I was part of the generation that grew up watching Seinfeld and Seinfeld re-runs. I even had a psychology teacher my senior year of high school who showed us Seinfeld clips to highlight various neuroses. To this day I can’t say “vegetable lasagna” without thinking about Elaine arguing with Puddy on an airplane while a poor passenger bystander is caught in between them. Once his meal arrives—a “vegetable lasagna”—Elaine mocks the passenger and calls him “vegetable lasagna” the rest of the flight. There are lots of stupid random things from life that can trigger a Seinfeld memory.
Case in point:
Making use of my time while P is out of town, I spent one weekend putting together and addressing our wedding invitations. We are keeping with the “red wedding/white wedding” theme, and as such we have two invitation cards—a red one with the Nepali details and a white with the American details. My sister designed them.
Anyway, I spent the weekend putting the two invitation cards along with the response card, information card, and red addressed and stamped response envelope into a black invitation folder, tying it with a red ribbon, putting the whole bundle into a larger red envelope, addressing, stamping, and finally licking the envelope closed.
Of course, after a while I started to think about the Seinfeld character George Constanza and how he was engaged for a period of time to Susan, whom he didn’t really want to be married to. His character in particular was super cheap and ornery, so he insisted they buy the cheapest wedding invitations at the store—for those of you who also watched Seinfeld you know the rest from the episode “The Invitations”—Susan spent an evening making out invitations, licking the back of the envelopes, and was eventually poisoned by the toxic glue and died.
The show’s main characters were known for being self-absorbed and unaffected, and thus dealt with Susan’s death by shrugging their shoulders and saying, “ehh.” Whenever I lick a bunch of envelopes—particularly when sending holiday cards in December, I can’t help but think about that episode and giggle a little.
So I successfully licked all my invitations without incident. I guess I’m one step closer.
On a separate note, I had an Indian undergraduate in my office not long after completing this task. He had to fill out some paperwork and mail it in somewhere. I gave him a blank envelope from my desk, but he said he hated licking envelopes, so he stuffed it and I sealed it for him. I said I had licked a bunch of envelopes recently, so what was one more? And I couldn’t help myself—I asked, “Do you know the show Seinfeld?” He looked at me blankly, so I decided to fill him in on a little slice of Americana… and explained the episode to him. Perhaps now he just thinks his international student advisor is weird?