Friday, July 02, 2010
Love, Money and "Say Yes to the Dress"
Who can explain the appeal of watching spoiled, rich women try on gowns that cost more than my car, and complain about the height of the waist or the angle of the neckline, demanding that they be altered fractions of an inch? Or, even worse, bridezillas with mothers to match going into the red for dresses they clearly can't afford and will only wear once in their lives? I am at a loss.
Is it the human train wreck of emotion, fashion, over indulgence, and all the feminine wistfulness that comes with anything related to weddings that hooks me? Is it watching the bridal consultants' mysterious talent for finding each bride's proverbial perfect wedding dress? Or seeing the manager, Randy, with his pink silk ties and childishly mild voice, swoop in to save the day when that talent fails?
Maybe the appeal goes deeper than voyeurism and superficial drama. During one episode I actually teared up a bit when the salon gave a huge discount to a breast cancer survivor on her dream dress. And I never get tired of seeing a mom's reaction to the sight of her daughter in a wedding gown for the first time.
I've heard it said that girls and women fantasize about weddings because they are one of the few socio-cultural events that center on the individual female experience; a wedding, and especially the kind of weddings that women on “Say Yes to the Dress” have, allows a woman a socially accepted excuse to indulge every narcissistic whim that enters her head.
I don't know if this is true or not, but it seems a logical, if rather cynical, explanation for this cultural phenomenon of wedding obsession. With divorce rates skyrocketing faster than the cost of the average wedding, my practical side has to balk at the thought of breaking the bank on such a short-lived investment. It seems that people obsess over their weddings, but neglect their marriages.
But all of these real world reservations are pushed aside when watching “Say Yes to the Dress.” I am cordially resigned to the fact that when I plan my own wedding, I will be hitting the $99 dress sales and buying off the rack, but that doesn't mean a girl can't dream.