Married By America

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When marriage is its own penalty

Back at BJ and Tony's, they are enjoying what appears to be a peaceful post-pastor dinner. She tells him in her sweet little-girl voice that she was really upset that the panel asked her whether she loved him the other night, because it "took the words away" from her so she couldn't surprise him on her wedding day. "But I wanted to tell you," she says, looking at him earnestly, "that I love you." He looks vaguely ill, as usual. She tells him that she's not asking him to tell her he loves her back (even though she totally is). She says that she realizes she wears her heart on her sleeve, but then insists that, in fact, she fights off her feelings, which I guess means that if she weren't showing so much restraint, she would have married him against his will on the day they met. "I want you to trust me," she says, essentially telling him that he should ignore his doubts and marry her because she's sure it will all be fine. She doesn't realize, I guess, that her certainty and determination to go forward is not exactly a selling point for him right now. She interviews about how brave it was of her to tell him she loved him, and to prove her point, she tells him she loves him again. "I'm not in love with you," he tells her plainly, to which she gives a knowing nod, saying, "I know that," as if she doesn't mind. "It pains me that I can't return your feelings right now," he says. She assures him that it doesn't matter, that it will all work out, and that he needs to not worry. She has adopted a tone of what I think she believes to be reassuring placidity, which I think reads as a ridiculous level of denial, not to mention a complete failure to grasp what he's actually telling her. She continues to believe that his issue is that he really does love her, and he's just afraid to let himself love her. The fire in the fireplace gives me the strange and fleeting thought that being inside the fireplace, roasting slowly like a ham, would probably be more comfortable than being in their conversation.

Jill and Kevin are finishing dinner when a big silver dome is delivered to their table. Jill acts like it was the funniest and most unexpected thing in the world when, instead of dessert, the dome was full of -- an invitation! Can you believe that? Stunning, the originality of having something other than food hidden under the silver dome brought to the dinner table. I've never seen that done anywhere except, you know, Bugs Bunny cartoons. The invitation tells the couples (we see BJ and Tony get theirs, too) that they are to be separated from now until the wedding -- the guys have to leave now so that there's no chance that they'll discuss what they're going to do at the wedding and ruin the surprise. In fact, I halfway suspect that they specifically ran the guys out of the house in response to their fear that Tony was about to do something crazy like taking BJ off the hook by telling her he wasn't going to marry her. BJ watches miserably as Tony packs. Oh, the humanity! Kevin says that it was very hard to say goodbye to Jill. "I don't like saying goodbye," he says. "Never have." Yeah. Even as a child, he always cried when his mom dropped him off. Probably through about eighth grade, I'm thinking. Tony takes about three hours to say that he and Billie Jeanne are used to having each other around, so being without her will seem "weird."

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Married By America




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