As I've mentioned before, I grew up poor and we didn't have things like MTV or socks without holes in the toes, so since I'm an adult now I have good cable and lots and lots of socks. Warm ones.
I'm also interested in weddings. I'm not interested in weddings like some people are. You know like people who read wedding magazines every day since they were fourteen and book a church three years in advance when they don't have a boyfriend and things like that (which, hey, whatever floats your boat, it's just not for me). Mostly I'm interested in how weddings have seemed to blow up over the past few years and people are spending more and more money on them. It's fascinating to me. Probably because I used to be a credit counselor and this one time? This couple came in and they had been married for six months and they told me they had over $60,000 in credit card debt and she worked at Target and he worked for his dad. And I guess her parents had paid over $5000 of OTHER wedding expenses. And they wanted to buy a house. And her wedding dress cost more than my first car.
At the time I saw that young couple, Jason and I had just gotten married. We had a super small wedding. To me, it wasn't small enough. I really wanted he and I to flee to the courthouse and get married without anyone there. But he wanted a wedding and he was willing to plan everything. All I had to do was show up. Oh and buy my own dress, so I did that.
My dress cost $50 on eBay. We paid $300 for catering (which included the room, all the food, and three waiters in black and whites). I got my daughter a little yellow dress at JcPenney. I think it cost $24.99. My son and husband rented tuxedos (my son had the smallest size in the store, tried it on, looked in the mirror and proclaimed, "I look hot!") which I think cost us about $100 total. Oh and we had to get a license, which is a funny story for another time. I forget how much it cost. We hired a rent-a-preacher and gave him $150. He was the nicest man ever and performed a really beautiful ceremony.
The grand total had to be less than $1000. The wedding sucked, but the marriage has been pretty good so I guess it all balances out. The wedding didn't suck for lack of funds. It mostly just sucked because of the people there. But anyway.
I don't even know how I got off on this tangent. Basically, I wanted to talk about MTV's new show Engaged and Underage which premiered last night. I anticipated it eagerly and then ended up being...um, disappointed is the best way I can describe it. Disappointed and horrified.
I wanted to watch because I was genuinely interested in what would motivate people that young to get married. I know some people who have married between the ages of 18-22 and have successful marriages. My sister and her husband married when they were both 19 and have been happily married since 1989. My parents married at 17 (mom) and 19 (dad) and have been married since 1969. I have other friends who married somewhat young and have happy marriages. I guess I'm interested in how that happens and what is the motivating factor. I think with some of my friends, they just knew they wanted to be together. I think for others, it was things like, "He's going off to war." I am just interested because I got married at age twenty, for all the wrong reasons.
I was disappointed that this show didn't really go into great detail as to why this young couple was getting married. I mean, there were hints- the girl had an absent father (not that anyone would misconstrue the twenty-one year old guy she was marrying as a father figure) and they were both virgins and clearly wanted to have sex and not have Jesus be mad at them for it, but they didn't really say, not really.
The most disturbing part of the program was the mother of the groom. Sweet. Jesus. On. A. Bike.
Among the more disturbing things she and her son did:
1) Mom wanted them to take a photo of the bed they were going to spend their first night together in. Bride told her she thought that was weird. They went to look at the bed and breakfast and the mother called the groom on the way back and he went into great detail describing the bed, the room, and the fact that the other guests would be across the hall and probably not hear anything. The bride was appropriately mortified, yet did not scream at him, "I'M NOT MARRYING YOU, YOU HUGE FREAK!"
2) Bride and groom were going to live in a "house" which was in the backyard of the groom's parents home. The "house" was more like a little red shack (with a green porch! Rock!). Bride and groom were at the shack, fixing things up and mom calls groom on his cell phone. He says, "I can see you!" Bride is appropriately mortified and yet does not shout at the groom, "YOU ARE A HUGE FREAK AND IT WILL BE A COLD DAY IN HELL BEFORE I MARRY YOU!" She just kind of rolls her eyes and mutters under her breath, "You're so weird."
3) Mom has a big weepy, sobby fit at the wedding shower. Bride sits in her chair eating raw veggies looking non-plussed.
4) Groom's friends come to pick him up for "bachelor party" which involved him, for some unknown reason, dressing up in women's clothing (bra, thong) and purchasing condoms. Mom comes to car, leans in car window, and says something like, "Take good care of my son!" Sweet. Bertha.
5) Mom states to bride, "I'm going to sleep in the bed with groom tonight since I won't get to do it anymore once he marries you!" Bride looks alarmed. I throw up in my mouth a little. Bride says something like, "Um." instead of what she should have said which was, "Um, excuse me? Groom? You are a HUGE FREAK AND SO IS YOUR MOM AND I WILL NEVER MARRY YOU NOT EVEN IF YOU LOOKED LIKE BRAD FREAKIN' PITT WHICH YOU DO NOT."
So my disappointment in the show is due to the fact that the show should have really been called, "My mother in law is a huge freak." Because no matter how old that couple was? That mother was still just so wrong. I have a feeling her precious son could have been forty and she would have behaved in exactly the same manner.