May 03, 2005

How a *Man* Lives

I LIKE THIS John Mason guy we've all been hearing about in the papers.

This particular Mr Mason is not the John Mason who announces for the Detroit Pistons basketball squad, but rather the John Mason from Georgia whose fiancee got cold feet and fled town before their wedding. As we all know, her disappearance sparked a nationwide media frenzy.

Yet despite this, Mr Mason (from Georgia) has announced to the world that he STILLLLLL wants to MARRRRRRRRY Ms Jennifer Wilbanks, even though she -- well, for God's sake, she ran out on their wedding. My God. Anyway, here is Mr Mason's reaction to the events, according to the Associated Press:

The jilted groom whose bride-to-be ran away four days before their wedding still wants to marry fiancee Jennifer Wilbanks, saying, "Haven't we all made mistakes?"

"Just because we haven't walked down the aisle, just because we haven't stood in front of 500 people and said our I Do's, my commitment before God to her was the day I bought that ring and put it on her finger, and I'm not backing down from that," John Mason said Monday in an interview with Fox News' Hannity & Colmes show. ...

... Mason said he has given the 32-year-old Wilbanks her ring back she had left it at the house and said they still planned to marry.

Now this, I would submit, is how a man acts when he faces an admittedly awkward and tough situation. Really, now. This guy had just been through an absolute nightmare. Yet he's not judgmental, he's not embittered, he still loves his fiancee and he's ready to let bygones be bygones -- unless the local authorities press charges against his fiancee, in which case Mr Mason is going to be the first to defend her honor.

This is astonishingly chivalrous of Mr Mason and I think he should be applauded for his devotion and fidelity.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at May 3, 2005 10:26 PM | TrackBack

If by "devotion" and "fidelity," you mean "idiocy" and "naivete," then yeah, I'm right with you. I'm sorry, but I would have an awfully difficult time trusting someone who didn't respect me enough to talk about how they felt. This wasn't a flight of fancy, or a quick runaway -- she planned this out, and then furthered the deception with the fake kidnapping story. Loyalty is one thing, but this just extends into the ill-advised.

Posted by: Geoff Brown at May 4, 2005 12:31 PM

Yeah, Ben, I'm with Geoff on this one. There's an old saying: Go into marriage with your eyes wide open, then, when you're married, keep them half closed (or something like that).

Yes, we should overlook petty flaws in our spouses, but we should look at our POTENTIAL spouses very critically. Marrying the wrong person can create decades of hardship, not just for the spouses, but also for children.

The fact is Mason did NOT marry Wilbanks when he put that engagement ring on her finger. The commitment takes place at the wedding, the sacrament -- which is why you would invite 600 people to come watch the ceremony in the first place. Engagement is a time for scrutiny and reflection, to make sure that this really is a wise lifelong commitment to make.

And if the fiancee is someone of questionable sanity, someone who fakes abductions, and if communication is so poor that the groom and bride can't even discuss their concerns in an intelligent way -- guess what, this is not a wise, lifelong commitment to make.

If Mason is a real man -- not just a guy with a sentimental attachment to a love lost -- he won't subject his future children to growing up in this sort of dysfunctional situation.

If nothing else, he should demand some heavy-duty counseling before tying the knot.

Posted by: Chris Weinkopf at May 4, 2005 03:47 PM

I'm with them. You come across as a chivalrous guy and I understand the point you are trying to make, but you are veering into hopelessly romantic territory.

Jennifer Wilbanks isn't a frightened, bullied teen; she's a 32 year old, grown woman. It is inconceivable that an adult would do something this bizarre to another adult whom she presumably loves enough to marry. She showed absolutely no respect for his pride or feelings, nor any consideration for the literally hundreds of people who were not only inconvenienced but doubtless worried sick by her actions.

She is either a deeply immature drama queen or someone who has serious mental problems. In either event, John Mason should be thankful he dodged a bullet and get out of it, rather than stick with her. Think about it - would you really feel comfortable with someone who is capable of pulling a stunt like this as the mother of your children?

The men and women who stay with their spouses after accidents resulting in paralysis; those who stay through Alzheimer's, etc. are the people who deserve your respect for their loyalty. I agree with the comment above that loyalty and blind stupidity are not the same thing, and that John seems to be demonstrating more of the latter than the former.

Posted by: Nancy at May 4, 2005 11:11 PM

Good points all. I would certainly not disagree with Mr Mason should he decide in future not to marry Ms Wilbanks. I just hate to see the guy get derided as a schlub for sticking to his decision, even if it is a schlub-like act.

One would think he knows her quite well and as such has reasons, unknown to us, for deciding to stick with getting married. Is it a bad idea for him to do that? From what I know at this point, it certainly seems like one. But it is not a certainty that things will work out badly in future. And since he has made his decision, I don't see the point in condemning the guy for it.

Posted by: Benjamin Kepple at May 5, 2005 03:36 PM

I'm torn on this one. On the one hand, it heartens me to see that a man has so much fidelity that he'd stand by his fiance in the face of something so crazy. I do believe that she needs people to stand by her right now.

But let's face it, she didn't just "runaway." She told people that she'd been kidnapped. That adds a whole new level of crazy, in my opinion. I think it also shows a histrionic personality.

There's a fine line between faith and stupidity. He's on that razor's edge.

Posted by: Right Thinking Girl at May 6, 2005 09:39 AM

It's not really condemnation, per se, Ben. I believe that people should have the right to make stupid decisions. Doesn't mean he's not making a stupid decision.

Posted by: Geoff Brown at May 7, 2005 01:49 PM

I think she's a lunatic and he's an idiot.

Posted by: red at May 9, 2005 01:06 PM