Kardashians and Bridezilla

I noticed in a news item that that Kim Kardashian (one of the hugely boring Kardashian Klan and the whole kaboodle of their klumsy kornukopia of Ks, with which trash TV seems so inexplicably obsessed) filed for divorce from her sports celebrity husband after only some 72 days of marriage. 

They must have spent much longer planning the wedding and all the fancy klothes, as well as negotiating the sale of publishing rights to the pictures and film of the event, than they actually spent married. This may be a new celebrity all-komers' rekord.

The family have been truly ubiquitous on DSTV, and unless you live in a kave, or some remote kloister, you must surely have been irritated by them. We had to hear about their kourting, of kourse, with endless views of how kute they were, and then the wedding, the katering, the kake, the kleavage,

To be kandid, I don't see this as a major katastrophe for the world, indeed as a kalamity, it leaves me kold. Some have asked whether they will be returning the wedding presents. I wondered what presents anyone would have offered: what do you give the kouple who already has everything? Antibiotics ? 

Nothing kulinary, surely, for someone who probably doesn't kook. Rare kondiments? A kanteen of kutlery? Or some kute and kitsch kickshaw?

Queen for a day, commoner forever? 

Anyhow, it set me thinking about how the set of values around weddings have become inverted. Less and less attention is paid to the issues of building and sustaining a good and lasting relationship, making sure each spouse understands the other's personality, likes and dislikes, styles and habits, and negotiating where there are points of disagreement. .

But the major commitment seems to be to the wedding. Marriage nowadays is all about the spectacular party and the gowns, than about an actual loving relationship. A major performance and a bunch of costumes.

Television shows have emphasised this, and it appears that it is a primary human right, applying solely to brides, to be impossibly demanding and picky. There's a hint of a more sinister implication that this is the last time she will be thus artificially empowered, that life hereafter will be strictly down-hill and subservient.

Fair enough to want things to be pleasant rather than grotesque. But it seems widely accepted without discussion or disagreement that every woman has the right, just this once in her life, and solely on the occasion of marriage, to be a monstrously demanding dictator. We see large-scale tantrums in which a woman declares that she is prepared to abandon an entire relationship, presumably based on very significant shared love, unless she gets precisely the dress she has pictured, and shoes that specifically match the heels she pictured in her dreams. And the exact cake, and floral arrangements. And the venue and the mode of transport.

Women, should, very reasonably, ask their partner to show a sense of commitment to the relationship. Is this episode of being impossibly demanding some form of trial by ordeal, forcing their partner to prove his commitment? Is it a way of forcing whoever pays for the wedding (seldom the bride herself) to commit financially and literally to invest in the partnership?

Bridezilla, but never Groomzilla?  

Brides often and puzzlingly, announce that they have been dreaming of, and planning for, their wedding, "all their life". Not, you will notice, dreaming of being married, but of getting married. I have never encountered or even heard of, any man who even briefly dreamed of his wedding. He may dream of girls, perhaps in more lurid X-rated encounters, in which floral arrangements and invitations really don't feature. As he matures (for some men, as we know, this is a life-long challenge) he may think of enjoying a lasting relationship with a compatible partner in life, but not of the event when this is declared to friends and family. In the same way he may dream vaguely (maybe men's dreams are less specific on most subjects?) of having a secure and well-paying job, but doesn't dream of the interview at which he gained the position.

Have we ever come across a groom stamping his foot and threatening to leave because the reception didn't serve the right type of beer? (OK, he might actually be annoyed, but hardly likely to call off the ceremony) Or sulking because the tie he was provided with didn't match the one he had been designing since long before Matric? Maybe, like a pre-revolutionary general, he assumes he will shortly take power and retain it, so he allows and even enables this event that merely requires him to be meek and patient.

Recent reports from the media suggest that Kim's mom has announced (why do such families insist on washing all their linen in public?) that Kim will travel to meet with her ex-beau, as they need to "show their emotions" to each other. I have a grisly image of them each lugging a large and greasy box into the room, and opening the lids to display the emotions, like a group of effigies. But I've already wasted too much time on these essentially empty individuals.

And with that, I think I'll klose.


(Professor M.A. Simpson, aka CyberShrink, November 2011)


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