

    I have never been married nor do I have any plans to be in the immediate future, but I agree with you. The price tag alone is enough to deter.

  62. 62
    WereBear says:

    Another clip I’ll never forget was the bride’s younger brother, microphone in hand, struggling to find the right words to tell his new bro-in-law that “she’s a monster… I tried to tell you… she will do whatever she wants to get what she wants… she will stomp your heart flat.”

  63. 63
    WereBear says:

    @Bubblegum Tate: Congrats to you both!

  64. 64
    Suffern ACE says:

    So is the purpose of the LLC to shield him from the damage he knew he was going to do to the park or was it a bogus investment vehicle that he can use to write off the cost of his wedding, since I doubt the company made the start up investment back.

  65. 65
    Redshift says:

    @piratedan: Our wedding mostly went smoothly, except for a couple of memorable events. First, the bridal party (other than the bride) collectively decided that they were supposed to get a gift for the bride, which they hadn’t done. That would have been a nice gesture, except they decided this on their way from the wedding to the reception, and they vanished without warning for the better part of an hour to shop for it. (This was in the pre-cell phone days.)

    The other amusing anecdote was that since we were young and paying for the wedding ourselves, we had enough champagne for a toast, and then sparkling cider after that. One of our friends apparently didn’t realize that, and managed to get quite tipsy on sparkling cider!

  66. 66
    Violet says:

    My funny wedding story is straight out of “Four Weddings and a Funeral.” Went to the wedding of friends in England. There were four of us in the car heading to the wedding, all locals but me. The driver assured us he knew the location and how to get there, as did one of the passengers. They were wrong.

    We drove round and round the English countryside, down small country lanes, by pastures with stone walls, green grass and sheep. We stopped and asked a farmer where the village and wedding location were. “Hmmmmm…,” he says, leaning a bit more onto his staff and giving us the once over. “You can’t get there from here.”

    Twenty more minutes of driving. Asking several other people, including a shopkeeper, a nice elderly lady with a small shopping cart, and finally a middle-aged woman with a dog, who did know where it was. One quick turn in the right direction and we arrived just as the happy couple were pronounced husband and wife. They turned to walk down the aisle as we took our seats, and as far as I know to this day they don’t know we were late.

    The party afterwards was excellent.

  67. 67
    Hungry Joe says:

    @Corner Stone: Yes, I’m serious. And any number of things are wrong with me, including an odd quirk that does not allow me, under any circumstances, to get into nasty arguments with people I don’t know on the internet. Puts me in the minority, I know, and I’m not saying it’s good or bad, but there it is. I simply won’t do it.

  68. 68

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Stupidest damn custom is the happy couple leaving halfway through the party to start the honeymoon.

    Halfway through the party is stupid, but leaving slightly before the thing is officially over so everyone can wave as they drive away is nice. How else is everyone supposed to see the great job the best man has done decorating their car?

    The dumbest custom I can think of is the one at some Asian weddings where the groom has to accept toasts at every damn table so he’s likely to be completely plastered by the time the thing is over, with all that implies for his wedding night performance. Fortunately, there is a custom that the groom can force the best man to take over the drinking when he feels like he’s had enough, but I still dislike any custom that forces anyone to overindulge in alcohol.

  69. 69
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    Good golly.

    The missus wore a dress she made herself and we invited our friends for carry out Thai in the basement of a book store. If we topped $500 for the whole thing, I’d be surprised.

    And we’re every bit as married as those clowns.

  70. 70
    cckids says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    My wife and I were the last ones to leave the hall. That reception was the biggest frickin’ party we’d ever given, or ever going to give, and we were damned if we were leaving halfway through. We closed the joint.

    No lie. We not only closed the joint, we paid the DJ to play another hour, then moved the party to an all-night IHOP for those intrepid souls still with us (about 35 people), then back to my parent’s house for 2 more hours. Those involved still bring it up, 27 years later.

  71. 71
    Larv says:

    @Hungry Joe:

    I forgot, what exactly was the story with the guy vandalizing your car? Did he key it, or do something more?

  72. 72
    Violet says:

    @Hungry Joe: I would recommend you get a lawyer. All the advice I got when someone in my family had a car accident was that you DO NOT SETTLE FOR AT LEAST THREE MONTHS. Sorry for the all caps, but that’s how it was said to me and definitely what I learned.

    Once you settle with the insurance company, you get nothing else. Some injuries can take awhile to become obvious and you don’t know how long your wife will need additional treatment, what that treatment is and how much it will cost. You need at least three months to see what else might be wrong (hopefully nothing). Six months is better.

    Because this is a “car accident”, even though your wife was sitting at her desk, you might find you are in a grey area as to which insurance company (car, health) wants to pay for it. Meanwhile, the hospital will hound you for the money. This is why you hire a lawyer. You refer calls to them if you can’t handle them yourself. Plus, they know the ins and outs of how to get money out of insurance companies much better than you do.

  73. 73
    becca says:

    I have never gotten into FB or its mutants. Like The Great Santini, I want to be an enigma.

    Actually, I’m just lazy, but that has worked out well for me because I don’t have to hassle with dumping the fuckheads.

  74. 74
  75. 75
    West of the Rockies says:

    @TheWatcher: True, but from my limited historical knowledge, those who lost their heads were the country’s political leaders, yes? Is Parker, like Zuckerberg a high school grad only with limited world experience and no college? I know that not everybody needs college, but getting a degree at least offers the potential of expanding one’s world view a bit. This guy may simply be a callow, spoiled brat. It reminds me of when you hear some 17-year-old music/TV/film personality say something like, “Yeah, I’ve always wanted to make a movie with Spielberg.” Yeah, and in your ten years of sentient awareness (I want to say), just how much genuine effort did you put into making that long-time dream come true? Or were you simply born with the right face, a perky ass, a stupid mop of hair that could be coiffed in a fetching style (a la Bieber).

    Sorry everybody… I guess my inner-misanthrope is coming out today. Stay the hell off my lawn!

  76. 76
    Corner Stone says:

    @Hungry Joe: Not looking for a fight with you. The simple truth is you must protect you and your family’s rights for future events. You should absolutely engage the insurance company and get medical files and results on file.
    Incidents like this – results don’t reveal themselves for some number of months later.
    It is absolutely unthinkable to not protect your future considerations for damages incurred. That’s not “getting over” on the system. That’s just the imperative.
    I’m referring to your wife’s circumstances.

    For the pressing charges, that should have been a no brainer. But that’s at least a debatable situation. Your wife is going to undergo years of results from her experience. There is no goodwill bank that can help you later down the road.

  77. 77
    Todd says:

    Clearly this job creator hasn’t had his taxes cut enough yet. If his tax rates were properly low, he’d have had an even more lavish wedding with flickering, flaming poor people to light his gardens.

  78. 78

    I have a fair number of wedding stories because I worked as a waiter at a place that did weddings regularly. The one I remember best was one where the wedding had obviously been planned by the bride’s mother, and the happy couple was unhappy with the food. The bride made a comment about preferring a Double Double to the entree on the menu, at which point the best man earned his title by sneaking off to In-N-Out. He gave me the food, so I was able to serve it to the bride and groom on the same plates as everyone else’s regular meal. I still don’t know if it was bad because the could didn’t even get to pick the food for their own wedding, or great because their friends came through for them.

  79. 79
    Hungry Joe says:

    @Larv: The guy thought I parked too close to his truck (even though he was the one over the line), so he keyed the passenger-side door, then climbed atop the car — literally at high noon, with witnesses! — and stomped some dents into the roof.
    @Violet: Worker’s Comp is going to cover all medical, then go after the driver’s insurance company. As I understand it, the only $$ we’ll be out of pocket is the ridiculous parking-lot fee at the trauma hospital, and I’m going to try to get Worker’s Comp to pick that up, too. I guess billing them for all my vending-machine Snapples would be pushing it …

  80. 80
    PurpleGirl says:

    Parker and his wife deserve no credit for anything involved with this wedding. Granted he wanted a party in Big Sur and someone wanted a ruined castle as the backdrop. It probably would have been cheaper to rent a ruined castle site in Scotland or Ireland, flown all the guest there for the ceremony and then flown them back for the party in Big Sur.

    He destroyed trees which will never grow back in the same way they were and has stolen that beauty from everyone in the world. I don’t known what the charge could be, but they both deserve some jail time.

    And that Commission member needs to be dropped from the Commission; she certainly has been blinded by Parker’s money (and probably any rich person).

  81. 81
    Hungry Joe says:

    @Corner Stone: Sorry, Corner Stone — I misapprehended your tone entirely. For a week now I’ve been going on not much sleep and way, WAY too much stress … and this is with my wife expected to make a full recovery, and no financial threat whatsoever. I guess you could say I’m a little jangly. Can’t imagine how people deal with truly tragic stuff.

  82. 82
    Tokyokie says:

    @Hungry Joe: Something similar happened to me a few years ago (although the car that was vandalized was a loaner from the place my car was being repaired). The guy was looking for a fight (and probably trying to impress his date with what a tough guy he was), so I just walked away while the spousal unit took down his tag number. It happened at a shopping mall, so we called security, and they advised us to file a police report and that the parking-lot security camera tapes would back up our version of events. So we did and turned things over to the insurance company. The insurance company went after the guy for the entire repair bill, not just the deductible, and considering that his only tangible asset was the tricked-out car whose door he used to put a dent in the loaner’s fender, the insurer in all likelihood repossessed it to satisfy the judgment. And I thought that was nicely poetic justice.

    And speaking of the spousal unit, we got married in the Philippines at a joint called Chicken Bites. We had to throw the wedding together in less than a week, and we (with the help of two or three of her cousins) did everything ourselves. And it things didn’t spool out in fairy-tale fashion, so what? We’re still married and marked our 16th anniversary just a couple of weeks ago.

  83. 83
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Hungry Joe: You really should talk to a lawyer about it. You may choose not to file a suit, but don’t foreclose your options. Do you own your house? What level of structural damage was there? Make sure your family is made whole; it wasn’t your fault, so you shouldn’t suffer without compensation.

  84. 84
    Bubblegum Tate says:


    Thanks! I’m pretty confident ours will be one of those “you can be a year late with the video, no worries” type of deals :-)

  85. 85
    Larv says:

    @Hungry Joe: Hmm, that’s a tough one. I probably wouldn’t press charges just for a keying, if he agreed to pay for repairs. But the roof stomping is something else, and suggests some serious anger issues (or serious drunkenness, which is also a problem if he was driving). So I dunno. One the one hand felony charges are some pretty serious shit, but on the other he needs to pay some sort of price beyond simple repairs.

  86. 86
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Spent some good time in Big Sur. I wish upon Parker cancer of the rectum. Because that’s pretty much his whole body I look forward to the thought of him watching himself die by inches.

    Death has shouted my name on occasion and now we’re quite close. Death has assured me that , unlike the California Coastal Commission, Death can’t be bought off.

  87. 87
    PurpleGirl says:

    I’m not married and haven’t been. One very good friend decided that I should go with her to interviews for various things in planning her wedding. The groom was fine with that, friend and I would do the preliminary work and then he and she would decide who he needed to talk to before the final decision. It was interesting.

    At one photography studio we went to, they wouldn’t talk to my friend unless the groom was there. They’d had too many times when the bride ordered the super deluxe package and the groom didn’t then want to pay for it. My friend tried to convince the lady that (1) she worked in finance and knew a lot of economics, her intended worked in computers and didn’t have the same finance background; (2) she made more money than he did; (3) she would be the one paying the bills. The lady refused to talk with my friend without the groom there. We stood up and walked out.

    We went to one wedding hall to talk about holding the ceremony and party. The sales guy really pushed our buttons. My friend would ask the questions and he answered while looks looking at me. (My friend, btw, is AA.) We waited a few questions and then told him we had enough information. When we got outside the place, I turned to her and said “Am I imagining it but was he addressing the answers to me?”. Her comment to me was “No, you’re not and I wanted to haul off and punch him.” Needless to say she didn’t hold the party there.

    If I ever were to have gotten married, I think I’d have had a simple dinner for a few witnesses and just sent announcements. Or had a ceremony at a science fiction convention.

  88. 88
  89. 89
    NickT says:

    @Hungry Joe:

    Personally I’d want to make the bastard look at the post-operation Theon Greyjoy with envy by the time I was through with him.

  90. 90
    opie jeanne says:

    @piratedan: That’s a terrible story.

  91. 91

    @opie jeanne:

    That’s a terrible story.

    No, that’s a great story about a terrible incident.

  92. 92
    Calouste says:

    A Facebook billionaire turns out to be an entitled asshole. Well, well, well, who could have predicted that?

  93. 93
    Mike Lamb says:

    @somethingblue: I wonder what the Coastal Commission’s enforcement power is in terms of being able to collect the fines. It wouldn’t surprise me if there was a deal that the wedding could go through provided he paid the fines. If not, then not canceling the wedding was exceedingly stupid.

  94. 94
    David Koch says:

    Samantha Power is friggin hawt! (NSFW)

    What a slap across the face of the Blue-Haired Dead-End Hillbots. Just threw them under the bus after hippie punching them .

  95. 95
    Felonius Monk says:

    Appropriate wedding toast: I now give you Mr. and Mrs. ASSHOLE(S).

  96. 96
    Baud says:

    This story makes me wish that Ents were real.

  97. 97
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Baud: Win.

  98. 98

    @Hungry Joe:

    I’m not out to ruin anybody’s life, but I don’t want him to do this to anybody else, either. Suggestions?

    Ruin his life. He had a choice to not be an asshole. He didn’t take it. He won’t take it next time.

  99. 99
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Hungry Joe:

    I’ve actually had to get worker’s comp in California for a work-related injury, and I have to say that they were VERY good about making sure I had little to no out-of-pocket costs. G accidentally paid a co-pay for my painkillers after I had surgery and they refunded us immediately. Plus they were very prompt with salary-replacement payments for lost time during my surgery. The one thing that may take a while is to get the actual settlement for the injury, but that’s not usually too urgent since they take care of everything else up front. As long as the hospital and your wife’s doctors are keeping up on filing the paperwork with the state, you should sail through the workers’ comp part.

    I would definitely keep my options open regarding separately suing the driver who injured your wife and, as Violet said, you want to keep those options open for at least three months (I would say six) just to be on the safe side.

  100. 100
    Hungry Joe says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: The car didn’t hit our house — it hit the building my wife works in. They’ve promised her a different office when she gets back.

    Here’s the (brief) TV news video. “Minor injuries” my ass:

  101. 101
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Hungry Joe: Well, never mind about the structural damage stuff. Still, I would talk to a lawyer about it. Look for someone reputable who will do a free consultation.

  102. 102
    divF says:

    Three weddings come to mind:

    (1) Our own – two witnesses (our roommates) at the courthouse in the middle of the week during our lunch hour, 32 years (and counting) ago.

    (2) Some former roommates, a party at the lodge at Joaquin Miller Park, just off of the Warren Freeway in Oakland. A lovely redwood location, and we stayed after to help the bride and groom clean up. 33 years and counting for them – what comes of the good karma of not trashing a redwood grove.

    (3) Two friends of ours down at the Alameda Co. Hall of Records last Friday morning. Four of us in the wedding party, plus bride and groom. I fixed a wedding breakfast for us afterwards, plus there was a black forest cake made by the bride. Given the prior experiences above we are optimistic about their prospects.

  103. 103
    ruemara says:

    The closest I’m coming to matrimony is watching the Lake House while cleaning and celebrating my ex getting off my sofa for month or so on caretaking gig. I need some sort of scam to take advantage of young rich jackholes with massive egos, no sense and a loose grasp of facts.

  104. 104
    opie jeanne says:

    @Roger Moore: Well, yes. I guess. It’s illustrative, for sure.

    My story: the cake was late to our reception. I looked at his instructions when the derlivery guy finally showed up and every right turn had been written down as a left turn.

    We got married at the Methodist church I attended in HS with cake and punch in the Fellowship Hall served by a service group, and the whole thing cost my parents far less than I spent on my daughter’s wedding dress. The total was about $400. My dress cost $20 because it was a sample, size 3, and December. The dress originally cost $200. Took me about three days to put it all together, had the wedding two weeks later. Everyone had a nice time but my FIL groused that we didn’t serve champagne. The church wouldn’t allow it, I was 19 and couldn’t drink legally, and he didn’t offer to pay for it.

    That was in 1969. We’re still married despite everything.

  105. 105
    ruemara says:

    @opie jeanne: I don’t care who you are, that’s a damned romantic story right there. Congratulations and may long love and life walk hand in hand.

  106. 106
    Citizen_X says:

    he and his wife “always dreamed of getting married in Big Sur, one of the most magical places on Earth.”

    Which we destroyed. Aloha, suckers!

  107. 107
    opie jeanne says:

    @divF: A friend from Cal Poly had a wedding at one of the Claremont colleges, in a grass alley between two rows of trees. She made her dress and those of her bridesmaids, I think everyone was in gingham, including the bride. She invited the college choir (she was a member) and we provided music, with some help from a couple of members of the jazz band.

    The reception was a potluck and the bride made the cake.

    It was very nice. That would have been 1976.

    I’ve been to too many weddings where the fairy tale ideal was on display, but I just don’t get the rationale of the massively expensive sit-down dinner or the bride and groom needing a limo when they can only afford a small apartment or student housing. Against my better judgement I gave my daughter $7k, out of which came a very nice wedding dress for about $800.They added to it and threw a huge wedding. The marriage lasted 6 years, and that makes me sad.

  108. 108
    Elias says:


    That was my experience to when I missed a year of work due to a fall on the job. The workers comp stuff was a breeze. SCIF in Cal.

    When I told them that I wanted to move to another state to do surgery and rehab with my family they didn’t blink. When I asked my PA aunt which surgeon she recommended they said ‘great’. The rehab was no issue. I had to deal with almost no paperwork. I’m sure there are horror stories, but my experience was stellar.

  109. 109
    opie jeanne says:


    Is it?

    I guess it is. Better still, we both still like each other, even though we are now officially old farts.

  110. 110
    aimai says:

    @SatanicPanic: And its so, so, very tacky.

  111. 111
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @Citizen_X: a blog post on (SF Chronicle) has some pictures of what they did. Revolting.

  112. 112
    PurpleGirl says:

    One reason for the big shindigs is the parent’s ability to show off how much money they can spend on a party for the daughter. Especially starting in the early 1950s, it was sign that people had made it into the middle class. It just got more expensive and more elaborate as time went on. Not saying that this is good, but it does play a role. (My observation over time.)

  113. 113
    somethingblue says:

    @Mike Lamb: The fine is nothing to this guy. Cancelling the wedding would at least have inconvenienced him.

  114. 114
    Mnemosyne says:


    I need some sort of scam to take advantage of young rich jackholes with massive egos, no sense and a loose grasp of facts.

    It sounds like “high-end wedding planner” may be the job description you’re looking for.

  115. 115
    NickT says:


    Could be a good time to found Red Wedding Consultants Inc. Honorary President W.Frey.

  116. 116
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Bubblegum Tate:

    May you have such a wonderful long-lasting marriage that it takes a decade for the photographer to get the videos to you!

    Best wishes and congratulations!

  117. 117
    daverave says:


  118. 118
    Tehanu says:

    @Hungry Joe:
    LAWYER! Do NOT try to “deal with” the insurance company on your own — even if it’s your own insurance company; they will happily screw you over as quickly as they would somebody else. Believe me, you will regret not having a lawyer on your side. Look at it this way: the insurance company has a whole department full of lawyers who do nothing all day but figure out ways to screw anybody who might cost them; don’t you think you ought to have ONE person with experience and knowledge to deal with them?

  119. 119
    kc says:

    @Hungry Joe:

    Good Lord, he did all that? And you still haven’t pressed charges? Dude!

    As for your wife: LAWYER.

  120. 120
    Sad_Dem says:

    @Trollhattan: This is reversing it perfectly backwards–to the contrary, the CCComish has a tendency to not use their legal clout, particularly on rich people. Case in point, Malibu:

    That too, and that’s the problem. The commissioners do what they feel. This billionaire gets what he wants, that old lady gets fined for mowing down the brush that the local fire department told her to mow, these other people wait for a legal permit, those well-connected folks get a dubious one…

  121. 121
    Yatsuno says:


    Our own – two witnesses (our roommates) at the courthouse in the middle of the week during our lunch hour

    This was my parents, except theirs was on a Monday and their honeymoon was my dad going to Chicago to get inducted into the Navy. 44 years later they still irritate each other.

  122. 122
    Maude says:

    @Hungry Joe:
    You sit down with a lawyer ASAP. You don’t have enough information to make a major decision like this. Down the road, you could regret not doing something and it will be detrimental to you. You need to know from a lawyer what’s ahead.
    This is not time to play Mr. Nice Guy. You could end up in bad shape doing this.
    Move on this. Once you have all the information, you can make a wise decision.

  123. 123
    Anne Laurie says:

    @WereBear: Confession time: The videographer we’d hired never showed up, and we’d decided ‘not to bother’ with a still photographer as well. Partially because five of our six attendants were travelling to Boston — from Seattle, Santa Clara, Milwaukee, Lansing, and DC. The jackhole from DC also failed to show, because he was in a snit that we wouldn’t let him wear his kilt, even though it was his “accredited clan tartan” (dude looked like Rob Ford, nobody wanted to see his naked chubby milk-white knees). Fortunately our friends were generous about sharing photo dupes with us later, and my maid of honor had an ancient movie camera (intended for filming flyball classes) stashed in her van, with which one of my old boyfriends did his best to capture the highlights of the whole event…

    It was that kind of wedding, but at least it gave our friends plenty of good stories to share.

  124. 124
    Anne Laurie says:


    One reason for the big shindigs is the parent’s ability to show off how much money they can spend on a party for the daughter.

    True that. Our wedding was a variant on that — the Spousal Unit’s father helped us with the down payment for our house, all the while “suggesting” that it would make him very, very, very happy to see one of his four sons permanently married in the eyes of the state before he slipped from this vale of tears. SU & I had been together for almost 15 years at that point, the relationship had survived a cross-country move & buying that house, my parents were out of the picture, so the old guy figured we were his last best chance to live out his romantic fantasy!

  125. 125
    Tokyokie says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass: I think Sean Parker should spend his days making little rocks out of big ones until replacement trees grow to the size of the ones he felled to build a bullshit fantasyscape.

  126. 126
    JoyfulA says:

    My first wedding was by a justice of the peace for less than $50. It lasted 37 years. As a widow and apprentice crone, I fell in love online. My second wedding was even cheaper, and it’s going on 10 years.

  127. 127
    mai naem says:

    I love Big Sur and this POS decided to kill some ancient trees for his wedding which will probably last 1/200 the age of the trees. Asshole.

    Also too, weddings – I have a cousin who spent over $200K on her wedding. Granted she and the husband have good jobs, but jeezus $200K on a wedding is just wasteful. They are still together. I do think quite a bit of it had to do with keeping up with the Joneses’

  128. 128
    opiejeanne says:

    @JoyfulA: That’s sweet. I’m 63 and don’t know where to sign up for Crone Training.

  129. 129
    Mark says:

    I’m impressed that we have 127 comments and less than a handful of get-off-my-lawn types have appeared. In case anyone was wondering, this debacle came about because Parker is rich, not because he’s (relatively) young or has anything to do with technology.

  130. 130
    JoyfulA says:

    @opiejeanne: I was looking into the Red Hats, but then I learned that they were like elderly Brownie Scouts, all dressing alike and traveling en masse. I’ve never been feminine and never made it beyond Tenderfoot rank, so that definitely didn’t appeal to me. I wanted to be a wise crank, doing my own thing.

    That’s about as far as I got. I was commenting on a blog and got tangled up with another commenter. One thing led to another. (I was later surprised to learn how many of the people I knew online were married to someone they met by commenting online.)

  131. 131
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @Tokyokie: sounds good to me.

  132. 132
    hamletta says:

    Dudes, I work at a church, so I’ve seen some weddings.

    The most vexing was one booked by my predecessor, where they had some holy-roller preacher (we’re ELCA Lutherans) and the MOB decided the day before that the bride & groom should take Communion—and no one else!

    We got our pastor on the phone with her and talked her out of it—Communion is all-or-nothing—it’s for all to share, not just for the “stars.”

    The MOB was raised Catholic, so she understood that part, but they wouldn’t use real wine, and they didn’t want to trouble our Altar Guild, so they’d just go across the street to the Lifeway Bookstore (owned by the Southern Baptists), and get some of those communion sets with the plastic cups with wafers tucked into the peel-off foil tops.

    The chair of our Altar Guild about Went Home To Elizabeth over that one, so they had to set up two sets of Communion elements: one for the Welch’s-tippling heathens, and one for the Christians.

    Not to mention the wedding party included a bunch of little no-neck monsters who went into every unlocked room in the parish and trashed whatever they could find like pre-pubescent Keith Moons.

    Needless to say, we changed our wedding policy the following Monday.

  133. 133
    divF says:

    @Yatsuno: As Madame divF is fond of saying, “Love without irritation is merely lust”.

  134. 134
    opie_jeanne says:

    @JoyfulA: I had the same reaction to the Red Hats, except it didn’t look like as much fun as Girl Scouts was.

    The internet is wonderful. I get to talk to people all over the world, and some of them I’ve been lucky enough to meet (and they weren’t axe murderers).

  135. 135
    Mnemosyne says:


    I get to talk to people all over the world, and some of them I’ve been lucky enough to meet (and they weren’t axe murderers).

    … that you know of. ;-)

  136. 136
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @Hungry Joe: Call the police. Once he’s charged and convicted, the insurance company will be the ones going after him for the money, and they’ll get it if he’s got a conviction. As for ruining his life, as was said, he’s the one who thought it was a reasonable thing to do. He needs to learn otherwise.

  137. 137
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @somethingblue: I’m willing to bet that if the couple had been from East LA that the reaction would’ve been quite different.

  138. 138
    cmorenc says:

    ARRGH! My wife and I got married in a simple ceremony at a leafy outdoor theater in Chapel Hill, NC (the Forest Theater) where plays are often put on from late spring through early fall. We had a simple backyard barbecue for a rehearsal dinner.

    I’m aghast that my older daughter (with support from her mom) plans an elaborate wedding in a small castle some eccentric rich lady built twenty years ago in the mountains west of Asheville that, after living there for ten years or so, she moved to more conventional housing a couple of miles away and started renting the castle out for parties and weddings. My daughter’s planned wedding (yeah, there’s a wedding planner involved, whereas my wife and I rolled our own entirely ourselves) fortunately won’t cost but a tiny fraction of Sean Parker’s bash at Big Sur did (more in the 10K+ than 9 million range)…but I feel that somewhere along the way, I failed to adequately convey some important values about modesty, perspective, and what’s really important. Part of the problem is that she’s 28 now, and for 5-6 years now she’s been going to the elaborate weddings of various friends around the country, and now it’s her turn to put on a show worthy of people traveling in from distance to attend her own wedding. Fortunately, the guy she’s marrying seems to be a solid, stand-up guy whom she’s known well for a very long time (they’ve been going together for seven years and have been living together full time for a year now). So the chances of this marriage heading for the rocks within a year or two of the wedding don’t seem to be all that great, fortunately. This guy even had the class to call me in March for my permission to ask my daughter to marry him! A completely unnecessary gesture, especially since I’ve known him for a long time now, but much appreciated.

  139. 139
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    Oh. My. God. I don’t even know where to start with this.

    What a complete fucking asshole to think that because his random, winning “click” on Wheel of Fortune of the Universe made him rich he deserves nothing less than the ability to destroy a bunch of trees and give his middle finger to all those suffering in this economy to celebrate what is most likely his already doomed marriage.

    The signs are everywhere: It really is the frigging “Gilded Age” all over again.

  140. 140
    Mnemosyne says:


    Wait, your daughter is spending in the $10K range to get married in a castle?

    You may have “failed” in the modesty or perspective areas, but if she’s only paying $10K for a whole wedding in a castle, you raised one hell of a negotiator. My $10K was a Unitarian church, a dress bought off the internet for $300, and a luncheon for 40 people because dinner was too expensive.

  141. 141
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @Ella in New Mexico: It’s been the New Gilded Age for a long time now.

  142. 142
    Older says:

    @JoyfulA: I also looked into the Red Hat Society. I found that of the groups in my area, most were not accepting new members, and the rest were all Ladies Who Take Tea. If I joined, I would be expected to “entertain” the members at a “tea” periodically. I live more like a superannuated college slacker than like a Lady Who Takes Tea, and I don’t actually have a space in my house where eight people could be “entertained”.

    A friend gave me a ball cap with the Red Hat logo on it, so I’m good. My friends, such as they are, come by sometimes, in groups of 1 – 3, and we have tea, for which event I show them to my approximately eight feet of shelf containing my selection of teas of all kinds, and they choose one.

    Y’know, I had no idea that there were still Ladies Who Take Tea.

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