Bride Elect (Evolution of a Bridezilla)
Chapter Eleven—“Research and Training Videos”…Really…
I am not one for reality shows, in fact, I am barely one for documentaries; however, once I got engaged something inside of me shifted, and I developed a keen interest in the wedding reality show genre. My first (or gateway) show was a Canadian production called Rich Bride Poor Bride ™. It was really quite helpful in many ways, so helpful in fact I was able to justify this new fascination by defining them as “research and training videos”.
At the very outset, it really was something of a dirty little secret. Perhaps it was my “methadone” as I rehabbed from my addiction to the demon “boxy-but-safe” cars—who’s to say for sure. Eventually, however, I realized that should Palucid watch even a few of these shows, he would never ever doubt just how lucky he was to have a bride like me.
Some of the brides I watched were bat-shit crazy. On their planet, money grew on trees and it was the human race’s duty and honour to prostrate themselves (at the bride’s bidding) so that the “perfect wedding” could happen. I could not believe what I watched. In many cases these women would not even consider for a nano-second paying anything less than $5 000 for a dress! Some felt that their prospective husband was being an unreasonable asshole because he did not want to spend $3000 on wedding guest favours. I saw tantrums that really should have never happened any time after a person’s second, or even third birthday. Watching these shows made me feel very grateful, and keenly aware of the need to set limits.
After Rich Bride Poor Bride came the “hard stuff”, before long I was spending any moment I could getting my fix from such shows Say Yes to the Dress!, ™ Four Weddings ™, Something Borrowed, Something New ™, I Found the Gown! ™, and My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding ™. Sure, I still watched Rich Bride, but it really wasn’t doing it any more—I needed more, and I found it with these shows.
At first, when I was caught in the act of watching these shows, I suspect Palucid might have wondered if I developed a porn fetish or something. He would walk into the room and I would snap off the TV and quickly shout, “Nothing! Never-mind!” Eventually, Palucid started to inquire—he seemed interested—so I confessed. Like any good addict, I wanted a cohort. I entreated him to watch, if for no other reason than educational purposes. We were, after all, getting married in a few months, and we would be remiss in dismissing any opportunity to learn from the well documented experience of others.
Palucid dutifully watched one episode of each of the “hard stuff” shows. For him it was shocking to see just how skewed people’s perspectives were. From our lofty perch of tradition balking, we laughed as ‘full figured’ brides wedged and hammered their many folds into ill fitting, strapless mermaid gowns. We tsk-tsked and shook our heads as the bridal entourage of dour mothers and “friends” shamelessly mind-fucked dress shopping brides. At one point, I looked at Palucid and said, “I always new, but never fully realized until now just how beautiful and good-looking our moms are!” Palucid heartily agreed.
The shows that got to him the most, at least in terms of the “are you f’ing kidding me” factor, was the Something Borrowed, Something New ™ show. It never ceased to amaze him how often brides would opt for the egregiously expensive new gown over the beautiful, redesigned, perfect fitting, and reasonably priced “something borrowed”. Other times, he could not believe the way parents would shamelessly manipulate their daughters into choosing the “something borrowed” gown.
Both of us had to stop watching My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding ™ as it was just over-the-top “wrong” in so many ways. For us it was almost like watching gastro-intestinal surgery, live at the scene of a horrific train crash—it was just soooooo nasty and compelling at the same time. The dresses with all their bling (in some cases complete with LED lights and battery packs) seemed painfully heavy and awkward. The make-up, for Palucid, seemed garish and Halloween-like. Finally, the whole less than third-degree separation within the gene pool was just a little too much for both of us. We were committed to doing our research, but soon agreed that we had collected enough data to prove conclusively that we were neither gypsy, nor aspiring gypsy.