Seinfeld often poked fun at the futility of life, how we all try so hard only to eventually end up in the pine box sooner or later anyway.
Here, George’s fiance Susan dies. The cause? Toxic glue on cheap wedding invitations. George is to blame because he skimped on the invites, though isn’t the company to blame to? I mean, who sells invites with poisonous glue?
The perverse and creepily understated joke is that Susan’s death is a horrible tragedy, yet George is cool with it. For an entire season, George felt trapped. He didn’t want to marry Susan. He suffered from the delusion that if he just gave it more time, he might do better. (Briefly, he almost does as he meets a friend and mutual acquaintance of actress Marisa Tomei, who as we learn according to the show, has the hots for short, stocky, bald men.)
Susan is beautiful, charming and has a great head on his shoulders. George is a self-admitted loser. Not very bright, ambitious or successful and he knows in his heart he should be happy to have her but can’t help but feel stuck. Her death releases him from an unwanted marriage yet as the show goes on, he never does better. He’s doomed to be alone and unhappy.
There’s a secondary lesson here about how death is awful yet life has a strange way of going on. I’ve experienced it myself. I’ve lost people near and dear to me, losing them was like losing a limb and after the cries and sadness, you still keep living and it’s like, “Um, this is weird that I’m eating this sandwich while my loved one is dead. It’s weird that I’m watching a movie while my loved one is dead. It’s weird that…”
At any rate, George surely should have appreciated Susan more, though humor of the show came from George being an impression of Seinfeld writer Larry David, who has stated publicly often that his brand of comedy comes from the fact that he is aware he is a physically unattractive dum-dum and yet he longs for perfection in everyone else. He knows he can never provide it himself, but he suffers from the delusion that he can do better.
Bottomline – cherish your loved ones. If you meet a special someone, and you two love one another, do your best to make a go of it and stop worrying about what could be if you wait a little longer. Losers give up something good to wait for something that may or may not come. Winners realize they have someone great right in front of them and hold on.
A bird in the hand, 3.5 readers. A bird in the hand.