The Aftermath

cI couldn’t believe my eyes. I had to blink twice. I was watching a popular show on cable TV about a wedding. It was so lovely. The outdoor setting was gorgeous with grand views into the distance. The tables were set elegantly with flowers and candles and the bride was a vision in lacy white. (The groom wasn’t bad either.) The program was of the reality kind and showed the next day – the aftermath. It is supposed to be like the afterglow of a symphony. But no, it was not. There was litter everywhere. You would have needed a cordless vacuum (like this) to whisk it all away. Where did all this stuff come from anyway? The champagne and wine bottles I could understand, but the rest was a mystery to me.

In any case, it was a veritable pigsty. What a reversal of fortune! Once folded pristine white napkins were strewn on the ground stained with red lipstick and wine. Candy wrappers and cigarette butts were everywhere to be found, squished into submission. Some odds and ends entered the mix – a surprising olio of combs, lost earrings, hair bows, and a hankie or two. Okay, I said to myself. This is major work for the cleanup crew.

All of a sudden on my TV screen appeared the sleepy-eyed bride and groom, dressed in cutoffs and T-shirts with two friends in tow, similarly attired. What? I gasped. The voice over narration said that the couple paid for the wedding and could save money by doing the cleanup themselves. What! Are you serious?

Yes, this is fact. The story is true. The beautiful bride is a waitress at a local restaurant in West Hollywood, California and has limited funds. Remember the rule: the bride pays for the wedding! The reality show followed each “cast member,” a real person, through the comings and goings of ordinary life. This young woman just happened to have a wedding – great ratings for the show. People had been following her dating and subsequent engagement. Now it had all come to roost.

In any case, there they were scooping up junk and stuffing it into plastic bags which they tied with twine and tossed in a huge trash bin at the side of the resort that hosted the nuptials. Agh! Her elegance had all but been stripped away. She was still a pretty girl, no doubt of that, but it was sure a letdown after the wedding. Is this destined to be a new trend? I hope not. Is do-it-yourself clean up the new normal? I hope not.

The show ended with everyone changing clothes and hugs and the couple was off on their honeymoon. I’m not sure they mentioned the destination, but I do hope they didn’t negotiate a room discount for changing their own beds! Who wants to scrub tub while on holiday? I do hope the savings they earned after the wedding were applied to the honeymoon and that they could avoid manual labor of the worst kind.