MY PERSONAL LIFE | On the launch, relationships, communication and the reality show “My Big Friggin’ Wedding.”

Next week something BIG is happening.  And I’m not talking about Thanksgiving. ;)  More on that later ok alright it’s the launch you got me!!!!!!!!!!!  More on that tomorrow.  Wheeeeeeee!

More on the above in a few minutes…

But first, this…

I like to think that I look on the bright side of things.  I get that from my Mother.  For example, I prefer sunny days to cloudy ones, and when I woke up today I was that little bit of bummed I think we all get when it’s cloudy outside.  But here, check out my next thought (scout’s honor): “no glare on the computer screen today; I can work without squinting – SCORE!”  (I say things like “SCORE!” and use semi-colons in my inner dialogue.  I also say a lot of things parenthetically.)

And when I’m feeling stressed (recently, “when” has been defined as: every single day for the past month, as we design and plan for the launch day and night), it’s easy to get caught up in the details of things on occasion, and, for a moment, forget the bigger picture.  While I’m ridiculously excited for the launch(!!!!!!), I’m also a perfectionist, which means that nearly every minute of every day, my mind is occupied with the minutia that goes along with any huge undertaking.  I wake up every morning, my heart literally beating so hard that my body seems to be shimmying to the rhythm of Criminal by Eminem.

That beating is usually the result of excitement based stress, but sometimes it’s “oh man, I hope they LOVE what I’m about to launch at their faces.”  And when it’s the latter, and I can’t easily shake the acute concern, there’s something pretty great that kicks in.  Not only am I lucky enough to call friends some of the most genuine, kindhearted and incredibly talented colleagues in this industry, but – and this is, perhaps, the most rewarding and heartwarming part – I get far more than my fair share of bushels, pecks and hugs around the neck from you guys, my beloved readers, every single minute of every single day.  From my colleagues to all of you out there coming here day after day, and to the newbies as well (hi!), I cannot begin to express my appreciation.  Your tweets, your emails, and your blog comments (I like the most, wink wink, nudge nudge) all make such an incredible impact on me.  In other words, “you like me… you really like me!”  :)  So, how do I repay you?  Well, I’m hoping that thousands of dollars in giveaways after we launch will do something to pay it forward. ;)

Aaaaaaaanyway, getting back on track…

It’s pretty great, that positive thinking.  And positive reinforcement does wonders, too, as you can see above.  Both really can change your mood and, in turn, the course of your day.

Enter: the VH1 show…. and more importantly the cast, of “My Big Friggin’ Wedding.”

One thing I hear from you guys quite often is how much you enjoy it when I get real and talk about issues.  Which is great, because I enjoy it too – so away we go…

Let’s forget for a moment that the show horrifically stereotypes Italian-Americans.  Because it does do this, and horrifically so.  I’m not an Italian-American, but I imagine that if I was, and I wasn’t like these people, I would be up in arms.  But, for the sake of today’s discussion, let’s leave that be.

I’ll start off light.  Here’s what is perhaps the funniest part of that show; these individuals actually say the word “friggin” to each other.  And they’re not just trying to be funny or ironic or something.  That’s part of the dialect of the characters on the show.  Did I say “the funniest” part?  Because I misspoke; I meant the only funny thing.  Well, besides all that meatball business.  That’s pretty freakin’ hysterical.  But “funny” is hardly the adjective that comes to mind when I watch this show.

It’s sad.  Denzel Washington needs to step in and selflessly reroute this show because it is an absolute train wreck.  It’s horrible, it’s devastating, it’s deplorable.  If it wasn’t for the meatball storyline (seriously, this meatball kid is hysterical; he’s trying to launch a meatball business and he just keeps getting into these shenanigans, and his pregnant wife is sick and tired of his crazy ideas and… well, anyway…), I think I’d just be sighing and “awwwing” in that way you awww for puppies who are suffering but have no means of escaping that suffering (ok, writing that just made me super sad for puppies, but I’ll try to press on).  One thing that screams out in my mind is that these couples are exemplary of how NOT to conduct yourself in a relationship.  They yell at one another; they go from talking to screaming, with only a few seconds of I’m-extremely-agitated-but-trying-to-maintain-my-equilibrium in between.  They show no respect for one another’s feelings.  Some of the boys (they are legally adults, but by no stretch of the imagination are they *men*) diminish/belittle their female counterparts and call them names, most often “bitch,” every time they don’t like the behavior their fiancees are displaying.  They are verbally abusive to one another, and most every scene ends with screaming, crying, badmouthing, the cold shoulder or fisticuffs.

One couple in particular puts me on edge something fierce.  The guy’s name escapes me.  He berates his fiancee, and consistently makes her feel like her feelings aren’t important, and that her role is strictly defined (in his world) as emotionless servant to her husband.

And let’s not forget that this is all happening ON CAMERA.  And I get that many people become more exaggerated versions of themselves when on camera.  But unless these guys think they look cool belittling, badmouthing and demoralizing their fiancees – well, I just don’t think they’re overacting for the cameras.  It seems authentic, and that’s a big part of what scares me.

Oh, and remember the mother in law from the gorgeous wedding I posted yesterday?  The lovely Sandra who crafted her daughter in law’s wedding gown?  The mothers in law on this show are *not* like that.  The MILs on this show either drink heavily and ruin bridal showers by arguing and, later, puking on themselves, or they treat their daughters in law like I expect they treat their pets.  Oops, that’s wrong, their pets are people, I forgot.  (I’m not dogging on anyone who treats a pet like a person – it’s only an issue when you treat your daughter in law worse in comparison.)

As an aside – a certain hilariously horrible fake invitation BrideTide recently reminded us of comes to mind when I think of these MILs.  Check it out:

Tee hee.

“My Big Friggin’ Wedding” is trash programming – I get that.  And you might say I should just stop watching it.  You might say, “Alison, if it makes you want to cry for humanity, why put yourself through it?”  Here’s why: I was a Psych major (shout out!), and I’m obsessed with the human condition.  And “My Big Friggin’ Wedding” is the single-most aggressively real “reality show” I’ve had the displeasure of watching unravel in I don’t know how long.  These couples have serious communication problems, SO serious that it makes me wonder: how do they survive their daily lives?

Here’s the thing, and I’m sure most of you know this ’cause you guys AREN’T CRAZY, but I just have to say it… communication is essential.  And, as evidenced by this show, it does not come easy to all of us.  Funny thing is, it happens to be the most essential element in a successful relationship.  And what’s more?  One of the most common times it begins to break down is during wedding planning.  It’s true, as well as a little bit ironic, and not in that way that Alanis Morrissette uses it.  Which leads me to my big question; HOW do the people on that show function, like, in general, in their daily lives, not to mention, stay together?  It’s a mystery to me how they aren’t all unemployed, penniless and alone.  I just couldn’t understand how – save for one of the female characters – the people on that show are able to have homes and raise children and still have friends…

I posed this question to my Fancy.  Here’s what he said:

“Yeah, they’re functioning.  But do they look happy?”

No.  No they don’t.  In fact, they seem miserable.  And unfortunately, short of intense therapy and a deep understanding of the fact that they, personally, are in large part to blame for their troubles, I don’t see any of them ever escaping the lives they lead.  It’s a sad reality that I wish I could do something about.

But the only thing I can do is talk about it, here, out in the open on a wedding blog, and hope that it has some kind of impact.

And now, to lighten the mood… A DELIGHTFUL WEDDING FIND…

… Vintage Antique Rhinestone Wheat Bouquet Hair Brooch?  Why yes, don’t mind if I do!

A final thought regarding that damned reality show: if you’re on a budget, I think you need to give up the ice luge.  … Now you kinda want to check out the show, don’t you.  Deny it all you want.

Ohh, did anyone catch Sarah Palin’s reality show?  (A few of you who haven’t yet heard about this are doing spit-takes right now, I bet.)  The Fancy refuses to watch it and give her ratings, so I missed it (though it’s taped)… wondering if it’s worth losing 40 minutes of my life?

Chime in on anything you feel like talking about or commenting on, below.  I get that I discussed a lot, today.  I’d just love to hear your thoughts on any of it. :)
xoxo!  – Alison


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  1. Heather on November 16, 2010

    OMG – I never comment but today I just had to. I hate that show but CANT STOP WATCHING the train wrecks. You gave an excellent analysis of how not to behave. Love your posts.

  2. Liz on November 16, 2010

    Oh my goodness – I COMPLETELY AGREE WITH YOU ABOUT THAT SHOW. How do they survive day by day, being such a*holes?????!!!! They need couples therapy. I don’t see how they won’t all break up by the end of taping. Great post, I hope they read your blog! (:

  3. Tessa R. Woolf on November 16, 2010

    Wedding reality shows scare me. I accept that people really do communicate (or don’t) like this during real wedding planning, but it upsets me. So I try to avoid it.

    Similarly, I avoided Sarah Palin’s reality show, though I did see the previews for it and thought of you. And personally, I don’t think it’s worth losing 40 minutes of your life. ;)

    And the hair pin = gorgeous. Kudos on that find. ;)

  4. Lenni Stratton on November 16, 2010

    technical difficulties. The comment from “Tessa R. Woolf” was actually me, Lenni Stratton. Oops. Was signed in as Tess on Twitter…. silly computers. :)

  5. Lemon on November 16, 2010

    The best part about Palin’s show is that apparently she spends half the time complaining about privacy and such because some reporter lives near her. Um…hello?
    Got off track–that hair piece is gorgeous and HOORAY for the new launch info tomorrow!! <3

  6. Annie Packman on November 16, 2010

    That show (and Bridezillas, maybe also some of the couples on Four Weddings) are the reason why so many marriages end in divorce. No communication, no respect, no understanding. Why are these people “dying” to marry someone they can’t seem to stand and refer to as an idiot all the time? And these brides, why do they want to be sooo controlling? Marriage is a partnership, not a warden/prisoner relationship.

    Phew. Had to get that out. I feel better now.

  7. Alexandra/bWed Exclusive on November 16, 2010

    I used to think Bridezillas scared me … Now I think My Big Friggin’ Wedding would scare me more.


    That invitation is HILARIOUS!

    And that hair is just gorgeous!

  8. Ilana on November 16, 2010

    That hair piece is so beautiful. It’s perfect for an elegant outdoor wedding- it looks like leaves or branches… so pretty! Thanks for sharing that find! And I’m with you on those crazy couples. That show is so disturbing, but I can’t stop watching it.

  9. Postcards and pretties on November 16, 2010

    i never watched that show {my big friggin wedding or bridezilla} so i really cant comment but i can comment on how hilarious that fake invite is.

  10. Kara on November 16, 2010 A long time coming! I’ve been sitting on the edge of my seat in anticipation. So excited for what’s to come!

  11. isaiah on November 16, 2010

    i LOVE that fake invite and i can’t wait for the launch! I have yet to see the show, the joys of choosing Netflix over cable, yay!

  12. Alison on November 16, 2010

    Hi Heather, I’m so glad you decided to share your two cents! Comments are my favoritest part of all this. :) And I totes agree; so hard to look away from the wreckage!

  13. Melissa @ The Loveliest Day on November 17, 2010

    My Big Friggin Weddin= Worst show everrrr! I normally like to laugh at ridiculous shows such as this, but it was honestly just TOO much!

  14. Lena at La Petite Coquin on November 17, 2010

    First things first, that brooch was the perfect way to wrap it all up.

    Next, I confess to having avoiding My Big Friggin Wedding like the plague, but now obviously need to watch it so I too can despair. It sounds a little like “True Life: I’m Getting Married”, which still rings in my ears sometimes.

    Third, I can delighted to see everything you’ve got up your sleeve for the launch! I too am a perfectionist, so I know how I feel when I’m just changing a font color, but I know that your drive to make it all look just so will end up producing the most amazing product!

  15. Lena at La Petite Coquin on November 17, 2010

    I managed to watch about 15 minutes. It still hurts.

  16. Anonymous on November 17, 2010

    Alison, I completely agree. With all of it. The brooch – lovely, the stereotypes – it’s getting out of hand, and the using parenthesis in your inner dialogue (because, well, I do it all the time, too!). I love your posts and want to give you a big ol’ hug. I know how site launches can be – try to keep that stress in check and keep looking on the positive side! It’s going to be beautiful. Can’t wait to see it. xoxo -E.

  17. BonafideBride on November 18, 2010

    Okay. I feel like I know you. I love that you are ‘you’ in your blog posts, and I’m totally pickin’ up what you’re puttin’ down. First thing’s first: *hug*.

    Let me then say that My Big Friggin’ Wedding scares the friggin’ crap out of me, and I live in JERSEY. ‘Nough said.

    I would also like to publicly admit that I DID watch the Sarah Palin Flippin’ Alaska show. I will also admit that I watched the whole thing. It does make me want to go to Alaska. And watch bears wrestle into the water. And rock climb. And say ‘flippin’.

  18. Hillary on December 14, 2010

    I’m slightly new to this blog, Al, but you kill me everyday. I wish you could tape your verbal thought train for me one day. Semi-colons and all!


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