January 31, 2011

Category: TV/Film

Marriage, Money, Modeling & Mayhem

On Sunday night I tuned into watch the ignant tomfoolery that is the “Real Housewives of Atlanta.” Last night’s season finale centered on Cynthia Bailey’s wedding day. What should have been a blissful countdown to her nuptials with fiancé Peter Thomas, instead looked more like the countdown to her execution. There was confusion, sorrow, doubt, attempted sabotage, and lots and lots of tears, all of which were shed by the bride-to-be, her mother and sister. For the first time in her life, Cynthia, the self-proclaimed “runaway bride,” wants to be a wife. In the first episode she mentions that she’s getting up there in age and plus Peter is “good” to her and her daughter from a previous relationship. Age and kindness? Yep, sounds like a great reason to put a ring on it and commit to a lifetime together. NOT! What happened to respect, love, open communication, and financial honesty? All of that seems to have gone out the window especially since Peter has had to shutter his business. Now, it’s about not growing old alone and of course, having a bank-account-draining wedding to make it legit. Did Cynthia say she was going to have a cash bar at her wedding to save money? Who does that? And just five days before her wedding did she not have a breakdown at the mention of the word “honeymoon” just because she wouldn’t be going on one? What gives?

I’ll tell you what gives, this materialistic climate of Oprah and her Louboutins, Mary J. and her Maserati and all of these over the top weddings from Khloe Kardashian to Lala Vasquez has created an environment of purpose, pleasure and power via capitalism, credit cards and beaucoup dollars. And there’s nothing wrong with having things. Shoot I wanna pair of Louboutins myself, but right now I can’t afford them and that’s ok. The problem is when it takes over your psyche and replaces common sense and you don’t feel okay unless you have a 7-carat engagement ring, a Range Rover or a man who can provide both. And so yes, especially for Black women in the face of Steve Harvey’s straight no chasin bullshid about thinking like a man to ‘win’ a husband, the stakes are even higher. Nowadays the idea of being a wife and committing and compromising for the good of the union gets lost in the blur of tossed rose petals and falls somewhere amongst all of the Tiffany blue gift boxes and pseudo-African brooms lying around waiting to be jumped over. I think Cynthia, like many women, wanted a wedding more than she wanted to be married. She wanted the ring, the gown and the registry, but does she want to deal with being a step mom to Peter’s five other children? She’s certainly made it clear that she doesn’t want anything to do with his financial drama. Unfortunately homegrrrl can’t see her marriage for her maid-of-honors, which is sad because she was a bride for one day, she is expected to be his wife ‘til death do them part. Ugh! And despite the fact that none of the “Housewives” are happily married except for Phaedra, Cynthia is still sipping the Kool-Aid and feels like “this is the one thing that (she) just want(s) to do for (herself).” Honey this is not like getting a seaweed wrap body massage at the Four Seasons, this wedding is the beginning of the rest of your seemingly drama-filled days together. My mom always said getting married is no joke. My married (and divorced) friends have said that it’s like a business deal and you have to be eyes and ears wide open.

Cynthia is a fashion model and therefore probably has a good business/ financial acumen (even her sis was like oh yeah “you’ll always make money”), but she is also acutely aware of her age in a way that I’m sure I can’t begin to understand. I don’t think there is any occupation more explicitly ruthless about promoting ageism as Fashion. And so Cyn, who is now even nervous about walking down a runway, is clearly not comfortable strutting around Atlanta at 43-years old without a husband. I have to admit, even though she looked gorgeous last night I’m concerned about her marriage. I just wrote a story last year for TheRoot.com about the risks of Black women having this Cinderella ideal when looking for a husband. I’m not saying we should compromise our desires just that we should manage them better. Anyway, I wish her all the best. If you really feel sorry for the bereft newlyweds feel free to get them a gift off of their registry.  Would love to hear your thoughts about marriage and weddings. Would you have gotten married under similar circumstances?

Full Disclosure: I’m not married nor have I ever been.

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4 Responses to “Marriage, Money, Modeling & MayhemComment RSS feed

  • DanTresOmi
    January 31st, 2011 9:36 pm

    I was in the wedding business for close to ten years and I saw some nonsense. I didn’t see the episode (I do plan on it) but from what I hear it sounds exactly like some of the drama I witnessed.

    The good news? There were some weddings that were on point where the couple, family, and friends were just awesome and made me want to be part of the family. So not all weddings, families, and spouses get down like that.

  • anonymous
    February 1st, 2011 1:01 am

    i think i found the whiole thing a sad situation. i truly expected more from these two in the beginning. with the parade of cartoon characters this show presents i thought here we would have two sophisticated people representing black love to the fullest. he a mature handsome black business man stepping up and being a role model for his younger beautiful successful model girlfriend/single mother. but in the end they were the most raggedy really. here we are in a recession and he seems rude, bullying at times, and cant run his business and or make a firm focused sound decision. she went from beautiful goddess to whiny school girl about what walking down an aisle in a borrowed dress, with no flowers, no rings, he was “smashed”, your mother and sister(who you’ve known for your whole lives) were against the wedding (not him, or their relationship) but you had to go through with it just to save face. besides her family, i mean every cast member thought it was a bad deicision. these arent my opinion these are facts. fact: her mama gave her $3000 to help pay for yoru wedding and he was ok with that? i dont call that a man. he lost his future brides money in his dream and then went ahead with this wedding. where was his 5 children? if this is such a great day why werent they there? not one of them. his mother was but we know mamas will support us on death row. her ex husband was there. something was terribly off balance and just a sad travesty to watch unfold. it was a sad thing to watch in 2011. cynthia, peter i wish you luck but get real. really.

  • Skyemama
    February 1st, 2011 11:19 am

    RHOA wedding was hard to watch. Cynthia knew this was wrong and didn’t seem to be in love and hasn’t for several episodes. My issues with her is that Thomas clearly said that he didn’t owe her any money once they were married. He sucked her dry and then shackled her and then added his dead weight. His debts are her debts now, too. His inability to contribute, increases her burden.

    What you did see was him berating her for insisting on knowing that her investment went down the tubes when he closed his restaurant without telling her. “I’ll never tell you anything again,” he said”. “I knew you would react this way.” And then insisting that he would find the money. However, you did see Cynthia begging her clearly broke father for $3G to pay for liquor. (Her mother eventually paid for it.) That is a sign of not only a bad relationship, but a bad person. He seems like a egocentric, machismo hustler. My understanding is this isn’t the first sister to loose her money in one of his ventures. But that could be a rumor. One incident would be enough for me to say, “hell no!”. But hey, live and let live. Cynthia, herself, descried Thomas was Mr. Right Now. Not, Mr. Right.

  • anonymous
    February 2nd, 2011 7:03 pm

    Weddings are wonderful. Marriage, love, commitment and true companionship is joy and work…