Y’all. In the interest of full disclosure, my family is from the south. My family has had its share of redneck weddings. Not mine. Mine was beautiful. Ask Glenda if you don’t believe me. But others in my family… well…. More often than not the bride is closer to labor than graduation and the groom smells like cigarettes. So yeah, I think I’m qualified.
Also? I think a wedding is simply ceremony. I know classy does not equal Happily Ever After. Still… what possesses people? Why would anyone think camouflage is appropriate attire? Okay, if your beloved is a huge hunter, if it is an essential part of WHO S/HE IS, then yes. By all means, give it a nod – have the seamstress use camo in the lining of his otherwise BLACK vest/cummerbund (heh… cummer). But DO NOT force your bridesmaids to wear camo hunting gear. (I am also looking at all you Sci-Fiers who dress as Luke and Leah. First? Incest. Second? Do you really want the Dark Lord of the Sith marrying you?) My very own brother Shipwreck is a gaming fanatic. He and his wife Mrs. Shipwreck even have a podcast over at cheapassgamer.com. As a nod to his passion, the grooms-cake was a chocolate replica of an X-box. The groomsmen did not dress as Halo characters. The bridesmaids weren’t all decked out as Princess Peach. I’m just sayin’ is all. There’s a difference between that and an entire wedding party dressed as the crew from Star Trek. Or Deliverance.
Okay. CMT channel and Tom Arnold. Have I mentioned that I love Tom Arnold? I do. I even forgive him for those hazy Roseanne days. I know he has no range, but he won my heart in 9 Months playing husband to my favorite character actress (and soon to be sister-in-law) Joan Cusack and I will forgive him everything because of this exchange:
Joan (off screen): Marty, who’s at the door?
Tom: My mother!
Joan (off screen): But your mother’s dead!
Tom: I know! It’s so weird!
Maybe you had to see the movie, but at least you understand that I love him. Anyway, CMT and Tom Arnold bring us in to My Big Redneck Wedding with awesome animation and steel guitars and John Deere, and we’re assured that “…these weddings are about having fun! And big bangs! And beer! And mud! And topless photo shoots!” And he’s not lying!
Tonight’s happy couple is John (buuuuurp) and Gail. They work two paper routes. Honest work and I’m not knocking it. I’m just stating the facts. John really comes across as a sweet guy. Uneducated and unrefined, but a good-hearted guy with an inferiority complex. And maybe as a little bit of an alcoholic with a bladder issue. Gayle is a larger girl who given a different path might have become a bossy PTA mom. She also misplaces her teeth the day of the wedding. I HATE when that happens.
Crickets bring us into Gail’s bedroom. The alarm sounds and it’s 1:44 a.m.. Time to make the donuts start the paper route. Close up of their beagle/basset hound licking his balls. Another close up of it licking Gail’s face as she asks, “You want to go wake Daddy up?” She wakes up John who gives us the cigarette cough then reaches for some dirty sweat pants before Gail asks him to put on some clean ones instead. Because they’re on television. I’m not knocking it because Lord knows I’ve gone out of my way at times to assure people that I really don’t let my kids run around in their pajamas without changing their underpants two days in a row even though some days? I totally do let them do exactly that. See the disclaimer at the top.
We follow them on their route and they smoke cigarettes and stuff mail boxes and then John announces that he has to poop. “Okay, Baby,” Gail comforts him. “As soon as we go around the corner.” OHMYGAWD. But whatever. I have on occasion pulled the car over (or had Glenda) pull the car over on an otherwise deserted country road so I could pee. But NEVER have I had anyone pull the car over so I could take a poo. NEVER. They smoke and John shits in the woods. “Hurry up before you get caught,” Gail yells and John emerges from the brush and… uhm… I’m pretty sure he didn’t wipe, so let’s just say it together: Ew.
While en route we learn that Gail has ordered her wedding dress from the “world wide web.” Even John has sense enough to look skeptical about that choice. Friends, get your kids’ clothes off E*gay, get your bedding and accessories, and porny toys, and creepy antique dolls, but do not buy your wedding dress from an online auction, mm’kay? Because chances are what happened to Gail will happen to you. Oh do I have to tell you what happened to Gail? Seriously? Let’s just say that Gail is not a wisp of a girl and when you’re a plus sized girl it’s important that you try everything on before you buy it. Especially wedding dresses.
Anyway Gail thinks it will be special if they write their own wedding vows. Some people are into that. I am not one of those people but I applaud those of you who have done it and done it well. Gail, you see, is not someone who likes the traditional (and I quote) “here I take you John to be my awful leaded husband to (fruity jazz hands) honor, obey and cherish the rest of our lives. (Shake of head and disgusted snear) That’s bullshit!” John has to poop again.
Dudes, we are only 3 minutes into the show and it’s only going to get better!
Couple history is as follows: They met in 1989. They have a paper route together. John is “very romantic” (insert clip of the lovebirds flicking their tongues at each other and then of him squeezing her ass), and he proposed to Gail by…. PEEING will you marry me? on the road. They giggle and snuggle, and John tells us, proudly, that that was a lot of pee.
Two weeks before the wedding we find out that John and Gail are getting married at the local flea market. Gail’s mother is there and she is not impressed. Gail and her mother look to be the same age which tells you how hard a life Gail has had – that or Gail’s mother had Gail when she was 12. The layout of the flea market is such that the guests will have to enter through the convenience store and then go upstairs to where the actual ceremony will be held. “It certainly is diff’rent,” Gail’s mother says disapprovingly, eyeing the kids playing shoot the deer games in the back of the convenience store. Oh, wait. We’re not in the convenience store, we’re now in the arcade. Where the wedding is going to be. On the plus side, it’s already decorated to John’s tastes with beer advertisements, and there’s enough room to stack the hay bales Gail wants to line her “aisle” (the aisle being between the pool tables). Instead of wedding bells they’ll hang deer skulls. They’ll also need a mechanical bull. I have no words.
Back at the trailer it’s time to decorate the prelit archway. John has been drinking beer and saving the cans for months just for this craft project. It turns out that they don’t have enough cans, but never fear. John is the go to guy and happily downs – I don’t know… 5? 10? A case? The point is, he’s committed to doing whatever it takes to make Gail’s vision a reality.
Gail’s wedding dress arrives and instead of a size 28 it’s an 8. John tries to help, asking her to take a deep breath while he tries to zip it. A deeper breath? Maybe a little deeper? Gail, I feel your plus-sized pain, but girl? You bought your wedding dress off the world wide web.
Now they’re on their way to Mandy’s flower shop. Gail doesn’t want anything too fru-fru. They’re going with black, orange, white, with some yellow thrown in. Mandy hesitates then nods and pulls out her sample books. Gail doesn’t like anything and John, carrying a paper bag with a beer in it suggests geraniums. They decide on orange lilies, no bows, no duct tape, but yes to raffia and beer cans. Mandy is flummoxed, Gail is impressed and a bit more smitten, and then John pees on the road outside Mandy’s shop. I hope it’s at least “Thank you.” It’s not. That rascally romantic instead pees Gail’s name. And DANNNNNNG! That is a LOT of pee.
A few nights later John and Gail are bowling and John spies The Claw. My oldest girl Amy LOVES feeding her allowance and any other money she finds to this damn machine. She winds up spending twice of what the piece of crap stuffed animal with the missing eye is worth and then leaves it and all its nastiness all over our home, but she always comes away with something. She has honed her skill. John, like Amy, LOVES The Claw and it’s here that my suspicions that his oxygen was cut off for a few minutes at birth are confirmed. Children gather around and shout advice while John tries and tries to win his bride to be her wedding gift. When it finally does happen (a stuffed snowman and how many dollars later?) John is as excited and proud and humbled by the experience as my 11 year old daughter is, and that, dear readers reader is the essence of John. “Nice job,” an impressed little girl says, and Humble Claw Tamer John replies very sincerely, “Thank you very much” then heads to the locker room to ice down his shoulder and give a few interviews.
The next morning we meet John’s granny as John works on his wedding vows. It is very clear that John loves his granny, and my cold, dead, stone-sized heart nearly beats because I think that maybe John’s granny raised him and did the best she could on a limited income and no education. John reads her his first attempt at his vows.
John: I wish I could put your love in a locket ’cause you’re hotter than a Hot Pocket.
Granny: Oh, I love Hot Pockets!
John: We did it in the back seat. We did it in the zoo. (Oh my God. Really? Where the animals
and children stare at each other?!) I don’t care where we do it, as long as it’s with you.
Granny: That the best you came up with?!
Then John tells us that he was going to use fancy words, but he doesn’t have a clit-tor-us. After a few more attempts that are shot down by Granny John says that he needs to tweak his vows some. “You’re not Shakespeare,” Granny informs him, and John only hesitates a little before agreeing, “Okay.” And y’all, it breaks my shriveled heart a little because 1) John isn’t about to disrespect his Granny and 2) it seems like he’s awfully familiar with being told he’s not a lot of things (handsome, smart, good at football, a sharp dresser). To me it adds to the credibility that if you’re told something enough times you’ll believe it and try to live it. Please, someone tell me that I’m thin.
It’s the night before the wedding and we find out that Gail and John are going to spend it apart like many couples do. Gail’s going to the hotel room to relax with a bath and candles – which we get to see, thank you very much CMT. John is going to spend the night playing his Xbox 360. Can’t find fault with that.
The wedding day finally arrives. “It’s countdown time!” Granny rasps excitedly from the back of the car. John’s mom tells him that this is the easy part. Compared to being married the wedding is a piece of cake. “I want some cake, John,” Grandma says, and it’s funny but it’s also a little sad because well, I’m not made of stone people! Old people reverting into needy children makes me a little depressed.
Back at the hotel Gail has misplaced her false teeth. “Want mine?” her mother offers and I throw up a little bit in my mouth. Gail’s sister finds Gail’s teeth and she and Fixodent save the day.
Meanwhile Mandy the florist and her crew “decorate” the arcade. Think hay bales. Think wreaths made of empty beer cans. Think deer skulls. I think Mandy died inside about a million times that day.
Both Gail and John are nervous and shaking. John looks cleaned up in his black cowboy tux (I don’t know any other way to describe it) and stetson. Gail looks pretty, and her dress fits and is so not the dress from the World Wide Web. With her teeth in place (thank you Fixodent!) Gail is ready to become Mrs. John Meyer and the wedding commences.
I need to clarify my stance on something. While I am usually all about the comfort, I believe there are some places and events you need to put your Sunday go to meetin’ clothes on for. Art museums – especially when you’re a tourist, most church events minus festivals, formal brunches and meals, funerals and weddings are high on the list. Jeans and t-shirts are NOT acceptable at weddings. Period. I don’t care if the “theme” is John Deere (as it is with Gail and John), khakis and a buttoned down, clean shirt for guys, and gals, a skirt and a blouse and a pair of flats will do nicely. It’s not about the money, because believe me, I’ve seen many inappropriate outfits on those in the “have” camp, too.
Okay, John’s groomsmen are first down the aisle – wearing green John Deere t-shirts, jeans and tennis shoes and wearing some kind of white… rope thing around their necks. Not exactly a noose, but then not exactly a necklace, and not exactly a bolero. I thought maybe they were those long shell necklaces you bring back from Myrtle Beach, but it’s not that either. I don’t know. Anyway, it’s a theme thing. I get it. I get it and I appreciate that his friends didn’t have to shell out for a new suit or a tux rental, but still, there’s this part of me that is squirming. See above paragraph. Next is the pastor, a stern looking woman in a white blazer/robe, and then Ball-licker the ring-bearing dog. Next are Gail’s attendants carrying a beer can stuffed with raffia and flowers. They are dressed in cut off shorts, gray John Deere t-shirts cinched to one side, and flip flops. The matrons of honor are wearing jeans, tennis shoes and oversized orange t-shirts. See above paragraph.
Gail and her father walk down the aisle and Gail is shaking. John is shaking too and it’s very sweet. They cry and read their vows. “You are my friend,” a tearful John reads, “and soul-mate. I’m the luckiest man alive to have someone as beautiful as you.” “You are my best friend,” Gail says, “And that is why I have chosen you to be my husband.” Words from the heart. They might not be “the beautiful people,” but they are real people and so is their love. The cock and hen of peace and lurve are thrown, John and Gail are pronounce man and wife, and Let The Partying Begin!!!!
There are many incarnations of Larry the Cable Guy at the reception – sleeveless flannel and all. Lots of shots of people dirty dancing, raising their beer bottles in celebration, and even one of the token black guy. Gail sheds her bridal demureness and yells, “Hey ev’rybody! Let’s go ride the bull.” You’d forgotten about that, hadn’t you? The crowd follows the happy couple through the convenience store and out to the mechanical bull where they take turns straddling a gigantic bull shaped vibrator – and wait! The bridesmaids weren’t wearing John Deere t-shirts, they were wearing t-shirts with a picture of Ball-licker the ring-bearing hound on them. John hoists Gail up on the bull and joins her so that they’re facing each other and well… I don’t ever want to have sex again after seeing what I saw.
It’s time to open the wedding gifts. Gail is touched by John’s Claw score, and John gets misty over the pink bowling ball she inscribed with Think of me when you touch your ball. Did John have an accident?
The bride and groom drive off into the sunset dragging their wedding arch behind them. Tune in next week when I introduce you to Geneva and Kyle.