International couple Eric Turner and Morné Coetzer are in a bit of a pickle: They have set a date to marry (January 4, 2014), but because the legalization of same-sex marriage remains globally sporadic, neither can do it where he lives now (Eric's in Houston, Morné is in London). They have decided on South Africa, where Morné grew up and gay marriage is legal. Morné's parents are already there, but Eric's are not. Now, they'd gladly pay for Eric's parents to fly there, but they'd more gladly use your money and so they have set up a gofundme page to e-panhandle $7,000 to cover Eric's parents' trip. Really, they have more important shit to buy. With their money. But not yours. Writes Eric:
My fiancé and I would gladly pay for them to attend, but with the price of our own trip, the wedding, and the cost of one of us moving once we're married has made that a highly unlikely possibility. I don't want anyone to help with any part of our wedding, or our expenses because of our decision to marry. But if there is anyone who can help my parents attend their favorite sons wedding ;-) , it would make our special day incredible.
Their gofundme page directs you to their personal site to read about their story. It is a story that includes plans for four separate wedding events:
Our wedding, honeymoon, and South Africa visit are all wrapped into one. We recognize that it's an expensive trip, but of our possible options, it was the least expensive. Crazy, huh? We don't expect anyone to help us with any of it. But if you'd like to contribute to our HoneyFund, that would help us get off to the best start. Don't feel obligated to do so, we'll also accept toasters.
We plan our wedding and 3 separate events around the globe for our friends and families to celebrate our union. It's an expensive prospect, but we're excited to share with all of you the love we've found for one another.
They wouldn't expect you to pay for it, but if your fingers just happen to land on the number row of your keyboard and your hand just happens to fall on your mouse as it hovers over the "DONATE" button, well wouldn't that be nice? (Hurry up with my damn croissant-toaster.)
Just in case you aren't getting their priorities here, Eric and Morné are laying them out:
We have a lot to pay for, but our first priority is making the ceremony happen. Second, trying to find a way to get those closest to us there. After that, there are obvious expenses. And any help anyone can offer would be incredible!
First them, then the people that they love, then other stuff. Your donation will only go to the middle, promise.
"That's ridiculous," you may be saying to yourself. "Why not just have one wedding instead of four? Why not do a barebones ceremony so that you can spend your money on the people that you love enough to announce to the world that you want them to attend your wedding, instead of asking people help said people attend said wedding? How could Eric and Morné be so selfish?"
To the last question, it's because they've earned their selfishness, damn it. In an update, he posted:
I raise money for causes and organizations in the community frequently, and never ask for anything in return. Please help me be selfish for once as I raise money to help my parents attend my wedding.
Lest you think that your hard-earned money will go to waste should they not reach the $7,000 to fly Eric's parents to South Africa, don't worry—it won't:
If we don't raise enough, we can at least use the money to get a good videographer to document the day so that they can see it.
See how that works? Your selflessness helps their selflessness. We're all working to be better people, but more than that, we're all working to give Eric and Morné the worldwide honeymoon and marriage extravaganza (in my colleage Adrian Chen's words) that they deserve.
And yes, I realize that posting on this gofundme page will bring it more attention, possibly helping Eric and Morné attain their goal (they're already up to $2,345 at the time of this post). That will be one more reminder that life isn't fair. The least we can do is laugh at the people who help make it that way.
Update: Eric and Morné's gofundme page has been deleted. I took screenshots of it yesterday in case this happened:
Eric also responded to this post in an update that occurred after I took this screenshot but before their page was deleted. It read:
Doesn't everyone have gold napkins, panda meat, and a Kardashian to be sacrificed at their wedding? Why WOULDN'T any couple ask for their gift registry to go toward such frivolous things? Duh. You think getting rid of a Kardashian is cheap?! Of course we'd ask people to contribute to my parents being there so that we could pay for all those other things. Heaven forbid we'd do something simple, minus all that bullshit I just listed, and simply ask for contributions to that instead of getting four toasters that we'd never use as gifts. Seriously people. Don't assume you know anything about my wedding because you read nonsense on a website that took something I said and twisted it to get visits to their site. :)