One of the many joys I experience on vacation is unplugging from the real world. Every summer, I get two weeks off from news, politics, fake news, murders, rape, crime, cops being hunted, climate change, pundits, KKK rallies, riots, Russia, Trump, dumbass Democrats and inept Republicans.
Now, don’t get me wrong…when I say “unplugged,” I don’t mean I avoid television. I do avoid my cell phone, but TV is a must in our home. Both my fiancé Christina and I are huge white noise fans. The TV is always on. Sue us. When I’m working, it’s often on news (although not CNN anymore because a more embarrassing news network has there never been), but when on vacation, I search out the mindless and/or ask Christina to choose.
And so one day I found myself binge watching this atrocious reality show called “Say Yes To The Dress.” The premise is simple; brides to be pick out their perfect wedding dress, usually for the appalling price of somewhere around $5000-7500.
I am painfully aware that reality TV is not real. I get it. I know that producers gin up confrontations and disagreements and that the shows are edited to make things as “steamy” as possible. Even the most real reality TV show ever, “Cops,” makes the officers do multiple interviews and retakes so they can get better shots. I also know the contracts people sign on these shows and all they entail. Trust me, there’s very little “real,” about what we see.
However, there is always a kernel. A nugget of truth, if you will, and the key for me to enjoy these shows is to find the thing that makes me say “yeah, I know that really does happen.” Maybe what I’m actually seeing is staged, but if I can honestly tell myself that I know it happens in real life settings, I’m all in.
Enter “Say Yes To The Dress,” a show that truly highlights the absolute worst parts of family dynamics and puts on display everything I hate. Parents who are paying for the dresses exercise leverage and demand that the dress they want be chosen, not the dress their daughter wants. Fathers call their daughters “slutty,” for having the audacity to want to show some arm or back in their dress. Older sisters bitch that their younger sister is getting a nicer dress than they had, grandparents drooling, little kids running around like banshees in a place of business, and on and on it goes.
As an engaged man, this show was beyond annoying and yet so gratifying. Christina and I will not be accepting financial help from anyone, and if someone insists, it will come with the clear understanding that the money will be transferred to us and we will decide how it’s spent. No deal? No money needed, thank you.
Christina and I will choose her dress. And my tux. And our venue, the guest list, the food, the music, and everything else. It’s our day, and no one else’s. The idea that so many people turn such control over to anyone else is appalling to me and very sad. I pity such people. And of course, as we’ve discussed for years, if the wedding is more important than the marriage, then you’re screwed from the jump anyway.
Say no to the mess and tell everyone to pound sand. And, here’s a thought…if you can’t afford your wedding without the help of others, maybe you shouldn’t be getting married. Or maybe, you should scale down your wedding expectations and scale up your embrace of reality, snowflake.