To my horror, the E! Network has a new reality series called “Bridalplasty.” Brides-to-be go head to head, more like “nose to nose” against each other in fierce competition. The prizes for the contestants who are on a quest for perfection on their wedding day are nose jobs, lipo, implants and other assorted nips and tucks. I wonder how these self-absorbed females would handle removing a pic line, portable IV and donning a wig before they walked down the aisle.
For me, one of life’s greatest joys is a good wedding. I get the rare opportunity to demonstrate that my offspring can dress in something besides hooded sweatshirts, and having someone suited up offering me bite-sized little goodies is downright blissful. The girls and I just returned from a splendid affair in Charlevoix, Michigan. The event united Melissa, a former babysitter, ultimate giver of all that is unconditional, to her groom, Christian. The man at first glance we thought not worthy enough for our gal (this included all beings with testosterone) is actually a rare breed consisting of equal parts true gentleman, commitment, and devotion.
Even though our bride Melissa radiates an aura of pure love that shines on her family, students and friends, she is far from perfect. Melissa has cancer. On April 6, 2007 she received the diagnosis of “acute promyelocytic leukemia.” Gram always said “When you go through Hell, don’t take pictures. Just keep moving!” and that is exactly what she did. She had been in remission when a new “beast” arrived to battle. It is some type of lymphoma with a 20 something letter name that I could “google” but in the end, there really is only one kind of cancer, “sucky.”
So on December 31st, to herald in the New Year, we traveled hours to see a man and a woman who have already lived up to any vow a cleric could throw at them, become man and wife. How could this happen? Isn’t this beautiful, yet imperfect young woman who had to contend with hair loss, mouth sores, temporary loss of vision and nausea (nearing the level of mine while watching “Bridalplasty”) concerned about cellulite or breast size? What about the groom? He is not sending the right message to young girls. Our female youth will be confused as to why this vital, intelligent man is marrying a woman who has fallen short of perfection. They might actually come to the conclusion that there are people in this world who hold firm to their commitments and cherish their women for their substance, intelligence, soul and a love far bigger than anyone’s rumpus.
I think—actually know—that Chris and Melissa have an advantage, an edge, over the other couples on reality television. Even though their wedding was, well, perfect, marriage is not. Ask my mother. She sent my father out to buy a dining room set and he returned with a Mustang convertible. To make matters worse, Mom received snow tires for “that car” for Christmas. A true partner in life needs to be your support system through the ups and downs life hurls your way (Chris and Melissa certainly have that one covered!), and love you through the transformations that come with time (a no-brainer here)!
As the soon to be brides of “Bridalplasty” carve, suck and tuck their way toward “perfection,” these two newlyweds will be spending their honeymoon reminiscing about their special day in a hospital room and basking in perfect love.