A conversation on TLC’s My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding

Melea: Watchin gypsies fight on TLC…crazy stuff.
Me: Omg that show I can’t even!!
Me: I want to do a masters-level thesis on them.
Her: You need Ph.D. hours for that mess. Outta complete control
Me: I have watched every episode. I have so many questions, like:
What do the men do for work?
Do the Roma gypsies and the Irish travellers get along?
How prevalent is alcoholism and domestic violence?
When did spray tanning become a part of the culture??
Her: Good questions. I saw where the men do random labor jobs, but I don’t see how they get them. I hear the alcholism and DV is pretty prevalent, not sure if thats true. I wanna know where they get the funds to pay for these elaborate functions? Why do all the women dress like Slutty Bo Peeps with bright colored corsets and such? I’m mesmerized.
Me: The sommelier at my restaurant is Irish. I asked him, “What’s the first thing you think of when you think of gypsies?”
“Thieves. They will steal the shirt off your back. Don’t trust them.”
Her: Damn… bad rep
Me: He said he would liken them to how we view people in the projects. Only that they steal from you and leave town before you’ve realized it.
What I find interesting about the way the girls dress is how chaste the culture is. You can’t even go on a date without a chaperone.
Her: Right, but the chicks at the weddings looks so slutty.. odd huh? Look what I found.
Her: Yup… if you watch on TLC, a banner scrolls across the bottom asking “Are you a part of the US traveller community?” as in…if so, contact someone at the network for the US spin-off.
Me: I did hear that but I guess I blocked it out because it didn’t compute to me. Sweet lord! Have you seen the “grabs” yet?
Her: Grabs? No, whats that?
Me: Culturally-condoned sexual assault.
Her: Wow… but “it means they like them and are interested”… she says with a scared face and watching her back.
Me: At their friend’s wedding, she is grabbed and they get it on film and it’s just as rapey as it sounds. And the worst part is that her cousin just walks away saying, “Oh, she’s fine. She can handle it.” as this guy has her trapped against a wall.
Me: Here’s some different girls getting grabbed.
Her: I just saw a vid on youtube… that mess is scary. *shook up*
Me: Academic inquiry, girl. Academic inquiry.

About J.

A former twentysomething with a head full of curls and heart full of questions wondering: when we get to nirvana, will there be food?
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2 Responses to A conversation on TLC’s My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding

  1. Esther says:

    hi! You get Gypsy Wedding programmes where you are too (Canada, right)? I find the traveller culture and way of life so very interesting. It’s sad they get such a bad reputation because at the end of the day, they are just people (but that’s me, championing the underdog, as ever). They are very secretive about how they make their money, even amongst each other apparently, which adds to their mystique (and my curious fascination)! And don’t get me started on the ‘grabbing,’ it’s so culturally perverse to me. There is a very serious side to it, particularly from an outsider’s point of view. That kind of activity would attract a law suit. It was great to read your conversation, thanks for sharing it. Warmest wishes.

    • J. says:

      My heart is in Canada but my body is in California 😉

      Yeah, Gyspy Wedding just started here, maybe a week ago. I’ve seen 3 episodes. For Americans (and I’d imagine it’s the same for Canadians), this isn’t a culture that we know so the entire thing is completely fascinating. I think one of the things I find really interesting about it is the fact that, clothes aside, these gypsies look just like “regular people” and yet they consider themselves so apart. So much difference and subculture here is predicated on race. I’m not really sure where I’m going with that; it’s just interesting.

      I love it so far. I hope they find a way to explain more of their history.

      And I’m with you on championing the underdog. I’ve always said it was because I was born on Cinco De Mayo, a Mexican holiday celebrating the battle of Puebla, when the outnumbered Mexican army defeated the French.

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