Saturday, September 18, 2010

Say Yes to the Dress and Other BS

Recently my husband and I went on vacation. We traveled through Massachusetts and New Hampshire visiting various places of interest. It was a beautiful time for us to just relax and reconnect with each other.
On our way home, we stopped to have lunch at a place called Scupper Jack's in Massachusetts. It was a very nice place with great food and a very snobby clientel. We had the unfortunate circumstance to be seated next to two older ladies and a gentlemen who clearly thought a lot about themselves and their money. Nouveau riche is what my grandmother would have called them. At any rate, as we sat and enjoyed our lunch and some quiet conversation, it quickly became impossible to avoid their discussion, which got progressively louder and louder. Their son is getting married and the two women are on the hunt to help his fiance ( and the daughter of one of the women) find the perfect wedding dress. The figure they were discussing for a "designer" dress was absolutely mind boggling - $50,000. Yes, you heard that right.
Now, let's talk about marriage. Research conducted by Bramlett (2002) suggests that first marriages have a 50-50 chance and most end within the first couple of years. Now, can you imagine having laid down $50,000 for your little princess to get married, only to have to shell out another $50,000 three years later? OUCH.
This brings me to the ridiculous show "Say Yes to the Dress". I know that many people enjoy this show, but I find it to be absurd. Why are we getting married ladies? Is it because we have found our life partner, our twin flame? Or is it because we want to get all dolled up in a fancy white dress and have all the attention on us for one day?
I think that at one point or another all girls want to be a princess. But when the dress appears to supercede the man standing next to you, there's a problem. Does a women need to spend thousands of dollars on a dress that they presumably will wear one time? I mean $50,000 is a sizable down payment on a house! Or the out right purchase of many cars. And some people sink that into a bunch of fabric worn at a marriage that many not last three years. That's my impression of insanity, right there.
I got my dress at a consignment shop. Not because I couldn't afford to go to a bridal studio but because WHY? My husband and I had a very simple wedding. Candle light - 30 people - and us. I wouldn't have had it any other way. I spent $30 on my dress and I have been blissfully happy for 14 years now.
I don't know ladies and gentlemen, tell me, do you disagree? Is there some other purpose to shows like Say Yes to the Dress which I think just elevates the suerficial and tells us to want what is sometimes beyond our means?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Where Were You?

Nine years ago today, my generation's date that will live in infamy occurred. I will never forget September 11, 2001. Never.

It was a beautiful September morning in Cocoa Beach, FL. I want to say that it was a Tuesday, but I am not really sure on that point. My oldest daughter, then 15 months old, and I were visiting my mom while my husband was in CT completing Submarine training. It was hard being away from him, but we love Cocoa Beach and we stayed busy.

That morning was music class for my little girl. She loved to go. We never watch tv in the morning, so I had no idea what was going on in the world. When we got to the gym, the place was closed. So we headed over the Patrick AFB to get some groceries. We were in the commissary when they asked us to leave our carts and evacuate. I can remember my little girl saying, "But Mommy, what about our ice cream?" I was at Patrick when they scrambled all their fighters to protect the space shuttle which was currently on the launch pad.

I asked the clerk at the cash register what was going on? She said, "Don't you watch the news? We are under attack!" I got my little girl in the car and we headed back to my mother's. I turned on the radio and heard about the first two planes. There was so much chaos. There were more planes in the air, no one seemed to know if they had terrorists on them too. The whole world had gone crazy.

When we got home, I turned on the news and saw the planes hit the towers. I watched in horror as they fell, knowing there were still so many innocent people inside. We watched as the Pentagon was hit and of course, heard about the brave men and women on flight 93 that went down in a field rather than kill more of their countrymen.

Almost three thousand Americans died that day, and for what? How many have died since? Today, in Afghanistan, they burn our flag in response to a Koran burning that never happened. Need I remind you people that nine years ago, you supported those who didn't burn books - they burned PEOPLE.

Nine years later, I don't feel clarity on what happened or what our response to it should have been. I see how many brave men and women are dying in Afghanistan while our government hems and haws over getting them the right equipment, plans, numbers and more. I want them to bring those men and women home, because what are they risking their lives for?

I will never look at the world in the same way as I did on September 10th, 2001. All of us, I believe, were forever changed.