Last night I wasted an hour of my life watching the monstrosity of a television spectacle they call "Hitched or Ditched."
I guess the basic premise of the show is that once you are chosen to be on the show, you have one week to decide whether you get married or break up forever and ever (at least till the cameras stop rolling and your 15 minutes of 'fame' are over and done with). That, in and of itself, is a disturbing basis to set a show upon. I didn't expect to become so emotionally involved in this episode though.
I am a neophyte to reality shows like this, involving matters of the heart. The reality shows I hold near and dear are, well, basically the one where Tyra Banks and a coterie of fashionistas choose The United States' Future Foremost Living Mannequin, and the one where a bunch of judges ask dancers if they think they can do what they are doing on a dancefloor. I watched Fashionista (sorry, there's really nothing clever I can do with that) for the one season it was on, and I've caught a few episodes each of American Idol, Project Runway, Top Chef, the Apprentice, and unfortunately, what my friend Ryan dubbed "I'm a Celebrity? Get the F*** Out of Here!" Most of those are career-oriented. Not love-oriented.
I would not consider myself well-versed in either careers or love. I hold two jobs, one menial, the other slightly less menial, but also retail. I have changed majors many times before (hopefully) finally resting on graphic design, and still don't know one-hundred-percent where I'd like to go with this, career-wise. But by mere virtue of simply having a job, I feel I am qualified to follow the aforementioned shows and judge whether or not people get to keep going for the job they're after, though I've never tried being a fashion model, dancer, sub-par singer, designer, chef, or whatever it is Trump wants people to do. On the love side, I don't have a boyfriend, and I either fall too quickly or immediately hate most of the guys I meet, so I'm obviously not emotionally capable of deciding which Bachelor the Bachelorette* should marry (!!!) or anything of that ilk. Though given my propensity of having multiple crushes on multiple guys at once, perhaps reality-dating shows are an avenue of income I should explore. They do get paid, right?
This one, this show, is so screwed up. I'll cop to this being the only episode of the show that I've watched, and hopefully the only one I'll ever have watched, ever.
A couple was put to the ultimate test, the ultimate ultimatum, not by one of them, not by one of the ONLY TWO PEOPLE IN THE RELATIONSHIP, but by a friend of the bride-to-be, who thought that Anthony and Courtney, dating for two years, needed to decide whether they are going to get married or break up, within a week. One week. Seven days. 168 hours. 10,080 minutes. 604,800 seconds.
(I know you can't tell, but I hit those three periods with utmost, careful force. They are very weighty ellipses, pregnant with 'wtf'ness.)
Right off the bat this sounds like a terrible idea. If your options as a couple, in a 'loving' relationship are to a) break up or b) get married (so you can presumably break up years down the road, when houses and mortgages and second incomes and dogs and children and car payments are involved), that is SCREWED. UP. Especially more SCREWED. UP. if that decision is presented to you by some meddling friend.
Thanks a lot, meddling former friend, is what I would have said to him/her, were I ever put in the same position.
So Courtney and Anthony have to tell their families, as most people getting married do. Oh, except that the groom-to-be's mom is a control freak who apparently has not let dear Anthony cut the umbilical cord, or the apron-strings as a backup. He and his 30-year-old sister still live at home with Old Mother Hubbard and Old Father Hubbard, (and a dog and a bird) and everyone is happy and dysfunctional and extremely weird. Being a control freak, she butts in and practically screams that she will not let this happen, that they can't get married, and Courtney has a nervous breakdown and has to walk out. I don't blame her. Anyone forced into a room with that emotional Mount Vesuvius would have to have fortitude in spades. And probably have to be dead. Or at least deaf/blind.** (Sidebar: Mom's name is Violet. I love the name and the flower, but you only have to insert an 'N' in for it to go crazy.)
Now, bride-to-be admits that there are problems that she and Anthony need to work on before they get married. That she acknowledges this glitch tells me that perhaps they should not be thinking about the M word at all, and maybe not accepting ludicrous offers from farcical, puerile television shows looking to make a buck and a laugh off other people's misfortune.*** Having just read the "biggest issues" (trust, jealousy, family, wanting different things, etc.) for the participating couples from the CW site, I'm thinking these are things that maybe should be worked on by the actual members of the relationship (i.e. not meddling former friends) before anyone utters the M word. With these issues, it's not a good idea to bring out the old maxim of "poop or get off the pot." It's much safer to say "Here's an Immodium and today's crossword puzzle and a pen, I hope this helps; if not, maybe you need a colonoscopy or for your guts to be palpated or scanned." Or something. (PS - the Hitched or Ditched site itself states that this couple have a 'rollercoaster relationship' - know what sounds fun at the end of a rollercoaster? GETTING THE HELL OFF THE ROLLERCOASTER AND GETTING SOME ICE CREAM.**** Not getting married.)
So blah blah blah family drama, are you choosing your family or me, we are going to work this out, kissy face kissy face blah blah blah.
They try to make up with his mom, and it works for about four seconds before she goes all crazy-bitch on them and threatens to have herself committed if they go ahead with the marriage. Because that's sane and sensible and not at all psychotic.
Fast forward to the bachelor/bachelorette parties, where every single one of Anthony's dude friends admits to thinking that the upcoming wedding will be an outright disaster and they're not ready to get married. Courtney's friends are of course in the camp of "They just need to get his mom to chill out!" because they are stereotypical girls who think that if the guy doesn't need to be changed, then his family needs to be changed, and can be changed and they will be the ones to do it, by golly!
Anthony's friends are right. This is a disaster in the making. Obviously. Obviously. I'm glad I'm not the only one to see this. Even if not for the horribly ill-suited family-girlfriend relations, it is bound to end badly either way. If they don't get married they are probably contractually obligated by the show's producers to break up, and if they manage to avoid that trap and stay together, whichever one of them isn't the one to say "I don't" will resent the one who did say those two words until they eventually scream at each other all day every day and break up. If they do get married they face the daily, if not hourly wrath of the Medusa who supposedly birthed the seemingly pretty-sane Anthony, or they are disowned by his whole side of the family in solidarity with Medusa. That part doesn't seem like such a bad thing at all, considering the powder keg she and her kin appear to be, but then you factor in the major resentment Anthony would have for his wife over losing his family forever and ever and BAM, break up.
There is literally no way this can end well.
Then it's the day of the wedding, and I'm not going to blame the inevitable outcome on the fact that they took their decorating/designing clues from Ashlee Simpson's wedding. Or on the fact that she wore a gunmetal silver wedding gown, which spits out to the traditionalist in me, "I am a whore and I am so proud of it that I will wear a colour closer to blackest black than pure virginal white, and I will wear it on national television and I will be proud of it."
She walks down the aisle, grimacing, looking like she is about to poop out a 190 pound man and his attached 130 pound mother at the altar and leave them there for all the wedding-goers to gawk at.
Because THAT'S how I want to remember walking down the aisle. Not overjoyed at possibly spending the rest of my life with the man I love, but grimacing, obviously upset, obviously fearing the worst. Sounds like the Most Fun EVER!! And to get to do it on national television!?! BONUS!!
Once she got up there, they whispered to each other for a bit and he said they would get married, but it wasn't the right time, as if this were shocking to anyone in the room. I think three-year-olds probably realized this. They turned around and he announced this to the congregation, none of whom looked surprised; Mom looked practically orgasmic. Courtney insisted on walking out first (I don't blame her; when in doubt it is always better to leave at the altar than be left at the altar) with Anthony trailing behind. He tried talking to her, but she was inconsolable, and then she went beyond inconsolable to become a whining, sniveling, ball of mush. I'm not entirely making fun of her, as I can only imagine it sucks to be told that your boyfriend doesn't want to marry you - in front of a room full of people and a priest. But at the same time, back the truck up. Remember the preposterousness of this situation? "Hey guys, here's a week. Decide if you want to get married or not. I'm sure things will go awesome! TTYL!!!" Remember how it wasn't even one of you who brought up this preposterous situation, but that meddling, hopefully former friend? Seriously. Put things in perspective a little, would ya? You agreed to this.
So they didn't get married, and according to the epilogue credits, they are no longer dating. The story ends with:
"Anthony still lives at home. With his bird."
I'm not sure if they mean the actual bird or his crazy mother, but I'm sure the experience is similar enough for the two to be interchangeable.
Next week's episode?
"I want to get married but I also want to get out of Chicago. NOW." vs.
"I'm never leaving Chicago. Ever."
SOUNDS LIKE FUN, SEE YOU THEN.*****
*I WILL NOT talk of how earnestly I have been watching this show with Sharon this season, texting furiously back and forth about Jillian's naivete and the dashing good looks of bachelors: Ed, Kiptyn, Tanner P., Reid, etc. That is a different day, a different topic.
**I mean, honestly, the bitch just looks crazy.
***They have got to be expecting the "win" percentage of this show to be about 3%. This situation and the situation they present for the following week's episode are so potentially ripe for heartbreak that there has got to be some sadistic, jaded CEO somewhere putting the greenlight on all the most screwed-up ways to break up couples on national television in the guise of a grand, "love conquers all" romance.
****I hate rollercoasters. Real ones and figurative relationship-type ones. I am however, advocating getting ice cream whenever possible.
*****This is a lie. I hope.