Someone asked what I thought of the runaway bride. Truthfully? Not much. If you want to know why, follow that link which, when I posted it, features this apparently irony-free headline:
Runaway bride may forgo $250 ice bucket
Honestly, I don’t know what goes through a woman’s head when she adds a $250 ice bucket to her gift registry; I’ve never been that kind of woman, although I had a wedding and a registry. The difference between my wedding and the runaway bride’s, however, at least in how she planned it to be, was approximately the same as the difference between one of our subsequent marital squabbles and the Civil War. Or between the normal cold feet I felt at the idea of standing in front of 100 of my closest friends and colleagues with a giant bow on my butt, and the cold feet that made the runaway bride get itchy feet and flee for the desert southwest, just to get a little time to herself.
I understand the desert is good for that sort of thing.
Honestly, I think whatever punishment the runaway bride deserves for this wild goose chase has already been meted out by CNN, which sadistically published a click-through gallery of her registry gifts, which is where I found out about the $250 ice bucket. (It’s Waterford.) And yes, I meant sadistic. I don’t know what else you call droll prose like this:
According to her bridal registry at Macy’s.com, the couple could have expected to receive a 16-inch Lenox “Solitaire” Oval Platter, which normally sells for $237 but is on sale for $189.99; the Kate Spade “Union Street” line 5-piece place setting ($55), and the KitchenAid Artisan 5-Qt. Stand Mixer (on sale for $249.99).
The unpurchased items on the registry include the All-Clad Stainless steel lasagna pan ($99.98) and Cuisinart Extra Large Electric Skillet ($130).
A spokesperson from Macy’s was unable to comment on individuals within their bridal registry, although the company will allow returns of most registry merchandise for up to one year along with a receipt.
It’s easy to see what happened, how what might have started out as a relatively sensible girl got steamrollered by the wedding industry. It’s hard not to, especially when your friends are getting married, and it’s all about whether you have salmon or beef tenderloin at the reception and a Vera Wang dress. In such an environment, a $250 ice bucket becomes a perfectly reasonable gift to request. A temper tantrum seems a perfectly reasonable response to discovering the cocktail napkins are the wrong shade. I got a manicure before my wedding (and still managed to chip the polish before I said my vows). Today’s bride gets a manicure, pedicure, hot-stone massage, aromatherapy session and professional makeup job. Don’t get me started on the hair. Last week I surfed past “Extreme Makeover” to see a bride getting a nose job, chin implant, brow lift, breast implants and lipo before her groom lifted her veil (the “reveal” — I shit you not) on national television.
Amy has a discussion going over certain changes in the Catholic wedding liturgy that have brides-to-be in tears all over Philadelphia; I won’t link because ultimately it’s one of those angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin debates and the point I want to make is this: She’s religious, I’m not, and we’re in total agreement on one thing — the wedding industry is evil.
After Kate was born, I came to see the similarities between the wedding industry and the cult of birth, which has less merchandise to sell but an equally warped view of what are undeniably two very big days in a woman’s life, but ultimately, just the first day in two much more complicated long-term tasks — being married and raising a child. Wedding shysters stress “your special day” and birth cultists insist that anything but the perfect birth experience will leave you unfulfilled as a woman and your baby psychologically scarred by delayed bonding.
Poor runaway bride. What a hard act to follow, but maybe not. Her groom can’t say he doesn’t know what he’s getting into, if he ends up marrying her anyway. And she can’t say she didn’t know either. But at this point I’d advise her to burn the gift registry, kiss her deposits goodbye and head for a justice of the peace. In Vegas, maybe.
As usual, Hank is much funnier than me, at least on this topic. OK, on all topics.