with Lynne and Leslie
Category Archives: non-tradtional brides

Happy SITS Day at Sweet Midlife! Serving up twin realness since 1971!

by SweetMidlife

Nancy the comic strip and a gypsy in a Holly Hobby turtleneck walk into a room. There is much cuteness and nothing much gets accomplished.

OK, so technically we haven’t been blogging that long. There were no blogs in 1971, and there certainly weren’t computers when we met, in a nice warm womb in Baltimore. But blogs are really just communication, and we, Lynne and Leslie, the twins who write this blog, have certainly always done that. It was probably something like “You’re taking up too much room in here,” which isn’t all that eloquent or blog-worthy.

But it was a start.

So here we are, nearly 42 years later, both married but living in different states. One’s a mom. One’s not (yet). One’s a teaching artist, the other a newspaper reporter. Both got married in their 39th year, barely escaping the Spinster Buzzer (which sounds like the legs of a rocking chair going over the tails of many cats.) We’re both kinda goofy, but have a lot to say about relationships, friendships, dirty dishes, reality stars who won’t show up, death, life and cheese.

Interestingly, this used to be a blog about being older brides, and we still talk about the state of relationships that bear the benefit of having (alleged) wisdom under our belts. But weddings are just the candy-covered frosting of the rest of your life, and that’s where we like to be. The cake’s the good part.

So come on in and hang out. Tell us what you think. Give us some advice. Encourage Lynne to finish that framed calendar thing she’s been trying to craft. Make Leslie go to boot camp. Tell us where the good cheese is.

And thanks for coming!

Yes, I was an old bride! And thanks for the ice cream!

by SweetMidlife

Taken three years ago. And no, this is not from a Lifetime movie.

The hubby and I just got back from a quick but satisfying third anniversary getaway in Vero Beach, Florida, less than two hours away from home but a whole world removed from the “Lookit my money” feel of Palm Beach or the “Lookit my boobs” feel of Miami. The evening was notable in many ways, and not just how the very nice people at the resort, from the staff to the other guests, tried to not looked shocked when two middle-aged people explained they were celebrating their third, not 20th, anniversary. It was kinda sweet, but we get it. We’re old. We’re fine with it. Thanks for the complimentary anniversary spiked ice cream sandwich and cocktails anyway!

Honestly, everyone was incredibly sweet and seemed happy for us, even though they didn’t know us. The cool thing about where we are in society is that there is less of a stigma to being married later in life – especially first marriages – and you know both of the writers of this here blog wed at 38, nearly 39, for the first time. So it’s surprising to me when people are obviously shocked when they see us, quickly surmise the 4- in our ages, and then do the math in their heads when we reveal that we’re newlyweds.

“First wedding?” many people say, as if being second-timers has to explain it.

Umm, no. I was Spinsterella till I met this here bald man, who was also a bachelor before me. I didn’t just escape a convent, he hadn’t taken a vow of celibacy and neither of us were horribly damaged socially awkward misfits who’d never been kissed. It just hadn’t happened. And then it did. And we were happy. And although neither of us were as young, thin and fresh as we may have imagined being on our jaunt down the aisle, we wouldn’t have changed the way things turned out for anything in the world, except that meeting earlier would have given us more time together.

In short, we’re not young. But our love is. It’s a lumpy, bald love, but the kind that giggles easily, that doesn’t get freaked out when someone farts in bed, that shrugs off the small stuff and says “It took my whole life to find you. You’re never getting rid of me. Let me lick my finger to wipe that ketchup off your face and then let’s enjoy this free anniversary dessert. We’ve earned it.”

Why Steel Magnolia’s ratings were so high…or please make more movies for adults. Thanks.

by SweetMidlife

Who’s that writer? Who’s that writer? It’s Les! (Shout out to my New Girl fans!)

The Lifetime Television For Sadists Women remake of Steel Magnolias, featuring an all-black, mostly-star cast, brought in crazy ratings for the melodrama-loving network on Sunday – the third-largest audience in its history, somewhere behind that badly acted, badly written but still oddly sob-inducing Fantasia Barrino auto-bio-pic. Like the Fantasia movie, critics frigging hated it. They thought the acting was mostly great, especially Alfre Woodard and Phylicia Rashad, but that the transition from the 1989 big screen version (itself a play originally) to the small screen and the 200s was not smooth. And Shelby came off like a giant self-important nag, didn’t she?

Obviously, nobody who watched it cared. Even if they did, Nielsen got them when they needed them. I imagine that my friends in media will wonder why such a badly-reviewed and not entirely successful film did so phenomenally. The wringing of hands and the not-so-subtle condescending disapproval of the Pablum-loving masses is sure to follow.

But without having to do a bit of research, I can tell you why. And it’s the same reason that Fantasia, and Tyler Perry movies, and Army Wives, and Diane Keaton movies, have been hits, even when they aren’t that good:

Because normal, adult women like to see themselves, or at least people who resemble themselves, on TV. They are tired of being made to understand that a 45-year-old woman can play the mother of a 30-year-old guy because women over 45 can’t actually have been the guy’s GIRLFRIEND, while Sofia Vergara and Al Bundy are a thing on Modern Family. They like a show about friendships, about real people like Fantasia overcoming the worst kind of setbacks, even though she’s a bad actress and almost didn’t succeed in playing herself. They love her anyway, and they love her story. And they love imagining that men fight over Diana Keaton, because she’s hot. They don’t believe that being over a size 8 makes you a heifer or unworthy of love. They don’t believe that non-white women have to be the quirky best friend or the secretary or the noble what-have-you that teaches the white women about love or sacrifice. And they don’t believe that you have to look like Kerry Washington to deserve hot sex.

Steel Magnolias, no matter who’s in it, is not emotionally complex, ironic or glib. It’s straight-forward in its manipulative emotionalism, its brave diabetic moms and grieving families. But it bears a heck of a lot more resemblance to a lot of grown people’s lives, even in its sweet pink haze, than a thousand episodes of Grey’s Anatomy or The New Girl or what have you. I like escapism. But I also like some earnest goofiness where a guy moves into town to be with Alfre Woodard, because why wouldn’t he? She’s fierce! And hot black actresses who play the second banana in other instances get to be the hot, pursued star of Tyler Perry movies, even if they have to be in Tyler Perry movies for that to happen.

Hollywood…perhaps if you made more movies and TV shows with diverse leads, about fundamental human stuff that didn’t have to be edgy or complicated, you’d have more ratings like that. Just saying.

Old weird love: Celebrating the romance of aches and pains

by SweetMidlife

Grown and sexy. With Spanx!

Leslie here! One of my favorite things about “30 Rock” is Tina Fey’s ability to sneak a surprisingly poignant moment into the most goofily surreal scene. There’s an episode where nutty egomaniac TV star Tracy Jordan has supposedly taken off to Africa (we find out later he’s hiding out in New York), propelling his wife Angie to seize the spotlight with her wacko Bravo reality show “Queen of Jordan” (“HAAAM!)

Angie protests that Tracy’s absence is a good thing because it allows her to come out of his shadow. But in the middle of the wackiness, she admits something to de facto confidante/boss/bewildered observer Liz Lemon – the things about Tracy that drive her insane, like him showing up drunk at their wedding or basically being a crazy person are the same things that draws her to him.

“I miss my weird love,” she wails, and I remember clapping in recognition at that line, because I, too have a weird love. And an old love, relatively speaking – not older than me, because we’re both old. A love that I found at the relatively advanced age of 38, past the age where I was my youngest or cutest or skinniest, at the age where 10 p.m. is the time we’re coming home exhausted rather than headed out. Sometimes, he’ll lovingly point out when I have an old-lady whisker (Don’t worry, 20-somethings. It’s coming for you one day) and I’ll kiss him on his bald head.

And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

I have the luxury of knowing what my husband looked like at 15, when he was all dark hair and swagger and high school hallway card games in his Camaro. And he sure was cute. But he was just some guy in my class. He wasn’t mine. What he looked like from 23-37 I know from photos, and he was cute, but he wasn’t mine. The 41-year-old with the bald head who falls asleep early and is a proud baseball and wrestling uncle to his nephew, who’s as confident in the Spongebob aisle at Toys-R-Us as he is in a silk shirt at a casino? He’s mine. I would cut a skank over him. And I am madly, passionately, girlfriendly in love with him. I sometimes wish we’d gotten together sooner, but only because that would have given us even more time together.

The woman that he fell in love with was 20 pounds past her marathon weight, not as fly as she used to be and given to crankiness, as well as to karaoke binges, true crime shows and stuff about wedding dresses. And he fell in love with her anyway. I’ll look wistfully at my skinny photos and say “Don’t you wish you’d met her?” And he’ll look at me and say “Why? I love you!” And then Billy Joel comes into my head and we love each other just the way we are, crankiness and cellulite and baldness and weird whiskers. And then someone falls asleep on the couch.

I don’t love him in spite of that stuff, or vice versa. We fell in love with the old, weird versions of each other. And that makes me smile. And then wanna take a nap, because I’m old.

Putting Off the Big Day Because of the Big Dollars

by SweetMidlife

Lynne here.

Okay, so I was watching the 6am news last week, and they were previewing a story that I think was going to be on the “Today” show about how because of the economy, there were brides and grooms putting off their wedding for as much as two years so that they could save up and have the dream wedding they wanted.  And this made sense and made me sad at the same time.  I LOVE weddings. LURVE them. I have been planning weddings in my head since the first time I got my hands on a bridal magazine at like age 10.  I always had a list of bridesmaids in my head that changed over the years, and I would hear songs on the radio and choreograph my entrance into the church in my car. Mind you, this started way before I got engaged, and shoot, when the engagement was imminent (we did pre-engagement counseling with a pastor to uncover any issues before we bought stuff), I did this wedding guest list on a plane and just with my people it was a bunch of folks. Seriously. But when we started planning, it was back to life, back to reality. This was because we were paying for our own wedding and couldn’t afford that, and also due to the fact that after dating for 2 1/2 years, we didn’t want a long engagement.  We just wanted to start that part of our lives together, and that meant that we got married 2 months after the proposal.  Which meant that once we made that decision, it logically meant that we had to plan a wedding with the resources that we had in front of us. It did mean that there were things that I had always thought I would have at my wedding that I couldn’t (like a mashed potato bar, but I finally got that at my baby shower), and people that I wasn’t able to invite because the guest list was smaller.   We didn’t want to owe money later, so used savings. money from a retirement fund, and the unsolicited but TRULY appreciated help of friends and family who did our photography at a discounted rate, or contributed to our flower budget, or bought my veil (GRANDMA!!!!), or straight up gave us money to put towards the wedding bill.  And I found that when I had planned the wedding in my head, I didn’t take into account that maybe the person I married would also have an opinion, so there was a lot of compromise. So in the end, I didn’t have the wedding I had been dreaming of for almost 30 years, but it turned out to be the wedding I couldn’t have possibly dreamed of. Because even with my vivid imagination, I never could have come up with something so beautiful and lovely and loving and heartfelt and musical and honest as what we got. And there were waffles involved.

Now, this is my story. I know people the same age as us who took time to save towards the big day and had year-long engagements and big, beautiful weddings that were just as authentic and passionate and touching as ours was.  But it goes to personal preference.  And they didn’t postpone their weddings so they could have bigger ones. They just knew that having the wedding they really wanted meant taking some time.  How about you? If you had a wedding planned but realized that you couldn’t afford it in the time you wanted to do it, would you revise your vision to start the union, or would you be okay with holding off until you could get what you have always wanted?  Tell us what you think, and share personal stories/opinions/stuff if you got it!

“Grey’s Anatomy,” cheating and who your person should be

by SweetMidlife

Leslie here. It’s been ages since Lynne watched “Grey’s Anatomy” regularly – the silliness of the romance-go-round, the increasingly dumb “ER”-esque all-hands-on-decks crisis plots (“Tonight: A UFO full of killer alien sharks lands on Seattle Grace!”) got on her nerves. But I couldn’t help but call her this morning to muse about last night’s episode, where our favorite doctors were preparing to take their medical board exams in the midst of personal emergencies, adorable babies with the stomach flu, cheating and the world’s fastest airplanes that can magically get a doctor back and forth between Seattle and San Francisco at will, in like 30 minutes.

The thing that struck me was the late-episode conversation between Meredith (Ellen Pompeo), trying not to puke her guts out from the stomach flu given to her by the aforementioned adorable baby, the blessed Zola, and prickly genius bestie Cristina (the brilliant Sandra Oh), through the closed door of Meredith’s hotel room so that Cristina wouldn’t catch any of her flu germs the night before the boards. The show has established that no matter what their romantic status – Meredith is currently happily married to Dr. Derek “McDreamy” Shepard (Patrick Dempsey), while Cristina is barely hanging on to civility with husband/professional brooder Dr. Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd) – they are each other’s “person.” Sometimes this is good – I have a few incredibly close girlfriend soul mates who have been my brain and heart for ages, and who I go to in a different way than I go to my husband.

But…and I mean this…my husband is my ultimate person. This was not an easy transition – I got married at 38, almost 39, and my friends, many of whom I’ve literally known more than half my life – and it was an adjustment to rely on one person so much. But that’s the sweet, scary part about marriage and committed relationships – the awesome, crazy risks you take, and how vulnerable you are to the person you gave your heart to. Cristina and Meredith still have some issues with this – when Owen and Cristina were in counseling about their various issues, including the abortion she had that he was opposed to, he yelled “I should be your person!” (I think we can all agree that no matter what your feelings on abortion are, that they should be discussed before you, you know, get married. Ditto whether you want to have children. Right? Geez.)

Last night, as I said, the couple was as far away from each other emotionally as Pat Buchanan is from leading a pro-Obama rally. He admitted that he had cheated on her, partially because he was drunk and stupid, and partially because he was still devastated over the abortion and not being able to talk about it with her. And she pretty much checked out emotionally and hasn’t really dealt with him or consulted him about anything in her life, including where she’s going to move and go work after the boards.

Meredith found out accidentally about Owen’s cheating, because he assumed, her being his wife’s person and all, that she had told her. But she hadn’t, which, to me, pointed to the fact that Cristina was finally learning some boundaries, or priorities (or maybe she just completely didn’t want to deal with it.) And last night, even though Cristina went back and forth in the same conversation about whether she’d be leaving Owen and headed to Hopkins or some other far-off hospital, she said something else that showed that her reasoning, or maybe her personhood, had evolved.

Meredith, because she is used to always solving Cristina’s issues or at least at trying to, offered to let her move in with she and Derek, and was sort of stunned that Cristina hadn’t decided to be done with her marriage.

“He cheated,” she said – and let us remember that even though McDreamy didn’t tell her that he was estranged but still married to his cheating wife when they got together, there was some coupling going on even after that, and…hi…pot, kettle, blackness. But Cristina said something that was incredibly wise – not necessarily right, because right is defined by the couple, and their feelings and situations – but wise. She told Meredith that she realized that Owen, while wrong, had gotten drunk and had sex with someone once, and that she could even see herself doing that at some point, if pushed. And she wondered if that one mistake was worth her whole marriage.

That depth of analysis isn’t always a “Grey’s Anatomy” thing – for instance, they seem to have forgotten about Meredith and Derek’s origins – and it’s not always something you see on TV, where having the spouse of a more popular, established character cheat on them is a clear sound that the cheater’s getting written off. And Owen still might, because I can’t imagine where they’re gonna go with this – the doctors in that class are all applying to other hospitals and Cristina seems to want to go. Also, he’s way broody to an almost distracting extent, which is not fun to watch.

Their future aside, it’s interesting that the show is examining Cristina and Owen’s marriage in more than a surface way – they’ve provided more depth in the show’s friendships, which are more complex, than in the romantic relationships, which tend to be “You love me. You cheated. You lied. You bad. You die” or finite things like that. But here, Cristina is having to decide whether or not Owen’s one-time cheating is worth her whole marriage, which is something only she can decide. Meredith assumes that she’s leaving him, and doesn’t get why she wouldn’t.

And that’s because – and here is where the grown-up personhood comes in – she is no longer the most relevant Person in this scenario, as far as Cristina and her decisions go, because Meredith is not inside Cristina’s marriage. She is not seeing it the way Cristina is because she doesn’t have that vantage point from inside her head and her heart, weighing the hurts and the promise equally and making the decision. And Cristina doesn’t need her judgment. She needs her to chill and let Cristina handle it.

I have been on the outside of several relationships of people I have loved where there was cheating. Sometimes the relationships ended, and sometimes they didn’t. But I can tell you that in every single one of those relationships, the cheating was a symptom of some other issue, and it wasn’t the first sign of fissure. And the people inside of those unions had to decide – what is the more important thing here? Is there a pattern? Is this the final straw on the back of this particular camel? Or is this a one-time mistake that heralds a problem that through honesty and patience and some really hard work can be made right? Whatever decision those couples made was the one that was right for them, the one that was made from their unique vantage point, and nobody can really judge it but them because they aren’t them.

“Grey’s Anatomy” is not real life – the sheer number of craziness that happens at the hospital alone defies reality – but sometimes it does hit on some scenarios that echo it, like the fundamental damage bad parenting can do, or what it’s like to watch your friends have the marriages, kids or career you assumed would be yours, or just like hilarity that ensues when uber-driven Type A’s find they can’t control the universe. And even if Owen is eaten by an alien shark in the ER before any real, satisfying resolution is reached between he and
Cristina. I still enjoyed that one moment where Cristina said, out loud, that she was thinking outside of her own hurt and shock and ambitions, if even for 30 seconds, and wondering if her connection to Owen was more important and could be worked on. Cristina’s detachment is one of her trademarks, and even if she leaves him – she said in the conversation that she might anyway – it’s a decision that will come from consideration, and not just a knee-jerk reaction to what any Person besides she and her husband believe.

“The Bachelor” or “Why 40-year-olds don’t do this show”

by SweetMidlife

This is what forever looks like. Ha ha ha! No, it doesn't!

(A version of this is also on PBPost.com)

Leslie here! Let’s be honest. They don’t cast 40-year-olds on this show primarily because young people don’t think 40-year-olds are sexy (although I have met Daniel Craig and I beg to differ.) But there’s another reason that older contestants, particularly women, wouldn’t run to apply to this thing unless they were desperate for love, attention, fame or some other prize that their lack of meds required…

…because no self-respecting adult woman that I know is going to be cool with a man that they’ve gotten serious with enough to consider a proposal literally tomorrow dating someone else so seriously that they could propose to either of them at any time.

In other words…we should be past the “Seeing other people” stage long before I consider even meeting your mama, let alone consider accepting official jewelry. But these pretty, young starry-eyed ladies on this show don’t seem to have a problem with going the distance with a man – in this case, Bachelor Ben – going “I could spend my life with either of you. Seriously. It’s a toss-up.”

In real life, that situation might get a fist tossed toward your nose. But on TV, it gets you a finale. A finale whose ratings were, as my friend Johnette says, kinda booty. And not the good kind of booty.

For what it’s worth, I thought that Ben and Courtney, the pretty but villainous-ish model of his choice, had the most sobering and real response to what happens when reality – the off-camera kind – sinks in. You’re home. You can see the show, and the parts of the other person that you couldn’t see during filming. You are hearing from the rest of America what they think of what they’ve seen. And they aren’t kind. You aren’t allowed to be in the presence of that person you’re supposed to be marrying and spending eternity with, making Switzerland and fantasy suites and mountaintop proposals pale in comparison to the everyday.

They both seemed disappointed – and perhaps, too surprised for grown folks – that you can’t count on the casting and magic of a game show to guarantee true love. Shocking shockeroo!

No. Not really. Not to anyone over three. And none of the three year olds I know are that stupid.

Anyway, they both seemed sobered, shockingly so, by the hurts and slings and arrows and flaming bricks of truth thrown at them – She felt that he didn’t have her back when the world came in to put a wall between them, and let them win (I will ALWAYS quote Neil Finn when given the opportunity). He felt like she was so different on TV than with him that it gave him pause, and thought that the pettiness made that version of her contradictory with who she presented herself to be, to him.

But those crazy kids – perhaps with the encouragement of ABC? – decided to give it a go and resumed the engagement. Honestly, I’m not hopeful that they’ll get married, because almost no one on this show ever does, and the cracks are showing so much here that there’s water filling the spaces and it’s forming islands.

But good luck to them.

The Brides They Are A Changing, and We Need Your Help

by SweetMidlife

by Lynne!

So we started this blog about a year ago because both my twin sister Leslie and I were recent brides in our late 30’s, and in our wedding planning had both found that lots of things were geared towards the interest of people in their 20’s.  Both of us and our unofficial triplet Nikki, all born the same year, all got married the same year, and other people in our age range were falling in love and getting married, so we knew that people our age and older wanted discussion and representation on the wedding front. We wanted to gain your insight and share your stories.

Then a funny thing happened.  We realized, as we wrote, that we were writing more about what it was like to BE married at this age then we were about weddings per se.  Then we realized that our readers were more than just people about to get married.  They are people who have been married for years, some who aren’t married any longer, and some who might want to be one day (or maybe not).  And we were writing about more than just lovey-dovey relationships. We were writing about friends, and kids and parents.

What started as a page about weddings actually turned out to be a blog about what comes before, during, and after you get married, all from the viewpoint of people in their mid-30’s and up.  It’s become about grown-up relationships, whoever you happen to be relating to. To this end, the name “Bride at 35” doesn’t seem to fit us anymore.  Sure, we will still talk about weddings and brides, and love stories and all of that, but we also wanna talk about your babies, and your besties, and dating, and your co-workers, and all of that. All from our, well, more seasoned perspective. So we need your help. We are looking for a new name, something that captures the essence of all that we are trying to essence. Hee.

So, put your thinking caps on, and hit u with your best shot! You can reply on this blog, to Facebook, or at bride35@gmail.com.  We will peruse the entries, and unveil our new name soon. Thanks, Peeps!

People over 35!! Did ya have a wedding? Having one soon??

by SweetMidlife

Lynne here!

Cool minister from a random wedding.

We love love, and one of the reasons we started this blog was to inform/remind people that love doesn’t just happen to people in their 20’s.  It doesn’t matter how old you are; it is never too late to get married or to find the right person.  Leslie and I both got married in our late-30’s, and we know that some people considered that a fluke, like we got in right under the wire before there was no hope.

“Poppycock”, we say, because we have heard from a bunch of you who found your wuv, your TWUE wuv (look up “The Princess Bride” if this makes no sense to you) when you were “older” , and we want to hear from MORE of you!! If you got married (even if it wasn’t recent!!) in your mid-30’s or beyond, we want to hear your love story and share it on the blog.  And if you are getting married, we want to hear about that, too!! We want to celebrate with you, but we also want to give other people hope that love IS out there, and it doesn’t care about age.

So, share away!!

TV wedding ditchers: Free spirits or fools?

by SweetMidlife

Be a free spirt all you want. But I'ma need my deposit back...

And you...I really need that gift back.

I have always been annoyed by rom-coms where some dithering commitment-phobe ditches his or her wedding either at the altar, or right before, because of their new incredible love for some other person, a person who should take note of the ditherer’s track record. Because running out on someone at the last possible moment is not only a waste of every one’s time, heart and money, but it doesn’t bode too well for their future commitment. To you.

Two ABC programs recently featured that scenario in two unsavory, wavering flavors: the patented “I just can’t do this” wedding day flee to uncharted and more glamorous waters (“Pan-Am”) and the “No traditional wedding for us, no matter that we wasted the time and money of everyone who’s sitting at the church RIGHT NOW” deal (“General Hospital.”)

In both cases, what was supposed to be, respectively, a sheltered young woman’s desperate attempt to escape a conventional future and two non-traditional characters rejecting the harsh and overbearing confines of society’s oppressive blah blah blah, came off more like immature people whose doubts all along should have urged them never to agree to these shenanigans in the first place.

Be as non-traditional as you want. But at least stand up and be an adult about it.

On “Pan Am,” a sweet, almost too-perfect looking upper middle-class living doll named Laura (Margot Robbie) has a hyperventalating freak-out right before her pretty 1960s society wedding, escaping in her parents’ convertible with her Pan Am stewardess sister. Yeah, I know she’s a plot device, shiny shorthand for women whose individuality was suppressed by societal and class expectations. And I know that in 1962 or whatever, this girl might not have thought she had a choice besides marrying some hand-picked dweeb and living the life her mom designated for her, especially because her sister Kate (Kelli Garner) is apparently the family disappointment.

Still, she bugs, maybe because I’ve planned a wedding and know how frigging pricey they are, and because I got plenty annoyed when other people seemed so too casual about the money I was spending (ie. not showing up and not calling. thus wasting my non-refundable money. Like buttheads.) And yes, the only reason she probably bolted – changing the trajectory of her life and of this show – was because her sister witnessed her freakout and recognized from her own experiences how damaging it would be if she stayed. I get that.

And it’s a generational thing, and to ignore that would be to place 2011 standards of equality on the early ’60s, which is what I apparently do when people yell at me about not loving “The Help”  (Hi, Daddy!)

And I also have to admit that as a middle-class 40-year-old who paid for my own wedding, I kept looking at all the prettiness surrounding that would-be wedding, like the dress and the hair and the  gifts and decorations, and it all seems like giant spoiled princess waste of someone else’s money and time. I know that all the money in the world won’t replace the time and heart spent on a bad marriage. But don’t accept the ring, then. Phooey cakes.

Pretty little Laura’s fleeing can be chalked up to youth, but the not-wedding of longtime sweethearts Jason the mob hitman (Steve Burton) and Sam the P.I/former seafaring con woman (Kelly Monaco) just seems like careless idiots who don’t so much know their own style as know how to avoid the responsibility of the wedding you let someone else plan. See, Sam, an iconoclast who never needed conventions like marriage (or dating someone who wasn’t a criminal) let herself be talked into this huge wedding that wasn’t at all her because of the expectations of her mom, young excited sisters and friend Maxie (Kirsten Storms), a meddling, annoying chatterbox who pulled a similar non-wedding stunt at her own nuptials.

So these two criminals free spirits have an 11th-hour realization, after half-heartedly agreeing to this spectacle that was clearly never for them, that they just can’t be tamped down by the evil boot of the Bridal Brigade and their sinister arch ways and floral arrangements and such. So they run to some previously unseen part of town where they keep the wise Chinese  stereotypes people and their delightful ethnic ways that are helpful to white people, and get married by the convienient liscensed minister in the family, in their T-shirts and jeans.

And then, Sam has the nerve to wake up and thrill that they’re miles away from (and I’m paraphrasing) “that awful wedding that Maxie planned.” Well, hold on a second, Boobs McGee. You’re not some oppressed ’60s princess being forced into a marriage she doesn’t want by her family. You’re a 35-year-old woman, marrying a 41-year-old man, who has lived your life freely and flautingly up till now, and NOW you’re a victim of the wedding pressure of a woman who weighs about seven pounds and could be distracted by bright shiny objects?You could literally pick her up and sit her somewhere until she calmed the heck down. No sympathy from me.

That doesn’t make you a free spirit. It makes you kind of a wimp. A selfish, ungrateful And yeah, yeah, Jason and Sam showed up at the church and explained, and then had the reception at the Chinese restaurant with the nice stereotypes family who obviously have nothing else to do on a busy Saturday night than host impromptu weddings for strangers.

Yeah, there was some lame explanation that the food for the planned reception had been in an accident, and the dress was wrong (actually stolen by a serial killer played by slumming movie star James Franco, which you can not make me explain). But still, I’m thinking that they wasted everyone’s time, and that their last-minute evasion isn’t becoming to people who supposedly know their own minds. And are older than 12.

(Note: ABC did something similar two years ago with Meredith and Derek’s Post-It cop-out wedding, something that seemed organic to Meredith’s patented dithery, navel-gazing personality, and basically confirmed that she wasn’t a grown-up.)

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