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SANCTITY: Edition #2

by Jeremy Hooper

And now for another edition of:

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Today's honoree is not a person, but rather an idea. A concept. A role which many modern brides-to-be not only agree to play, but rather one that they almost feel is their duty. We are talking about:


Part woman, part fire-breathing ball of neuroses, the Bridezilla is an archetype that has come to rise in early 21st century pop culture. Whereas past generations followed Emily Post's book of wedding etiquette, many of the modern betrothed prefer to operate out of the book, I Have A Ring On My Finger So I'm Entitled To Act Like An Insufferable Shrew. It's no longer enough for these altar-bound gals to just have their "big day." It is now their "big months" or even "big year," with all who cross their paths required to cater to their every obsessive compulsion.

You can hardly blame those who subscribe to the behavior. The culture of today feeds the idea that every wedding must be MORE over the top, MORE extravagant, MORE costly, and just generally MORE than the last. It's our culture magnified. The aspiration is to be a princess. A diva. A person of means, regardless of your actual financial state. And the whole culture of "dearly beloved" leads to this pressure to impress that rivals and maybe even trumps any of life's other major milestones. The pressure can then manifest itself by turning otherwise fabulous and kind people into myopic, self-obsessed beings who lose site of what should be marriage's true intent.

Now, the Bridezillas should not be generalized as bad people. It is not a monolithic group whose individuals should have their characters judged on the basis of their pre-nuptial manifestations. But the concept -- well, we think it is one that should be discouraged rather than emboldened. Yet everywhere we look -- TV, magazines, our own personal dealings with the engaged -- we see the fostering of the idea that "Will you marry me?" must be followed by a crazed fest in which marked down Vera Wangs are ripped out of hands and the choice of cake flavor is given more negotiation than the Middle East peace process. It kind of rubs us the wrong way.

But then again, maybe we're just particularly sensitive to it, considering that they're obsessing over the shape of the champagne flute when many gay people are simply asking for the right to the certificate. Whatever the reason, the Bridezilla concept is the second inductee into the archives of SANCTITY.

Look for future honorees wherever sarcastic takes on the "culture war" are sold (i.e. right here at Good As You).

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