Monday, May 02, 2005

Dearly beloved, you've been punk'd!

News channels love missing women. They, also, love scandals. Jennifer Wilbanks is a story made in media heaven. Expect to be hearing about it for awhile.

We can't get the public interested in privatizing social security or filibustering judges, but get us a runaway bride and we got us a ratings bonanza.

Not that anyone really cares about this disturbed woman. Oh, they acted like they did when they thought that she'd been abducted or killed. They felt so sorry for her and hoped she'd come home safely.

Of course, when she turned up alive, these people didn't act like their prayers had been answered. They just got pissed off at her. How could she do this to them? So much for her well being.

It doesn't bother me one bit that Jennifer Wilbanks tried to bail out on her wedding. In fact, I don't blame her. But if you know you're not coming home, you could call. Don'tcha know that we were all worried sick?

But that's not all! After a nationwide APB is put out, she comes up with a dumbass story about being kidnapped. Why didn't she just say that she was abducted by aliens? At least no one can disprove that.

Obviously, this was all a cry for help, but she didn't have to involve the entire world over it. If this woman had any dignity, she would have called her family from the bus station and said, "I don't want to get married and I don't know when I'm coming home."

I say this knowing damn well that I went through with my first marriage when I should have run for the hills. Then again, I was 23, not 32.

Of course, if she let her family know where she was, she would not be the center of the 24-hour news cycle's attention. They may be making her out to be a pariah, but, on some level, this is exactly what she wanted. Now her picture is on every news program on television.

And while we are on the subject, can somebody tell me why this woman always has a painted on smile and "deer-in-the-headlights" eyes in every picture that I see of her on TV? Maybe it wasn't really cold feet. Maybe she was escaping from Stepford.

But seriously, did this woman really think that people would buy the kidnapping story? Is this woman so incapable of being responsible that she couldn't say that she just ran away?

As we go through yet another case of cultural rubbernecking, I can't help but wonder why a grown woman wouldn't just own up to wanting to escape from it all. Don't most of us have that feeling at sometime or another?

I do believe that Jennifer Wilbanks will need to face the consequences of her actions (although criminal charges seem like a bit much). Nevertheless, we should at least give her the credit for having a moment of clarity, realizing that things are not going in the direction that she thinks they should? How many of us would be better off had we done that before a critical event in our lives? Any critical event.

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