Sunday, October 15, 2006

My Sunday Feeling

At a certain point along our journey through this vale of tears every person runs across somebody who is more damn trouble than they are worth. If you are fortunate, your interaction with such a person will be on a superficial level such as the person in the office who does no meaningful work and bitches incessantly whenever he or she is called upon to actually to move their leaden asses.

If you are not so fortunate, maybe you live next door to that person, or worse, coach or teach that person's child. If your luck is particularly abysmal, you might wake up one day to discover that you have been sleeping next to a person that is more trouble than he or she is worth.

Which brings us to Jennifer Wilbanks, the winsome doe-eyed thing on the left. If ever there was a person who was the textbook example of somebody who is way more trouble than she is possibly worth it is she. It will be recalled that about this time last year, she faked her own kidnapping so as to avoid her wedding day, thereby earning the moniker "The Runaway Bride."

Faithful readers of this space might recall my friend J. J is not only good and wise but being herself from Georgia, she possesses unique insight into the goddamned infernal headache-inducing mystery known as Southern womanhood. When the hoax was revealed and Jennifer was returned to the Peach State, J said of Jennifer's fiancee, " He's lucky. It's not every day that life gives you this kind of 'head's-up.' Trust me. That girl is crazy."

Not flighty. Not high-strung. Not overwrought. Crazy.

Well, if the jilted fiancee thought he was shed of her he was sadly mistaken. Because being crazy as she undoubtedly is, Jennifer sees nothing remotely venal or ridiculous about suing the poor bastard for half of the wedding presents, half of the value of the marital home from which she vamoosed, and half of the 500k he allegedly got for selling what she refers to as "her" story to a production company. If you happen to have a gall-o-meter at your home you might want to check it after you read this. Bet it is in the red zone.

But not all craziness is acquired. Some people are sufficiently crazy that they jump through hoops to not only borrow certain trouble but to create a scenario in which they risk all manner of trouble of the worst sort.

My excellent friend Jenny is about to pull her hair out over the antics of her starry-eyed friend whom I will refer to as Mary. About 4 months ago, Mary met a man who had recently moved to our fair city from another state. Jenny says he is a nice looking man who seems to be a gentleman. This is a good thing because one thing led to another and they started dating. 2 things led to 2 others and, lo and behold, they became engaged. Some people work faster than others.

Mary's intended has a license to practice law in the state from whence he came. Supposedly, he moved to Arkansas to take care of his ailing Mother, a not completely ridiculous story on its face. However, Jenny, being the suspicious sort that she is, asked Mary if Prince Charming had been actively looking for a job now that he is here in Little Rock. Mary allowed as how he had applied for a job selling shoes at a local department store.

Now, there is dignity in labor and there is nothing remotely wrong with selling shoes for a living. Indeed, when I retire, I may embark upon a second career as well. Maybe I will be a teacher or a journalist. I hope to be in a position to do something other than practice law if I want to. Having said that, I doubt that I will want to sell shoes. Suffice it to say, this choice of vocations raised any of a number of red flags for ol' Jen.

Since I am a little better at computer stuff than she is, Jenny asked if I would do some checking around. Which I did- and Bingo!- I am stunned to report that Prince Charming had his license suspended for about 7 years based on 14 separate complaints from former clients of his from back where he used to live. To his credit, he managed to get it back just prior to his move here. But this would explain why Mary's intended hasn't applied for a license here in Arkansas where they would ask certain troubling questions about his former life that are not likely to present themselves in the shoe department.

After I gave Jenny the news, she happened to get a call from Mary. Seems they have set a date, got a preacher and secured the services of a caterer. Jenny told her that they, like, reeeeeeallllllly needed to talk. No word on whether that talk has occurred yet or not.

Now, Mary is not a stupid woman. She owns a thriving business. She lives in a beautiful house that is probably worth 5 times what she owes against it. And yet, she is going to marry a man she has known for only 4 months. Jen says he did tell Mary that he didn't want to practice law again because of " a problem" back in his old state. Which is one way of referring to being under a period of suspension I suppose. But evidently, she didn't press him on it.

Or maybe she did. Maybe she doesn't care. Maybe she is so lonely that she thinks this is her last best chance to be with someone.

Which is sad beyond words.

Jenny says that she will insist that Mary get Prince to sign a pre-nuptial agreement, or in the alternative, to run for the hills if he won't sign it. It sounds like to me she is in too far over her head to listen to sense at this point. Otherwise sane people can do completely insane things. It happens. There is nothing you can do for the person who is bound and determined to go over a cliff'.

While some people are more trouble than they are possibly worth, some folks go out of their way to bring trouble upon themselves. Here's hoping that Mary is able to avoid a lightning strike. Here's hoping that Prince has got his troubles behind him and that he has no judgments following him around. Here's hoping that he gets the job at the shoe department.

Suffice it to say, J is pretty disgusted by the litigation back home in Georgia.

" This lawsuit is completely ridiculous." she said.

" Sounds like it to me." I allowed.

"Of course it is," she said, looking over her glasses. "Why, everybody knows that you are supposed to return the gifts if the wedding doesn't take place."

She was serious.

Like the lady said. Ridiculous.

Which is just another way of acknowledging that some people are way more trouble than they are possibly worth.


Gagging on the Gulf said...

Good story...I have to admit that my first reaction was the same - every Southern woman worth her salt knows the gifts go back, which to me was a more shocking wrong than the lawsuit. I had to check out this story. "In October 2006, Wilbanks filed a lawsuit against her ex-fiance for $500,000. She is claiming $250,000 as a share of a house her ex-fiance bought from selling their story to an agent and another $250,000 in punitive damages. She is also suing for several personal property she claims that her ex-fiance has kept, including a ladder, a gold sofa, and gifts."

So it wasn't the marital home...and if her ex-fiance' had custody of the gifts & didn't return them, then he has committed a serious social crime and is just as selfish & greedy as she is. (I did wonder how she could return them if he has kept them?) I also had to wonder whether she was really crazy or not after reading what she said to Bill Maher about why she freaked: She was "staring down the barrel of 14 bridesmaids and 600 guests in the Georgia heat watching a Baptist in a blue suit sanctify her sex life with Welch's grape juice and a reading from The Purpose Driven Life. Suddenly, Greyhound to Vegas looked pretty good!" Amen Sister! I couldn't fault her for running like hell after hearing that...

I've seen it over and over how socially climbing families get involved in planning a wedding and it ends up being a big circus show of conspicuous consumption for the parents. (as in 600 people? - young people don't KNOW that many people- that's the families doing that)...

But of course the point is not her freaking out but the way she did it by victimizing so many well meaning people. Bill Maher said about her-- "she didn't care 'about anyone's feelings but [her] own' and '[She] belongs in Hollywood!'-- or how aout Washington, D.C.? Amen again. I think after reading the story, he's not a totally innocent victim...keeping the wedding gifts & buying yourself a house from selling the story to the gossip rags. And a person has got to be a little nutty to tolerate, yea even promote, coupling with a nut, you know? I do know from whence I speak, of course.

tmfw said...

Weeeeeuuulllll.....the fact that the gifts didn't go back was completely shocking to J and caused her to go to the fainting couch.

And give me a break about her sudden realization about staring down the barrel of a high Baptist society wedding. Back in the day, back before I discovered golf I used to be a singer and I used to sing at weddings The bride and her Mother were always complete pains in the ass.

Based on my experience w/society weddings I refuse to believe that she wasn't anything but an accomplice to her own wedding plans.

You are right to suggest that a person bears responsibility for the kind of individual they hook up with.

Having said that, he is a handsome young man and she is a beautiful woman. You think you can fix crazy when you are young. Besides, crazy people are great in bed. You can confuse that w/love. You can confuse that w/stability.

A young person can also confuse that w/something that he or she can work with. A young person accepts thing on faith.

There's plenty of blame to go around here most likely.