October 24, 2003

Women are from Venus, Men are Total Idiots

Do a search on Amazon.com using the words "idiot" and "groom," and you'll be taken to a listing for "The Pocket Idiot's Guide to Being a Groom." Do a similar search using the words "idiot" and "bride," and you won't be taken to "The Pocket Idiot's Guide to Being a Bride." You won't be taken there because no such book exists. What you do get, however, is a link to "The Pocket Idiot's Guide to Being the Father of the Bride." (italics mine)

It gets worse. I did a search for "clueless" and "bride" at Amazon.com and the first hit was a book aimed solely at hapless men: "The Clueless Groom's Guide". Even though it was included in my search, the word "bride" doesn't appear anywhere on this book's cover.

Are there any guides that don't treat men like total imbeciles? I was encouraged when I came across a book called "The Groom's Secret Handbook." Then I clicked on the link. The subtitle? "How Not to Screw Up the Biggest Day of Her Life." Apparently, even if he's the cute and cuddly kind of clueless idiot, a groom is little more than a ticking timebomb of ineptitude waiting to ruin a bride's perfect day.

It doesn't get any better with online wedding guides. There, grooms are almost an afterthought, located somewhere on those handy checklists between marriage licenses and blood tests. It's probably not a coincidence that "groom" comes last alphabetically after "band," "cake," "flowers," "gifts" and "gown."

Where do America's publishers possibly get the idea that grooms are little more than pot-bellied lemmings, willing to follow our fiancées off a matrimonial cliff as long as she lets us hold the remote?

Look around. If Martians landed on earth today and turned on TV what would they find? The way Oprah Winfrey, sitcom writers and the hosts of "The View" see it, men are idiots.

Of course, I understand why the wedding industry treats men like second-class citizens. Traditionally, the money has been with the women and her parents. I can't imagine any man - except perhaps David Gest - admitting to having dreamt about his wedding day since he was a little boy. For that matter, are there any fathers who secretly plan their son's wedding as soon as the boy starts to walk?

Now, however, we live in the dawning of the age of the metrosexual, so it's probably not unheard of for men to have at least some interest in what goes into their wedding plans. After all, once that bed is made with the floral-patterned, 250 thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets, I'll have to sleep in it too.

To paraphrase Shakespeare:

Hath not a groom taste? Hath not a groom senses, preferences, passions? Tasting the same food, hearing the same bands, subject to the same crazy family as a bride is? If you ignore us, do we not grow resentful? And if you lose us in Bloomingdale's, do we not head straight for the electronics department?

I've been lucky. L and I have split duties quite fairly as we both recognize our strengths and weaknesses when it comes to planning. I'm the cook, so I'm in charge of registering for kitchen stuff. But the wedding is on her home turf, so she has more of a hand in things like decorations and flowers. It's a pretty fair deal and L doesn't look at the wedding as hers alone. Yes, she gets a chance to be the center of attention, but she knows that I'll be right there in the middle with her.

Perhaps you've been lucky, too. Perhaps you and your bride have a more egalitarian idea of what a wedding should be. There's no "I" in "together," correct?

Grooms of the world, unite!

Posted by The Groom at October 24, 2003 05:17 PM
Comments

However, there is an "I" in wedding!

Posted by: JT at October 24, 2003 02:40 PM

Don't forget the "I" in "rabbi."

Posted by: Groom at October 24, 2003 03:23 PM

Tufts English majors unite! Let us continue to use the expensive forces of our classical education to cope with life changes. Above all else, to our own blogs be true.

And good luck to all grooms. May they be well-groomed to not mess up the pictures of the woman's big day.

Posted by: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern at October 26, 2003 04:42 PM

Tufts English majors unite! Let us continue to use the expensive forces of our classical education to cope with life changes. Above all else, to our own blogs be true.

And good luck to all grooms. May they be well-groomed to not mess up the pictures of the woman's big day.

Posted by: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern at October 26, 2003 04:42 PM

Center of attention? I thought she was the Queen!!!!!
Paula

Posted by: Paula at October 28, 2003 04:43 PM

Just think: because there is no definitive guide to groomdom, you are not feeding the children or paying for the weddings of the publishers of such guides.
Alternately, you could write said guide and make money for yourself!
Good luck and have fun!

Posted by: emily at November 1, 2003 10:23 PM

What a great Blog! Thanks for the other perspective, and thanks for being a guy who *does* care if the cake being shoved in your face tastes good. Me, I won't let my groom get away with being the annonymous person standing next to HRH The Bride. We're both hosting and I just know that if he isn't involved now, he'll whine about not being involved later (and after all, it really is his party too). If he doesn't care what color the table cloths are, fine. Let them be green. Hideous baby puke green (can you see my evil grin?).

Posted by: Malinda at November 8, 2003 03:27 PM