Ok, I have been asked today by alot of people about my opinion on the whole Jennifer Wilbanks affair. I honestly had not really taken the time to just look it over and think about it. Now, having looked over the (reported) facts as well as taking into account the fiance's response, I believe I can comment on this.
First of all, congratulations to Minnesota. Ms. Wilbanks has now eclipsed the whole Audrey Seiler debacle. Still, Wilbanks "disappeared" in Duluth, Georgia, which ties to Duluth, Minnesota, which makes everyone remember Seiler. Hmmm, feels like Six Degrees of Fake Abductions.
All right, you can fall into two camps when it comes to Wilbank's fiance. He has come out and said: "Haven't we all made mistakes." (Thanks New York Daily News.) That's pretty stand up for a guy whose fiance felt that she had to fake an abduction rather than tell him, "I'm just not sure." Honestly, regardless of how this plays out, I am amazed at the lengths people will go to in order to avoid really hurting someone. So, here are the two sides you can be on now that the wedding is back on:
A. You can be amazed at the power of love and how Mason is willing to forgive Wilbanks. You can turn to your significant other and say, "I love you," because you realize that love has to be real if a people can get through trials like this for each other. You can look at what poets write about love and realize this is what they meant. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, no matter what they say, gets a feeling before they get married. Anyone who says they never felt even a tiny bit nervous is lying. Everyone questions their decisions. Marriage is a huge one. People will question whether or not they made the right choice for dinner. How can marriage be any different? This is why people talk about what they want before the wedding. Some people elope, others have ceremonies. That's why you have to talk about it.
Now, Mason could be saying all this because his wedding has over 600 guests and making a guess at how much it would cost, the wedding would be somewhere around 75,000-100,000 dollars. Could you walk away after spending that much cash? That's a house in Missouri, for example. Still, we should all be amazed at the control Mason is showing and how much he loves Wilbanks.
Not a fan of choice A, then how about B?
B. Mason is putting on a really good show. This is one of those situations where if Mason looks really good, then he essentially owns Wilbanks for the rest of their natural lives. Could you imagine?
Wilbanks: I can't believe you cheated on me! And with my Sister!
Mason: I'm sorry, should I have faked my abduction to do it?
How can she argue back? Of course, in a totally cynical world, this is what I see happening:
Mason forgives Wilbanks in a very public way. He gets the masses to see him as a sympathetic man. People wonder, "What the hell is he thinking? Doesn't he want revenge?" But Mason appears to push all of that out of his mind. He even invites Fox News and CNN to cover the wedding to show that all is well. Wilbanks relaxes, she thinks all is well. The sun rises on the morning of the wedding day. The news vans show up, the groom looks great, and all of the guests arrive. The ceremony starts with Wilbanks walking down the aisle in a gorgeous dress. She arrives to the altar and, after some brief words, she gives her vows. Mason listens, smiles, and then the priest asks him to speak his words. Mason turns to the crowd, the cameras, and then lashes out at Wilbanks in front of the entire world. He tells her that this is how he felt when she left. Embarassed, alone, ashamed. As he continues to dress her down, the people of the world who questioned his motives flicker a smile. This man has destroyed this woman forever in the eyes of society.
Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe he is a true southern gentleman. One southerner I know says that even if he was utterly furious, he would never show it to the world, because that's not what a good southern man does.
If he really does love her, then we can all take a major lesson away from this situation. How to forgive what is, to some, unforgiveable.
I am a pessimist and a cynic. If cheated on by someone you love, I believe that there really isn't a possibility of a second chance. Still, this is different. She tried to leave, not be with another man (so far as we know).
Still, let Mason be an example. Sometimes mistakes can be fixed or forgiven. Don't rush to judgement. Instead, look over the whole situation first, then decide. Love makes us do crazy things. Maybe Mason REALLY loves Wilbanks. That's what we should be asking, not what will he do now.