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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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!

Kate
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.”

Figurines and vases
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.

Gypsy street walkers

Gypsy river walker

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.

Risque but tasteful
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.

Cemetery advertising
So that right there is a pay-day-loan billboard advertisement right outside the cematery.

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.

Happiest place on earth for a gypsy
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.

Gypsy liquor store haul

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.

Eyes are the nipples of the face
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.

Gypsy Love
“My what big eye-nipples you have!”

Do Residuals from the Green Mile and Lost Really Pay that Much?

EDITED 10 SECONDS AFTER POSTING: ALL RIGHT! I’m working on getting some bigger pictures up! UGH. sorry for my lame photo editing/stealing skills.

OK, let me start by saying I know this story is kinda old. It’s not like I picked up an issue of The Day Old News and just heard about this. As a loyal Twitter follower of all gossip outlets, I of course knew about the marriage of 51-year-old actor Doug Hutchison and 16-year-old singer Courtney Stodden weeks ago.

"Now you are mine evermore" - (did you catch the Poe reference?)
 But I got a special request to blog on this from this lady.  When the Klem first asked me to blog on, I responded, “great idea, but it’s kinda old news. Plus, I was thinking about writing a riveting post today about mosquitoes.” (BTW, don’t think you’ve escaped that thought-provoking and informative rant. It’s a’comin’.)

Then, I was at my favorite nail salon at lunchtime and what was on E! News? These two publicity hogs. (Has anyone else who knows me in real life noticed how tame I am on the cussing on this blog? I cannot explain it, but when writing, I do not have the trucker’s mouth that has endeared me to so many). Anyway, it was an amazing interview. I was totally transfixed. And I knew that it was a sign. I must weigh in.

One big happy, creepy family.

Let me start by saying that for me to start passing judgment on these two would make me the Dean of the University of Hypocrisy at Pot-Calling-Kettle-Black. I met my ex-husband mere months before my 18th birthday. I was married by 21, divorced by 24. Aaaannnd, he was 15 years older than me. So we had a lot in common, as you can imagine.

And my own little sister got married at the ripe ol’ age of 16-years-old. (You can get mad if you want to sis,) but it was a pure white trash production, held in the front yard of our trailer, and complete with parental consent (provided by my mom, of course), fake flowers, and dogs running loose.

So I have some background in child bride-age.  There are a couple of other reasons I should probably hold my tongue. First, kudos to you Doug Hutchison, you look pretty good for 51. But you’re still a creeper, son.

Second, I am only ½ convinced that our little blushing bride Courtney is in fact 16-years-old. Yes, I know her parents attest to it, and yes, she showed a copy of her birth certificate on E!, but like a stubborn member of the anti-Obama Birther Movement (it’s a copy but where’s the original?? Why doesn’t it say “live birth” on it??),  I call BS.

I totally think she’s a 36-year-old divorcee, real estate agent from Boca Raton who is pretty good at karaoke when she has a few glasses of Chablis in her, and thinks she could have a singing career if she could just find the right coattails to ride to LA on.  And, I think her parents are in on the lie in order to help her “career.” That’s just my feeling on the matter. Facts be damned. Keep those pesky facts outta my way.

Oh, and she was a virgin until marriage? Riiiiiight.
 

And then she says immature crap like this, and I think, well, maybe she is 16.

“And how does she respond when other women call her a slut? “It’s kind of funny, because if a woman doesn’t call me that when I walk by, I think I need to go home and redo my hair because I don’t look as good as I did when they call me that,” she admits.”

My prediction right now is that Courtney will get a bit of a career going, what with her singing and all, probably a few cameos on some really lame shows, like a trophy wife (way to stretch those acting muscles, hon) on “Franklin & Bash,” and a spread in Playboy. Then, she’ll ditch Hutchison because he’s jealous of her success and smothering her, and eventually, she’ll end up a top star with Vivid Features (that’s a porn company for you non-Howard Stern watchers). Hutchison, of course, will crawl back to her and manage her new porn career, while trying to relaunch his own by appearing on “Celebrity Rehab,” where he will cry and moan over his “Lost” love. (see what I did there?)

The one thing I can say is about these two is that it really must be love, because Hutchison isn’t exactly super famous or rolling in the dough. He’s barely a celebrity. As hot as she is, (and damn! She’s like sex walking) she probably could have held out for a real sugar daddy, Anna Nicole style.

So good luck, you two crazy kids! Enjoy the ride!