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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Marriage vs. Babies

   
Author Topic: Marriage vs. Babies
RivalOfTheRose
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Currently: My wife and I are planning on creating our first edition to our family in the next year or two.

Problem: My wife's sister recently got engaged, which is really great. But, does this interfere which being her being matron of honor?

Thoughts: If the situation was reversed, I would care if the sister couldn't be in the wedding party because they had a choice in the timing of the baby. I would not care if she was fat from pregnancy for pictures and such.

Questions: Should my wife and I plan around the wedding? Should we bring it up to the sister, or just keep it to ourselves?

You guys: I would appreciate any input from those who have gone through this or something similar, or any other good advice in general. I don't know when or where to draw the line for putting my direct family first. Thank you!

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CT
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I had the utmost difficulty in figuring out what you were asking. I still think I am unclear.

Of course it shouldn't matter. Having her pregnant in the photos is nothing but added celebration. I can't parse out what you mean by "If the situation was reversed, I would care if the sister couldn't be in the wedding party because they had a choice in the timing of the baby." [emphasis added]

That is, why would she be unable to be in the wedding party, barring serious illness or active labor? and for first babies, predicting onset of labor is often off by a week or more, and predicting conception reliably is almost laughable. [Wink] I think if you are ready for a baby, you should go for it.

[ January 03, 2011, 10:12 PM: Message edited by: CT ]

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Goody Scrivener
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I am given to understand (although have no personal knowledge) that the maid/matron of honor has some significant responsibilities in planning showers and reception. I would personally try to delay becoming pregnant until after the wedding so my own activity and energy levels weren't going to be affected.
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scholarette
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I think the idea that you control the timing of the baby is hilarious. You have much more control over the timing of the wedding. You find out you are pregnant, wait until hear heart beat on doppler and call. She has 30 weeks to change the wedding date if it is that important to her. I suppose if she gives you a date, you can forgo trying for one month 9 months prior to the wedding.
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PSI Teleport
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I agree with Goody, really. Like, if you know the wedding is in nine months, or whatever, it might be worthwhile to wait a few months to try and conceive.
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CT
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I had this as an edit above, but I'll put it here to be more clear.

Some couples find it quite easy to conceive. Many do not, and I think that is why scholarette and I are commenting as we are. (Of course, Goody [and PSI] certainly has good points as well.) That is, one can predict fertility periods fairly well, but that's only a small piece of the pie.

On average, only about 1/4 of couples which try will conceive in that first month. About 1/4-1/2 of those conceptions are expected to be lost to miscarriage [and some experts think that is quite a lowball estimate].

About 3/5 of couples trying to get conceive are successful in the first 6 months of trying. This goes up to 3/4 at the 9 month mark, and 4/5 of couples trying to conceive will be successful in the first year of trying. That still leaves 1/5, or 20%, of couples not yet pregnant after deliberately trying to conceive for a full year.

It can take a long time, and even when you are successful, miscarriages early on are common. To wait on life plans of other people if having children is important to you seems -- to me -- to be a bad idea and totally unnecessary.

---

Edited to add: I think I see a lot of people who think conception with be more straightforward than it ends up being for them, and that's good to know as soon as possible.

[ January 03, 2011, 10:28 PM: Message edited by: CT ]

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CT
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But I'm sure the two of you will know what is best for you. It's always a matter of individual context. [Smile]
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Belle
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I've been in a wedding while pregnant and while it was a bit inconvenient - we needed last minute dress alterations, it did not upset anybody and the bride was actually happy for me and happy to have me in the wedding, big belly and all.

My feelings - your family planning should revolve around what you as a couple want, and not what other people want. Should your wife become pregnant quickly, then give the sister the option of choosing a different matron of honor if your wife feels she cannot participate in the wedding planning as much as she would like. I suspect she will still want her sister and her future niece/nephew to be part of the celebration.

Best of luck. [Smile]

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Kwea
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quote:
Originally posted by CT:
I had the utmost difficulty in figuring out what you were asking. I still think I am unclear.

Of course it shouldn't matter. Having her pregnant in the photos is nothing but added celebration. I can't parse out what you mean by "If the situation was reversed, I would care if the sister couldn't be in the wedding party because they had a choice in the timing of the baby." [emphasis added]

That is, why would she be unable to be in the wedding party, barring serious illness or active labor? and for first babies, predicting onset of labor is often off by a week or more, and predicting conception reliably is almost laughable. [Wink] I think if you are ready for a baby, you should go for it.

QFT. And because I like quoting CT, she is usually right. [Big Grin]
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Swampjedi
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My wife and I are in a similiar position, though to be fair she's not even IN the wedding in question. We chose to not put off trying - it will be our first, and time is an issue (she's approaching mid 30s).

My brother / future sister-in-law will probably never talk to us again if we're unable to attend their wedding.

Oh, and I'm also going to add my "+1" to CT's post.

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Stephan
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My wife was 8 months pregnant as a matron of honor.

I wouldn't worry about it to much.

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scholarette
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Another thought- Having a kid is a huge and scary thing. It is very easy to come up with reasons to put that off. If we wait until X, then that will be the perfect time to have a kid. Unfortunately, there is always an X. There will never be a perfect time to have a kid. They will always screw up some plan. To play armchair psychologist, you might want to consider if you are putting baby off to be considerate or if maybe you just want a few more months to be childless.
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The Rabbit
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quote:
My brother / future sister-in-law will probably never talk to us again if we're unable to attend their wedding.
My husband's close friend and his wife were unable to attend our wedding because she was in labor. We missed them but I can't imagine being angry at them about it. I can't imagine anyone who wasn't a totally self obsessed, self centered jerk holding a grudge over such a thing.
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scholarette
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I have a friend who was 9 months pregnant at both her wedding and her sister's weddings. The big concern with her sister's wedding was who got mom if she went into labor. She ended up having baby early so missed the wedding but didn't take mom away either. And the two sisters still speak. My brother missed my wedding cause he got drunk and forgot, but I still speak to him at the same frequency as before he missed wedding. I think having a baby would have been a better excuse than a good happy hour.
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Xavier
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I can't even imagine myself having an issue with when a friend of mine decided to conceive. That's such a personal choice that the thought of it being anyone else's business is laughable to me. Especially not over something so trivial as a wedding.
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Yozhik
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What if the engaged couple call it off? What if the bride breaks her leg skiing and has to postpone the wedding for a couple months? What if you turn out to need years of fertility treatments? Go ahead and start working on that family. You never know what will happen, and trying to fit a baby around a wedding assumes a level of control that you don't have over either event.
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Amanecer
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quote:
I can't even imagine myself having an issue with when a friend of mine decided to conceive. That's such a personal choice that the thought of it being anyone else's business is laughable to me.
I completely agree with this. The idea that you would postpone your own life choices for somebody else's wedding is completely foreign to me.
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theamazeeaz
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If your sister-in-law has issues with your wife's hypothetical pregnancy she is probably a bridezilla.
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scholarette
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Reading advice columnist, there are some brides who do think they get a say. Bridezillas. Generally the advice is to live your life and hope that after the wedding the bride regains her senses.
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advice for robots
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I say go ahead with both the pregnancy and the wedding and hope all involved are mature enough to accept whatever happens. There has got to be some sort of contingency plan for if your wife is in labor on the day of the wedding, or just had the baby. Otherwise, I'm sure she'll be happy to be there doing as much as she can.

ETA: My sister-in-law was engaged 4 times before she actually got married 18 months ago. I am glad we didn't put off having our kids for fear of conflicting with any of those wedding dates. Actually, I don't think the thought of such a conflict even crossed our minds. I suppose it could have happened. We would have just had to shrug and say, "Sorry."

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CT
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And sometimes people get pregnant when they aren't trying, or even when they are actively trying to prevent conception.

It is noboby's -- nobody's -- business, other than your own (and whichever medical or personal support people you chose on your own to involve) whether you were trying to conceive, indifferent, or actively trying not to do so. Although certainly different in many aspects, in some ways the conceptive process is like passing wind in public -- the actual conception is not to be spoken of in polite social company, just as you should politely ignore someone breaking wind at a dinner party. It happens, and it just is. The reason being it is an issue of privacy, where personal intimacy has become manifest in the public sphere.

Allow people their privacy, and deal with the public results (be they untoward or welcomed) with grace and kindness.

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Raymond Arnold
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At this point the thread seems to be dogpiling RivalOfTheRose before he's had any chance to respond. You've made your point. I think we can chill a bit until he actually responds.
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CT
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?

Raymond, what?

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advice for robots
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He asked for input and he's getting it. I don't think he's being dogpiled.
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dkw
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If it were me, and I was not pregnant at the time the date of the wedding was set I would try to avoid conception during the months that would put my due date within one month of the wedding.

And if the date of the wedding was not yet set and I found out I was pregnant I would immediately notify my sister, even if I normally would have waited to announce the pregnancy, so that she could chose whether to schedule around it.

That isn't because I think anyone else has a say in my husband's and my childbearing choices, it's because I would want to be at and involved in my sister's wedding, and I would want my mother at my child's birth and the rest of my family able to visit, help, and support me after the birth.

As has been said, pregnancy and childbirth are unpredictable, and it's possible that things wouldn't work out anyway -- either I might conceive even though we weren't trying that month, or the baby might come early, or I might already be pregnant but not know it yet when the wedding date is set. But insofar as it is affected by my choices, I would try to arrange things so that there was no scheduling conflict.

However, if the engagement has just been announced and no date set I would not put off trying to conceive until after the wedding. I'd just take a few cycles off from trying at the appropriate time.

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Raymond Arnold
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It wasn't quite reaching a point I would consider rude, but a) lots of people were repeating the exact same advice, even people who had already responded, b) terminology was shifting from "nah, I wouldn't worry about it" to "man your sister-in-law is probably a bridezilla" without any further knowledge of the situation.

He asked for input. He got it. A while ago. I just think you can wait to see how he responds to the advice so far before repeating the same points another few times.

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RivalOfTheRose
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Hey everyone, thanks for the responses.

My following thoughts most align with dkw's last post. I think I am leaning towards trying when we want, but closing maybe a 3 or 4 month window. 3 or 4 months does not seem it like will make the biggest difference in the grand scheme of life, considering we are only 28.

The wedding will most likely be in May 2012, so maybe we won't try August through Sept. or Oct. of 2011.

I understand the viewpoint of my family has to come first, but I know that my wife and her sister are really close right now. I also can see how in my family and their family how brothers and sisters have grown apart as they get older. This might be one of those relationship defining moments, and my wife is scared, and I believe rightfully so. It would definitely be awkward to bring up and uncomfortable to talk about.

Raymond, I appreciate the defense, but I don't think it was needed. I asked people to judge the situation, and I appreciate their thoughts. I asked for peoples opinions, and I am got them! Thank you though.

Everyone, thanks for the insight! It is interesting to note the prevailing group morals that Hatrackers exude!

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CT
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
It wasn't quite reaching a point I would consider rude, but a) lots of people were repeating the exact same advice, even people who had already responded, b) terminology was shifting from "nah, I wouldn't worry about it" to "man your sister-in-law is probably a bridezilla" without any further knowledge of the situation.

He asked for input. He got it. A while ago. I just think you can wait to see how he responds to the advice so far before repeating the same points another few times.

Hmmm. We must have been observing different conversations, but so be it. That's life in the big city.

---

Edited to add: RivaloftheRose, best wishes for all good things in the lives of you and yours! Keep us posted, if you like. [Smile]

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Raymond Arnold
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quote:
Hmmm. We must have been observing different conversations, but so be it. That's life in the big city.
It was this line that made me use the word "dogpile:"

quote:
If your sister-in-law has issues with your wife's hypothetical pregnancy she is probably a bridezilla.
Which was immediately followed up by a similar comment, which colored my interpretation of later comments. Obviously by now RivalOfTheRose has indicated he's fine with the tone of the thread, and I wasn't actually that worried to begin with. But in general, when 5+ people have posted mostly the same thing, I don't think it's necessary to reiterate the same points until someone has actually argued back. I haven't actually heard the term Bridezilla used by real people in real conversations before, maybe it's less derogatory than I thought. But it did seem like more of a personal attack than was warranted.
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CT
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Fair enough. [Smile]
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scholarette
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I was responding with bridezilla comment in response to people's claims that they could not believe any bride would be upset. I wasn't saying rival's sister was one, just that they do exist (though I did choose a word that indicated I don't think they have a right to care).

I will admit to a less than good, somewhat crazy reaction I once had. I had announced my baby at 4 weeks (not when I planned to but I was freaking out and told me mom who can't keep a secret if her life depended on it). 6 weeks later, my sister in law announced she was 4weeks pregnant. They had claimed they were not trying and then they said, oh we changed our mind and this was planned. I thought they were trying to steal my thunder. Yes, it is completely ridiculous to assume that someone would have a baby in order to make your baby less special, but I was pregnant and hormonal and a little crazy. And then to make me feel even worse, she miscarried. Obviously, my not wanting her to be pregnant didn't cause her to miscarry but I still felt awful. My sister in law got pregnant again a few months later and I was able to be happy for her. So, I can actually understand people being upset over a baby- I just also think it is a crazy reaction. I also apologized to a different sister in law when I got pregnant with my last baby because we had said we weren't trying and they had said they were and we got pregnant before them.

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Samprimary
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Bridezillas. Why did someone have to mention bridezillas!

Now I'm watching clips from the show Bridezillas.

Oh god.

Help.

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Samprimary
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iserIaPGwuo

these people exist. And, just for reference, this is a bridezilla!

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iserIaPGwuo

these people exist. And, just for reference, this is a bridezilla!

Not only do these people exist, I would guess that the woman who doesn't have some sort of melt down in the last few days before her wedding is pretty unusual. Getting married is a major life changing event that would be stressful under any circumstances. Add to that cultural expectations that the day be some sort of picture perfect fantasy, that the bride be the center of everyones attention and years of dreaming about and planning details and its not surprising brides often get so stressed they freak out over minor details.

I was, I believe, a very easy bride. Our wedding was in Utah, where both our parents lived, but my husband and I lived in Seattle. I let my Mom and sisters do most of the planning and agreed to pretty much anything they asked. I even let my Dad set the date.

The only thing I really did in preparation was to make my wedding dress. I designed it, fitted it, sewed. I spent dozens of hours sewing pearls in an intricate pattern around the neckline. Its probably vain of me to say so, but it is a really stunning wedding dress. The day before my wedding, I was doing the final pressing of the dress at my mother's house when her iron unexpectedly leaked rusty water all over the skirt and I had a total melt down. (Luckily my much calmer mother was able to get the stain out before it set).

Please tell me this does not make me a Bridezilla.

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CT
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My wedding was about as easygoing as it gets without actually doing without a ceremony at all. Partway into the reception, I disappeared. Walked down to the Safeway because we were running out of yeast rolls.

---

Added: Of course, for us (and at that time in our lives), it was the perfect wedding. Change any factor and YMMV.

[ January 05, 2011, 05:25 PM: Message edited by: CT ]

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Herblay
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The only major point that I can see would be travel. If the wedding is a good distance away, plane travel's generally not advised in the third trimester. That one point could really make you miss a wedding.
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steven
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I'm really starting to appreciate my ex-wife. She was totally cool as a cucumber leading up to and during the wedding. If anybody was emotional it was me, which isn't surprising.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
Please tell me this does not make me a Bridezilla.

Watch a couple of episodes of Bridezilla, then you tell me.

You can't just have the meltdown! i am watching people with underlying narcissism and a sense of entitlement go into full-out breakdowns during their wedding day EVERYTHING MUST BE PERFECT BECAUSE IT IS ALL ABOUT ~^*ME*^~ memememememe

http://www.wetv.com/video/42883555001/bridezillas-karens-freakout-moment

see? analyze that on a psychological level, it's amazing

and horrible

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mr_porteiro_head
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There is no way that I'd let somebody else's wedding ceremonies influence whether/when we tried to conceive a child.

But then, everybody in my family would understand if we couldn't make it to a wedding because of that.

And I'd never be able to maintain a friendship with somebody that would get bent out of shape about that sort of thing.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
And I'd never be able to maintain a friendship with somebody that would get bent out of shape about that sort of thing.

How about this mom? Could you stay friends with her?

http://29.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lei6tjKcJ61qzs4i4o1_500.jpg

[Big Grin]

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scifibum
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To be fair, that's from "mom and dad."

I'm sure they took turns with the pen and everything.

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rivka
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That card actually made me throw up a little in my mouth.

It would be enough proof to get the daughter out of a murder charge -- that would totally be justifiable homicide.

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advice for robots
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iserIaPGwuo

these people exist. And, just for reference, this is a bridezilla!

That was some crappy acting. Are they all like that?
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Samprimary
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I'd say only about half!
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Uprooted
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So I watched those 2 Bridezilla clips. There is a reason I never watch reality TV. How much of that behavior is the way they would act if there were no cameras following them around expecting such scenes for a TV show?

Yes, I realize that some people really do behave that badly. But staging a show around it? Disgusting.

(oh, and Rabbit, I've freaked out at rusty iron water on my clothes when no bridal gown was involved -- but my idea of "freak out" is very mild compared to those clips as I'm sure yours probably is as well.)

Rival -- best wishes!

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
There is no way that I'd let somebody else's wedding ceremonies influence whether/when we tried to conceive a child.

But then, everybody in my family would understand if we couldn't make it to a wedding because of that.

[Laugh]

I know you didn't intend it, but it basically sounds like your saying that you'd rather get laid than go to a wedding. And that if you stayed home having sex, your family would understand. [Big Grin]

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0Megabyte
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quote:
Originally posted by Uprooted:
So I watched those 2 Bridezilla clips. There is a reason I never watch reality TV. How much of that behavior is the way they would act if there were no cameras following them around expecting such scenes for a TV show?

Yes, I realize that some people really do behave that badly. But staging a show around it? Disgusting.

Yep. Observer effect. The simple fact of a camera being there changes a person's behavior. It's a problem with documentaries

I made one last year for class, so I saw it myself. And it was clear that the other students in my class observed it too, from our conversations.

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