Revisiting Reality Shows: My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding

Twice this past month, I’ve gotten a notification from the fine folks at WordPress that my “stats were booming,” ie: a significant spike in visitors. By like, 400 percent.

Since I have been pretty sporadic about posting lately, I found that a bit odd and did some digging.

And what I found out is that it’s the gypsies that are doing it.

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The post that attracted hundreds of new visitors to the site for several days in July and August was this one from 2012: Reality TV Time: I Cannot Tear My Eye-Nipples Away from My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding.

Now, I’d like to think it’s that snazzy title with the incredibly SEO-friendly phrase “Eye-Nipples” that has led to all this PoeLog discovery. However, I think it’s probably much more likely tied to the fact that a season FIVE (??? Is that right? How can that be??) of My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding recently started up on July 17 on TLC, formerly “The Learning Channel” but which I rather affectionately call “Total Loose Cannons.”

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I have to admit, I have not kept up with my white-trash cousins, the American Romanichal. Somehow, over the years, I’ve lost touch on all the comings and goings of wee little gypsy Priscilla (she’s now a professional wrestler!) and her ne’er-do-well pappy Pat Baby (not surprisingly, he did some time at what Teresa Guidice would call “camp”). I have missed out on probably hundreds of gaudy yet spectacular Sondra Celli dresses made for under-aged brides with more makeup (and disposable cash) than common sense.

But, with the Olympic-sized absence of Bravo-sponsored reality TV in my life last week, I decided to pour myself a goblet of wine, don my best butt-bedazzled velour house pants, and give my blog readers what they want: like an 80-pound gypsy bride in an 80-pound dress, I carefully maneuvered my way back into My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding, ie: I watched the first two episodes OnDemand.

And wow, how I have missed this show. All of the essential trainwreck elements are still there: tangled family triangles (as well as quadrangles and any other geometric configuration you can think of), young girls with big dress dreams and impossible requests, young men who eskew normal wedding attire, fights – both the internal struggles against expected societal norms and actual drunken brawls. And divorce. Lots and lots of divorces, especially for a cultural group who insist that divorce is incredibly shameful and not an option.

Episode one (“Rotting Dresses and Candy Messes”) of this season involved two supposedly “nontraditional gypsy girls.” Eighteen-year-old Maquayla, has several jobs, including, alarmingly, as a makeup artist. Her would-be groom, however, has zero jobs. Maquayla, full of love in her heart, still intends to marry him and she wants a Sondra Celli dress made of real flowers.

Now, Sondra’s magical dress workshop is located near Boston. Maquayla lives in West Virginia. No way a dress made of perishable items is going to survive the 500-mile journey two days before the wedding. And, surprise, it does not. When the supposedly “refrigerated” truck pulls up in front of what looks to be the Days Inn, I can tell right away that that truck is not refrigerated and second, that that dress was not transported with love and care. The door opens to reveal a sad, wilted flower salad of a dress.

Maquayla calls Sondra Celli crying and Sondra Celli jumps into action, flying down to West Virginia with only one assistant and rebuilds the entire dress with only moments to spare. The wedding takes place in a literal field with cows and pigs in attendance. The groom and his groomsmen are wearing vests, ties, trucker hats and no shirts. Oh, and Maquayla tells us and her groom that she’s pregnant. So much for non-traditional.

TLC

Our other non-traditional gypsy girl is Yazzie and she’s celebrating her Sweet 16. The reason she’s non-traditional is that she’s secretly dating a gorger (a boy who is not a gypsy). His name is Anthony and it’s all really rather boring except for the fact that when Yazzie decides to honor her mother and her culture by breaking up with Gorger Anthony, she does it at a park. Then she skates off dramatically on a giant skateboard. It was pretty fantastic.

Favorite lines from episode 1:

  • “Everything was dead….my dream wedding dress was dead. And my dream gypsy flower wedding died with it.”–Maquayla
  • “My eyes wanted to cry and my stomach fell into my butt, but he was the picture of perfection.”—Maquayla
  • “I’ve never lost a dress and I’m not going to lose this one!”—Sondra Celli

Episode 2 (“Double Wedding From Hell”) cleared up for me why I had had so many visitors to that particular blog post—it was a catch-up with our old friends, Priscilla and Pat Baby.

We discover that Priscilla Kelly is now 18-years-old and is now a professional wrestler in Atlanta. She must be doing alright because she’s throwing herself a big, gypsy birthday party. But she’s torn on whether to invite her father, Pat Baby. Priscilla’s parents are recently divorced and cannot stand each other. Plus, Pat Baby has a way of acting out and she’s worried he’ll turn it into a “Pat Baby party,” which he totally does. He’s also pretty fond of embarrassing her in public, including at her wrestling matches where he becomes a creepy superfan.

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She does not invite Pat Baby and makes it clear that he is not invited. However, he somehow takes this as an invitation to just show up anyway. And he gets drunk, hangs all over his daughter, yells at his ex-wife, tries to take over the DJ tables and gets kicked out.

Our other story is, believe it or not, even more unbelievably disastrous. Cousins Stefanie, 19, and Amber-Lynn, 22, are in love with gypsy boys, Mike and Dustin and plan to have a double wedding. The only problem is, Stefanie’s sister, Chassity. She also happens to be Dustin’s ex and has a child with him. When we first meet her, she’s practicing her bb-gun skills, so we know she is no joke.

Chassity objects to the upcoming Amber-Lynn/Dustin wedding and along with her mother (Amber-Lynn’s aunt), vows to ruin the big day. She tries to break up the in-love couple, making it clear that she’s available and forgiving. When that doesn’t work, Chassity and her mother don black garb and attend the wedding, glaring at the couple throughout the brief ceremony and through the ghetto reception.

The reception is where things really start to unravel. Amber-Lynn’s ex-husband shows up to declare his love for her. Although Amber-Lynn kicks him out, her new groom believes there is more there. He calls her a whore, pushes a pregnant girl, gets in an all-out fight with all the other attendees, and the cops show up to break the reception up. The episode ends with the news that Amber-Lynn has gone back to her ex-husband.

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Favorite lines from episode 2:

  • “Nobody puts Pat Baby in a corner.”—Pat Baby
  • “My theme is 1920s Great Gatsby meets rave with a touch of gypsy bling.”—Priscilla
  • “She has no butt, no boobs. You’re going to get bored.”—Chassity
  • “Definitely curse this fucking wedding.”—Chassity

 

 

 

 

 

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Totally Random Search Terms for November

Guess what time it is? Well, perhaps it is indeed Hammer Time, somewhere, say in like, an alternative universe where Aresenio Hall is still cool, Bill Cosby’s only major crime is wearing ugly sweaters, and baggy-crotched satiny pants are the thing. Oh wait. Those pants are actually back. Allegedly.

No, it’s time for Totally Random Search Terms that Brought Someone to thePoeLog this month! For those who don’t remember, here’s a couple of posts that explain it.

This month was particularly interesting for two reasons. 1) I got a ridiculous number of people who found the blog while trying to solve the mystery of My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding. Well, not the mystery of how that show exists, but rather, a murder mystery that was totally mentioned and glossed over on one of the episodes. Someone was beyond passionately curious about what had happened to gypsy Baby Pat’s baby sister. As far as I can tell, that episode isn’t in heavy rotation or anything, so I have no idea why so many people were looking for that information in November.

The other weird outlier falls into the category I call perverts. I, along with a lot of the Internet, I’m sure, get a lot of folks who – well, let’s just say, they’re not here to read about my excellent eggplant parmigiana. But this past month, there was someone/something looking diligently for any information/pictures of Indian women going to the bathroom. All kinds of “going to the bathroom” activities. But very specifically, Indian women. Or Indian aunties. Or Indian girls.

I just can’t. I don’t even. I can’t.

I can't even.

Anyway. That seems like an incredibly awkward transition to the work at hand here: a Q&A using a small sampling of Totally Random Search Terms that Brought Someone to thePoeLog in November.

What to pack for 18 day vacation? – First of all, that is awesome. I’m totally jealous. No idea where you’re going but an 18-day vacation sounds amazing. Unless you’re going to like, Stolipinova in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Apparently, that place is not very nice. And it is the home to a whole bunch of Romani, as in GYPSIES, which would make me kinda excited, but the whole rubbish-lined stinky streets thing does put me off. And the violence.

But back to your question. I have spent many a sleepless night fretting over what to pack for a trip, as you can see here, here and here. Hopefully, this post helped you out a bit as well.

My most recent strategy (and one I’ll use for my upcoming trip to Italy) has been to take everything I wore today, yesterday, and the day before, toss them in a suitcase, add toiletries, clean undies, and a blazer, and go. At least then I know I’m taking stuff I actually wear, instead of inspirational, Pinterest-inspired nonsense.

Are the American Pickers worried about hantavirus? – Ah yes, the hantavirus. I remember this threat from the Summer of Disease Outbreaks. The Wikipedia informs us:

Human infections of hantaviruses have almost entirely been linked to human contact with rodent excrement, but recent human-to-human transmission has been reported with the Andes virus in South America.

We still regularly watch American Pickers around these parts, and I have to agree: with all the disgusting foraging those guys do in really questionably conditions, they should indeed be worried about getting a disease carried by rodent excrement. They should also worry about collapsing piles of trash. That show, while enjoyable, gives me the heeby-jeebies. I can’t handle hoarders, even in the name of “collecting.” Makes me itchy.

Wikipedia also suggests some ways to prevent contact with the hantavirus. I find the last one particularly reassuring:

General prevention can be accomplished by disposing of rodent nests, sealing any cracks and holes in homes where mice or rats could get in, setting up traps, laying down poisons or using natural predators such as cats in the home.

Maybe the American Picker guys should bring a cat along on their trips. Kitty cats + foraging through junk = ratings gold.

Is Judge Loren Lake a little person? – First of all, it’s Lauren Lake. Not Loren. Second, hmmm, that’s kinda rude, dontcha think? I agree completely with calling into question her experience and qualifications as a judge, but I don’t know why her stature is under question.

Although, she does look a bit shrunken behind that ginormous “Paternity Court” bench.

Judge Lauren Lake on Paternity Court

Best Vegas hotel bathrooms. – I have spent a lot of time in many Vegas hotel bathrooms. Wait. That sounds weird.

I’ve stayed in a fair number of Vegas hotels, and many of them had very nice bathrooms. I have not, however, stayed at every hotel, so I don’t know if I can be considered an authority on them.

Of the one’s I have enjoyed, I’d probably pick the Cosmopolitan, which I think definitely had the best hotel bathrobe I’ve ever experienced. I also really liked the lady silhouette wallpaper in the separate toilet area. Very chic. Oh, and the Venetian. That bathroom was amazing. And I haven’t written about it, but the Wynn had gorgeous bathrooms as well, if memory serves.

Luckily, there are other folks who have waded through the Strip powder rooms and come up with lists. I especially like this one from RefinedGuy.com. My favorite in his list is the Ivory Tower Suite bathroom at the Palms. I. Die.

Palms bathroom Las

Things to put on Facebook. – Well, if my feed is any indication, what people choose to put on Facebook are their idiotic rants about politics, race in America, immigration and guns, along with pictures of the same sunsets we all saw on our way home that day, and children in apple orchards/pumpkin patches/Christmas tree farms and the family pets. The truly surprising part is that it’s the exact same group of people posting in both of those categories. Sunsets and race in America. Same person. Weird.

You know, the first rule in writing is to know your audience. There’s no easier place to know your audience than on Facebook. They’re your family and friends. You should have a pretty good idea of their tolerance level for political rants and/or cutesy stuff. But at the end of the day, Facebook is social, so be social. Whatever that means to you. For most people, it means, don’t be annoying or provoke people into fighting with you. That’s not “social.”

And, we’re all adults. If we’re fed up with your “prescription for what’s wrong with America,” we’ll unfriend or block your posts. No biggie. I do it all the time.

So post whatever you want. Maybe even some nonsense on Indian women pooping in Vegas bathrooms while on an 18-day vacation.

ThePoeLog 2012 Christmas Gift Guide (You’re Welcome)

Christmas is coming, or so the Robertson’s on Duck Dynasty have told me (we just watched the Christmas special this past weekend). When it comes to Christmas, I personally believe everybody over 25 years of age should just buy their own crap. But, if you are looking for some great gift ideas, these all do the job pretty admirably.

Duck Dynasty Willie Robertson Chia Pet – From History Channel. $29.95. To make the DD fan in your house Happy, Happy, Happy. Provided they ain’t some Yuppy Boys and Girls.

chia willie

Real Housewives of Atlanta Kim’s Cushion Cut CZ Engagement Ring – From Bravo TV. $124.95. That’s pretty pricey for a fake ring, but you’ve got to understand: this ring was “inspired” by Kim’s engagement ring! And we all know that “The Ring Don’t Mean a Thing” (unless there’s an opportunity to make some cash on it. Then, it means $124.95.) I was hoping to find Kim’s wig line, but the website for that just takes you to the company blog. Since the line was announced in 2009, I guess you could say, “She’ll Be Tardy with the Wig Line.”

Kim's ring

Honey Boo Boo Ring – If you aren’t really feeling Kim’s ring, but are still on the lookout for some jewelry, head on over to Etsy, which brings its own brand of crazy to the Reality TV gift parade. Here, we have a ring featuring the likeness of our favorite pageant tyrant, Honey Boo Boo. Very creepy. Please note, the other items in this seller’s shop includes a ring featuring Lana Del Ray and the ladies of HBO’s Girls.

Honey Boo Boo Ring

Red Neck Slip and Slide – From Here Comes Honey Boo Boo on TLC. They’re not actually selling one, which is a missed opportunity in my opinion. However, one only needs to procure a tarp, baby oil and/or dish soap, and a hose for an afternoon of summer fun and rashes.

Cuffs by Lynne – From Lynne Curtin Designs. Prices vary. Remember Lynne on Real Housewives of Orange County? She was one of our favorites, primarily because of her side business, a line of really awful cuffs that basically involved hot gluing rhinestoned fleur de lis’ onto plastic cuffs bought at the nearest Michael’s and selling them for around $169. That girl was a hoot. We miss her craziness.

cuffs by lynne

Moonshiners Haute Hillbilly Wine Glass – Large – From Discovery Channel. $14.95. While this is a fine and fancy drinking vessel, it doesn’t come with a high faulutin’ price tag. And it’s got a lid, so you can protect your drink from dust and flies while you’re hiding out in the woods making your white lightening. You’re obviously gonna want a large.

moonshiner glass

Swamp People Choot ‘Em Candle – From History Channel. $19.95. I cannot improve upon the product description: “Their motto is no guts, no gators, but with guts comes a whole lot of stench. The Swamp People Choot ‘Em Candle. The Candle is named “pond scum”, but luckily the bayou tinted candle smells of bamboo, teak, and Spanish moss.”

Swamp people candle

Bear Grylls Ultimate Fixed Blade Knife – From BearGryllsStore.com. On sale for $62. Man Vs. Wild is no longer on the air, but Bear Grylls still needs to pay his mortgage. And skin random animals found out in the plains, hence this line of knives.

I hadn’t really thought much about ol’ Bear since his show ended, but I recently received his Survival Extreme catalog at our house. No idea how or why, but….. It. Is. Priceless. It’s got jackets and GPSs and coffee mugs and all sorts of survival gear, modeled by Grylls himself. The women’s wear is particularly hilarious. There’s a women’s section including a woman on page 30 wearing a dress. A dress. In a survival catalog. Whatever. Don’t worry about Bear though, he’s getting a new show on NBC.

Do NOT take fashion advice from this guy. Please.
Do NOT take fashion advice from this guy. Please.

 

Cape Crown Rhinestone Tiara – From Rhinestones.com. $177. 25. This one is a bit pricey (almost as much as a Cuff by Lynne), but it’s actually a multi-use item. You could wear it, obviously, while hanging out with the Honey Boo Boo clan, or any of the Real Housewives. You could wear it to a Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding.

Tiara

But you could also wear it with my newest obsession, Lilly from Shah’s of Sunset. She’s a Persian princess and seems like she appreciates a good tiara. And she’s an attorney! And she founded her own line of fake eyelashes! And a swimwear line! Kate Middleton, move over.

Lilly

Reality TV Lover Degree – From Amazon. $13.99. They call it a novelty item, but I fail to see the novelty in spending hundreds of hours watching really awful and entertaining programming.

Reality TV Time: I Cannot Tear My Eye-Nipples Away from My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding

Sometimes I think that Britain does things better. It’s the home of Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood. All my favorite 80s and 90s bands were British. The Daily Mail really is the best newspaper in the world, hands down. And they really know how to do the whole majestic pageantry thing. They’ve got a princess for crying out loud!

I died when I saw her in this Jenny Packham dress this week. The color! The lace! The tiny bit of waist-bling!

Then, I watch a show like My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding, and well, my patriotism is restored.

Listen up Britain: Nobody does trashy like America. Y’all shouldn’t even try. You should just take your regular ol’ Irish travellers and go home already.

MBFAGW is the American spin-off of the British show, My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, which I enjoyed very much when it aired on TLC last year.

We stumbled upon MBFAGW and watched the first episode, which was fine and good. But then, last night we watched the second episode on our DVR and holy trailer park, it was amazing.

In episode 2, we meet 14-year-old Priscilla, a gorgeous and mighty mature-looking young gypsy girl in Douglasville, Georgia who is on the hunt for a husband so she won’t end up an old maid by 18. Even better, we meet Priscilla’s father, Pat Baby, who is throwing his daughter the world’s best Halloween party so she can meet her future husband.

Priscilla tells the camera how she really wants to get married and stay home to take care of a husband. She tells us this while she cleans these enormous, gaudy porcelain figurines. These things look like they might have been designed for Versaille. But they’re in a trailer. My co-TV-commentator XFE cracked, “Taking care of a husband? More like taking care of a trailer full of knick knacks.”

Yes, I had to take pictures of my TV. Because otherwise, who would believe me?

Pat Baby, we learn, is a paver, which the narrator tells us is a skill passed down through generations. This actually involves spraying asphalt over gravel. Not really seeing the whole artisan aspect to this endeavor, but ok. Pat Baby, by the way, LOVES his job. He’d really rather not be doing anything else.

Priscilla orders her dress from the Dressmaker to the Gypsy Stars in Boston. She talks about how she wants to be a “human light bulb” and proclaims her love for “Skurotsky” crystals. And pink. Lots of shades of pink. The dressmaker doesn’t let Priscilla and Pat Baby down. When she sees her dress, Priscilla proclaims, “I want to kiss it.” Pat Baby, meanwhile, exclaims, “It makes me wish I was a cross dresser.” Then, they take the dress out for a walk. On the streets of Boston. And along the River Charles.

We also get a glimpse of Priscilla’s “dance outfit,” which Pat Baby assures us is “risqué, but tasteful….highly tasteful.” When Priscilla’s mother Lou Ann sees the outfit later in the show, she exclaims that the slutty outfit, “brings out the pureness of her soul inside and out.” Pat Baby also expresses interest in trying on the rhinestone covered, heart-cutout, high-heeled boots. Man, these gypsy men are quite comfortable with their masculinity.

Quick reminder: This girl is 14.

When they return to Georgia, it appears that Pat Baby’s sister has died. And, it’s a suspected murder. And, that’s it. That’s all we ever hear about that. Pat Baby, while holding a Michelob Light, sobs at his sister’s hay-covered grave (why hay?) at a cemetery that has, I’m not kidding, a pay-day-loan billboard right outside the entrance. Pat Baby vows to throw the best Halloween party ever in dedication to his sister. Oh, by the way, our Gypsy Joe Dirt already has a brand new, memorial tattoo of his sister’s name on his forearm.

So that right there is a pay-day-loan billboard advertisement right outside the cemetery.

Speaking of tattoos, it’s time for Pat Baby to get his Halloween costume together. He’s going as a swashbuckling pirate, so, of course, he needs another tattoo. When Priscilla questions the logic of getting a permanent tattoo for a temporary event, Pat Baby says, “Of course I want to do this! It makes a statement!” It does, indeed. And that statement is that you are kray-kray.

According to Pat Baby, the liquor store, not Disneyland, is the happiest place on earth.

Pat Baby also prepares for the party by going to his “favorite place in the world, the liquor store” to buy a few cases of vodka, rum and some beer.

Meanwhile, Priscilla’s mother is, of course, having a hard time locking down a party venue. Maybe because she keeps telling everyone how rowdy things are likely to get and how untrustworthy her people are. Might want to keep that on the down low, Lou Ann. She lets us know that her crowd has been banned from a few funeral homes.

The party goes off very well. Priscilla is dazzling and her dress is the envy of all the other gypsy girls and their mothers. Her makeup is, suitably over-the-top. She focuses pretty heavily on the eye makeup, because “Somebody told me the eyes are the nipples of the face.” Yep. Eyes. Nipples on your face. And they need to be made up.

Priscilla has vayjazzled her eye nipples.

I literally do not have the words. Just think about that. So, if your eyes are the nipples of your face, what does that make one’s mouth? NEVERMIND. I take that back.

Anyway, it’s a successful party, in part because Priscilla also meets a very good-looking, nice-smelling boy (those were her criteria for a husband) so hopefully we’ll see the actual wedding later this season.  And more eye-nipple makeup.

“I believe nipples are the windows to your soul.”

Sharks, Butt Slashers, Gypsies: Just A Normal Wednesday

There’s been a lot of interesting news out there lately that I feel compelled to comment on.

Let’s just get the scariest stuff out of the way. Australia is apparently still intent on trying to scare the bejesus out of me.

I quite clearly stated in my resolutions list the other day that “I will not get eaten by sharks in Australia.”

Mmmm, I like me some scared Poe. Get in my belly!

But it seems, Australian sharks are already chomping at the bit to chomp on some Poe toes. According to Fox News (and several other outlets):

Scientists have discovered the world’s first hybrid sharks in Australian waters, with multiple generations of the new creature found along the nation’s east coast.

Lemme just summarize here and help you all read between the lines: Australian sharks are actually mutating themselves into some sort of super shark capable of swimming over to the east coast of Australia where I will be innocently scuba diva-ing (What is the active verb of scuba dive? Is it just “diving?” That sounds right.)

See, before this disturbing news, hungry Australian sharks were a bit limited geographically. But not anymore.

Scientists say the discovery of interbred sharks could signal the presence of new “tropical” sharks in waters as far south as Sydney, The Australian reported.

Holy toothmarks, I’M going to be in Sydney!!

The new shark is a hybrid of the genetically distinct Australian blacktip, whose range extends north from Brisbane, and the larger common blacktip found in southeastern coastal waters.

The scientists say interbreeding between the two shark species is a sign the animals are adapting to climate change and they also warn that hybridization could make the sharks stronger.

Stronger!!?? How much stronger does a shark need to be? They’ve already got that whole “rows-of-super-sharp-teeth,” natural killing machine advantage over me. And, even though they just got started, these special Poe nibbling sharks outnumber me already.

Fifty-seven of the marine animals were found along a 1,243-mile (2,000-km) stretch between northern New South Wales and far north Queensland, with Ovenden calling the discovery “unprecedented.”

I cannot fight off 57 sharks. I’m just gonna put that out there. I’m pretty sure I can’t even fight off one shark, unless the smell of grown woman urine in the water somehow puts sharks off. Because I will pee myself, is what I’m promising here.

Also on my resolutions list? Do “not stab anyone in the bootie (or anywhere else).” I should have said I also want to avoid getting stabbed in the bootie, a resolution that will be made even easier by the fact that the Virginia Butt Slasher has fled the country.  My friend Kelly sent me this important news bulletin:

A man sought in a bizarre series of buttock slashings that targeted young women at busy Fairfax County shopping malls has fled to his native Peru, police said Wednesday.

Authorities are exploring whether Johnny D. Guillen Pimentel, 40, can be extradited to stand trial in the United States, but he has not been taken into custody, said Lucy Caldwell, a county police spokeswoman.

Caldwell said that Guillen Pimentel arrived in Peru about mid-December but that it was unclear whether he had gone there directly from the United States or how he had left this country. He is believed to be staying in Lima, the nation’s capital.

Alright then, let’s get that extradition ball a-rollin’! This man needs to be punished to the full extent of the long arm of the law. Let’s not forget the victims here: women across Northern Virginia with scars on their posteriors.

Also, the whole incident has earned Pimental a catchy new nickname:

Guillen Pimentel’s arrival in Peru generated headlines in a number of media outlets, which dubbed him a “corta nalgas,” or buttocks slasher.

Not on my resolutions list but totally should be: Crashing a gypsy wedding. Well, we might be able to make that one happen this year.

My friend Linda sent me this story a couple of weeks ago.

First the armadillos were coming to D.C., now the gypsies have hit our fine city. And they’re hanging out in the snootiest part of D.C. – Georgetown.

Suddenly, the small, cluttered clothing and accessories store became overwhelmed by a group of women, half a dozen of them, either pregnant or with little children, all speaking in a thick accent she discerned as Irish. They were so intense they scared her, especially when they began to tear through her clothing racks.

Y’all know I love me some gypsies. They’re like my Irish or Roma white trash cousins. And like me, they love to frequent our fair city’s fine boutiques. And…Betsy Johnson stores.

Mo Aliyan, a manager at Betsy Johnson, says the hits by the Irish groups started “in the past four or five months.” He says they come often, “maybe once a week, a group as large as seven, and they range in age from 9 years old to 60 years old. They are either pregnant or have children with them.” Like Johnson, he describes them as having long hair and Irish accents, and adds, “You would notice them a mile away from the way they dress.”

Yep, sure can. They dress a little, shall we say, provocatively.

Gurl, can we get some fries with that shake??

I love how terrified all these Georgetown boutique owners are of these girls.

He calls them “professional criminals,” but says that so far, “none of the ready-to-wear has gone missing,” perhaps because store staffers are usually able to catch them before that happens. “We’ve never had to call the police because we have a security guard. They know not to mess with us,” he says.

Sometimes they do shop, paying with cash or credit cards. What’s always the same is that they arrive as a posse, loud and chaotic. “The first time they came, in I was so scared because there are so many of them,” Krista Johnson recalls. “They scream at you, and the babies scream.”

I’m dying to know if they are hitting up any bridal boutiques.

Funny sidenote: When you Google “Irish travellers in DC,” the first thing that pops up is a TripAdvisor Forum thread that says “Irish Travellers need holiday itinerary hints.” Suggestions include forests, wineries (not sure that’s a good idea), Myrtle Beach, Outer Banks, Atlanta, Savannah, Charleston, basically, anywhere BUT DC.

Reality Time: My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding

(EDIT: Hmmmm, looks like I’m having some photo issues. I do apologize. Everything looks fine in wordpress, but jacked on the page. Bummer. )

I’m at the wedding of this lovely couple this weekend. Aren’t they cute?

This wedding has a lot to live up to. Why is that, you ask? Because for me, the bar for all future weddings has been set. And it’s been set quite high. You see, the only weddings I want to attend are the gypsy kind.

Please understand:  I do not watch wedding shows. I’m not even a fan of actual weddings, for the most part. BUT. My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding has started to slowly thaw my chilly opinion of weddings. It’s over-the-top, crazy, and surrealistic in scale. And oh so glittery.  

Now, I don’t know a whole lot about gypsies. I know they are a superstitious and crafty bunch, who spend a lot of time around horses (quite a lot of them are supposedly good trainers), and live on the outskirts of society to some extent. In some cases, they’re thieves, supposedly. I knew that the old lady gypsies are way into putting curses on people who don’t buy clothes pins from them (a fact recently relayed to me via my friend Emilia). So, you know, pretty much the Hans Christian Anderson version of gypsies. Or Cher, ala “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves” (you can’t see this, but I’m doing my Cher impersonation right now, complete with hair tossing and tongue in cheek.)

But I had no idea about their wedding customs. Holy Cinderella Complex. It’s like a cross between “Toddlers & Tiaras” and “Jersey Shore.”

Here’s the description from TLC:

“My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding paints a visually arresting portrait of the secretive, extravagant, and surprising world of gypsies and travelers in Britain today. The weddings are visual spectacles: brides and their families compete to have the most flamboyant dresses; girls parade into church in enormous dresses that sometimes weigh more than the bride herself. Although the women look sexually provocative there is a tradition of premarital chastity that is increasingly unusual in Britain today.”

To say these women look sexually provocative is the understatement of the year. To watch them dance in the skimpiest of outfits at the wedding and bachelorette parties is to instinctively pull out your wallet and fish for dollar bills. It’s pretty amazing.

And the cakes? Ree-donku-lous. Huge. Just huge. Buddy from Cake Boss better up his game.

One of my favorite episodes involved a non-gypsy bride named Sam. Since she was marrying into the tribe, she had to be even more outlandish and big than the normal bride. Her huge pink pouff of a dress included lights (!) and animatronic butterflies. Here’s a TLC description:

“The veil and dress were studded with fiber-optic lights for extra shimmer, and mechanical butterflies fluttered on the bodice. Brides always light up a room, but Sam upped the ante with her illuminated dress … even if that meant that her mother had to trail her all evening with a fire extinguisher in case of a dress disaster.”

It’s not at all uncommon for these girls (average age: 17) to get scars on their hips from where the corsets holding up these 200-pound dresses are cutting into them. It’s like, modern-day Chinese foot bandaging or something.

Another episode featured bridesmaids dresses that laced up in the back like pirate wenches costumes. I’ve been to some Catholic ceremonies and my understanding it you can’t have uncovered shoulders – these girls have heaving and ample busoms on full display. Even the little girls are wearing this stuff! I’m telling you, this scene is crazy! Here’s what TLC says:

“Although many cultures encourage understated elegance for the bride’s attendants, gypsies embrace over-the-top, overtly sensual gowns in wild colors to enhance the party-hard theme of the evening (Pippa Middleton’s dress would likely be scoffed at). Some of the most popular hues for gypsy attendant-wear include fire engine red, coral, purple and the hottest of pinks.”

 

And there’s no explanation of where the money comes from for these extravaganzas. From what I can tell, gypsies are like my trailer park trash cousins, but with traditions. They live in trailers. The men seem to have very blue-collar jobs (no hedge fund managers or doctors or anything). They’ve got tons of kids. And the wives don’t work. So no clue where they get the money for all this bling.

All I know is: Suzanne’s dress better light up or this whole wedding is going to be very disappointing.