Being engaged is a little bit like being a certain religion or a nationality. You don't think of yourself as An Engaged Person—you're just a person!—but other people see you as belonging to a group, and it would be kind weird if you went around denying it, so there you are: You're in it. Therefore, when someone of Your Kind, or a group that represents you, does some hideous thing, people tell you about it, and you feel both embarrassed and vaguely responsible. Kind of like when the Virginia Tech shooting happened, and many Korean-American groups were like: Shit. That's how I felt when I heard about BridesDecide.com. The site, which is run by The Knot and is decorated with a graphic of a red, white and blue bouquet, urges brides who are too busy planning their weddings to read the paper or watch CNN to "get engaged in the 2008 election!" by giving them quickie takes on all the presidential candidates. Yes, in between deciding on Save the Date cards or Save the Date Buttons, brides can now check out Rudy Giuliani's views on abortion, register to vote, and find out where other "Knotties" stand on foreign policy Iran. It is, in short, appalling. Or is it?
Once you get over the initial horror of it—and the totally shits-inducing fact that whoever runs the site suggests that brides to be can make decisions on candidates using their "one-click, comparison shopping model aimed to simplify the research"—you might find that its not really the worst affront to womankind. First of all, it's kind of interesting to look at Hillary and Bill's wedding pictures, the same way it was interesting to read her old letters in the Times last week. The powder-blue suit Mike Huckabee wore to his wedding is just funny. And of the politicos weddings featured, most are really modest, unlike the crazy, "perfect", over-the-top stuff The Knot tries to thrust upon its readers, so it feels a little subversive.
But more important: If you click through to the message boards, you'll notice that people are actually using this fucking thing to talk about more issues more fraught than fondant vs buttercream. It's like Oprah's Book Club: If it's getting people who might not ordinarily pick up a book, what's the problem?