Defending Bridezilla

I recently received an invitation to my old childhood friend Amy's bridal shower that informed me that the bride was registered at APerfectWeddingGift.com. When I went to the site, I found out that the "perfect" gift I was expected to give her was cold, hard cash, because Amy and Brad had basically registered for money. I was supposed to be delighted about this "no hassle" and "polite way" to give the gift that would make "their wedding dreams come true." Apparently ShakeDowntheGuests.com was considered too crass, and maybe KeepYourDamnToasters.com was already taken.

You guessed it: Bridezilla strikes again.

As you may know, the term bridezilla originates from the story of Godzilla, a cute little lizard who was exposed to poisonous atomic radiation that turned him into a monster. It's my belief that, like Godzilla, most bridezillas are perfectly nice women who, when exposed to the poisonous 45-billion- (yes, BILLION!) dollar-a-year bridal industry, turn into monsters of a very unique sort. Like my friend Amy, for example, who forced her bridesmaids to spend $300 on puce polyester sheaths and then insisted that the entire bridal party get spray-on tans so their "skin would match." (Yes, she actually said that.)

The monstrous behavior of a bridezilla is endlessly fascinating. As proof, entire TV specials are devoted to gleefully categorizing the sins of the bridezilla ‑- the crying, screaming meltdowns over dyed-to-match shoes that do not, in fact, match; the emails sent to bridesmaids bitchily informing them that they need to lose weight before the wedding; the screeching at three-year-old flower girls to get their "scrawny" butts out there and walk down the aisle.

So it would be easy for me to join the chorus of condemnation, but in true Grrl Genius fashion, I am going to buck the tide and defend the bridezilla. Pity bridezilla, she knows not what she does.

The amount of pressure on brides to be perfect is enormous, especially on what they are told must be the happiest day of their life. Since only 27 percent of weddings are paid for by the bride's parents, that means that the bridal mafia has convinced these women they've got to spend their way into happiness. A side effect of all this spending is that everyone else involved gets tortured (and browbeaten into spending their own money) in the process.

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