Anatomy Of A Scene: Getting Stood Up At The Altar
One of my friends threw up this classic YouTube clip from A Different World on Facebook today.
On a sitcom with so many memorable episodes, this remains one of my all time favorite; right up there with the two part episode where the gang goes on Spring Break and the girls meet those drug dealers, but I’ll post about that one another time.
The first time I saw this episode was the first time I saw anything like this happen on screen. Two people in the middle of getting married, when out of nowhere comes the man the bride should’ve been marrying all along. I didn’t think what Dwayne did was romantic so much as I thought it gutsy. In front of a church full of people on what is supposed to be the happiest day of the bride and groom’s life, Dwayne stops the wedding. Not only does he stop it, he asks Whitley to marry him, right there. And to top it all of, to show he has absolutely no regard for other people’s lives and very little for his own, he does it all in a peach suit.
A peach suit!
I have watched this scene too many times to count, and over the years, my attention has shifted from Dwayne. Whether it’s fear of the unknown or me just wising up, when I watch now, I focus on some of the other key people in the scene. They are as follows:
Ron: There’s having your friend’s back and then there’s doing what Ron is doing. He is literally watching Dwayne’s back for him. Ron knows Dwayne is making a fool of himself and disrespecting damn near everyone in attendance, but no one is going to stop him, not on Ron’s watch. The matchup is 3-on-2, to be more specific, three much bigger guys against two guys who wear glasses, but does Ron care? Nope, not even a little bit. Ron’s running strictly off the adrenaline of what Cedric the Entertainer calls the “wish” factor, as in he wishes someone would try and stop Dwayne. Also, bonus points for encouraging Dwayne to say something in the first place (4:13). Let what Ron did be a lesson to all men. Having our friend’s back is more than protecting him, it’s also about making sure our friend follows what we know is in his heart.
The Security/Ushers: These guys who did a horrible job of stopping Dwayne from interrupting the wedding, who the hell are they? Are they ushers or security? If they’re ushers, their horrible job of keeping Dwayne back is understandable, but if they’re security, hired to make sure nothing happens, they are the worst security detail ever. Dwayne should’ve been on the floor the minute he coughed (4:16). Look how they hold him back (6:03)!? These guys aren’t even trying, it’s like their conspiring with him. How did Dwayne get in there? Better yet, there were no specific instructions given to make sure Dwayne doesn’t make it past the church doors? Why? I want answers.
Byron Douglas: Ah yes, the groom who got left. If you ask me, he had it coming. We’ve already discussed his inability to find adequate security, but there are so many other issues I have with this guy.
Ever notice how calm he is as Whitley hesitates to say, “I do”? It’s a simple question, and she’s stuttering. Do you even have to say “I do” in these situations? Can’t you just say “Yeah” or “Yep” or “Yes”? Let my wife-to-be even stutter those two words and watch what happens. I know one thing, I’m not going to be like Byron and ask her, “You alright?” (5:33). Instead I’m saying, “Do we have a problem?” Should she hesitate again, I’m throwing my arms up in the air and saying, “Obviously we have a problem!” Then, I’d say, “Gimme my ring back.” And that is where I have the biggest issue with our boy Byron.
Look at what happens at 6:44. Byron is walking out sans ring. I have one question about that: Why? Get the ring back, Byron! Then, to make it even more disrespectful, he allows Dwayne and Whitley to marry at the very altar where he was just about to marry her. The. Same. Altar. Also, the same preacher. I hope Byron switched churches. And he’s letting Dwayne do it in that peach suit!
If it was me getting stood up at the altar, this would have never gone down. I would have told security to let Dwayne go and dared him take another step closer. No way in the world a man who wears glasses and wears a peach suit is ruining my wedding.