Tuesday, October 31, 2006
MUSINGS ON THE MISCELLANEOUS (PART V): THE "EX" FACTOR
I hate to admit it, but I am a Lifetime girl. Any crappy drama that is on the first Television channel "for women" will do. Some of my favorites? "The House Next Door." "To Love, Honor and Betray." "The Crying Child."
TallGuy completely makes fun of me for it, but I can't help it. After a long day of mind-bending work and demanding clients, it's nice to come home and watch absolutely mindless television.....
I was thinking about Lifetime television--and all the drama that unfolds--particularly as relates to the issue of the EX factor.
A lot of the Lifetime dramas have to do with ex boyfriends and ex girlfriends, jealousy, intrigue, seduction..... While planning your wedding may not rise to the level of a Lifetime drama, interesting scenarios can result when thinking about who to invite--and if any exes will be on that list.
My friend Gillian is getting married in March to her fiance, Brandon, and she was telling me about the tension that resulted from figuring out the guest list--and grappling over the issue of whether Brandon's ex girlfriend from summer camp, (CampGirl) would be invited. Gillian had been out to an assortment of birthday parties in Manhattan (at various bars) over the span of her three year relationship with Brandon, and at several of the bars, CampGirl (who was there through mutual friends) would run up to Brandon and give him huge hugs ("OMG Brandon, it's SOOOOO good to seeeeee you!!!!!"--all the while completely ignoring Gillian (without even an acknowledgment of "hi" or "how are you"). While Gillian tolerated Brandon's friendship with CampGirl (and the way CampGirl fawned all over him), the obnoxious and inappropriate behavior was quite a different story.
Each time this occurred, Gillian was livid--even more so because Brandon alternatively would defend CampGirl (i.e. "she really wasn't as rude as you make it out") or deny CampGirl's behavior (i.e. "I didn't even notice that she ignored you").
Gillian was as annoyed with Brandon's obliviousness as she was with CampGirl's outlandish behavior.
When it came time to do wedding planning, Gillian said that first on her list of "CUTS" -- after Brandon's childhood dentist and long-lost cousins--was CampGirl. After all, it wasn't like Brandon and CampGirl kept in touch all that much (through the occasional email and camp reunion), and wouldn't it just create discomfort when it simply wasn't necessary?
In terms of inviting exes, it's important to keep in mind how close the relationship is--and how the relationship will affect you and your guests.
Sure, not all guests will be involved when it comes to the "EX" factor -- but the potential explosiveness of the "Lifetime" type of emotions--jealousy, pettiness, anger, intrigue -- those are best avoided on the big day -- both for you AND your guests (EX or just a innocent bystander) (who wants to witness a nasty, throw-down cat fight at a wedding? Oh wait.... this sounds like Lifetime... maybe I shouldn't have said that!!!)
The outcome of Brandon and Gillian's guest list? CampGirl wasn't invited. Which probably was best for all involved. When it comes to EXes, EVALUATE EVALUATE EVALUATE -- and think long and hard if it's an appropriate decision for all involved. Maybe some have mature relationships and can handle that additional stress, but some women (and men) may be a bit more fragile....
Lifetime is great and all -- but those emotional outbursts and catfights are better left on television.