Real(ity) bad manners: Should we encourage a proposal on The Bachelor?+comment
What would Emily Post make of the The Bachelor, and the string of broken engagements the show has created? What would she say about She Who Must Not Be Named (thank you Elisabeth for that moniker) and her (mis)handling of the wedding gifts?
I find manners to be an interesting intersection between the public and the private; they help guide us in social situations to navigate a graceful link between the interpersonal and the public sphere. The denizens of manners help us know what is expected of us and though we can choose to adhere to the prescribed way of doing things or not, at least we have a roadmap for what is expected of us.
What to make of the phenomenon of the Reality TV star and their manners, or lack thereof? Take, for example, She Who Must Not Be Named and her ex ’husband’… it has taken months for them to decide what to do about their wedding gifts when their marriage ended after 72 days. The ‘groom’ reportedly wanted to return the gifts. The ‘bride’ decided instead to take the value of the gifts, double it, and give that amount to charity, as announced in a form letter.
Would Emily Post approve of either scenario? I think not. For one thing, couldn’t K have sent out personal notes? I don’t think she would actually condescend to do it herself, but doesn’t she have a staff of minions to do her bidding? When I got married, I had to write all the thank you notes myself. It wasn’t fun, but that’s considered good manners. It is what you do.
Unless, of course, your ‘wedding’ is a televised event produced and paid for by a cable network. The only decent thing (and by decent thing, I mean from a PR standpoint) these two could have done would have been to not accept wedding gifts in the first place… and ask their guests to donate to a charity instead or something. Alas. As they did not do that, the only thing to be done after the demise of their ‘relationship’ would be return the gifts, donate the money to charity and stay out of the public’s eye for the rest of time. But decency is clearly not what one can expect from them.
And speaking of network sponsored nuptials… we’re almost to the finale of The Bachelor, with the compulsory proposal as the denouement to the season. A ring was purchased by the network… do we think the rock is real? CZ? For a ring to be telegenic, it has to be huge and thus very expensive. I’m guessing there is something written in the contract that states that the ring can only be kept if there is an actual wedding. A prenumpt between a bride and groom is awkward enough, but imagine how uncomfortable a contract with a TV network would be. What would Emily Post have to say about that situation?
Given that it is very likely to end badly (and quickly) with the awkwardness of two people pointing fingers, placing blame and with the saga of the returned ring splashed on the cover of a (or every) magazine…