Runaway bride not alone in decisions

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 4, 2005

Jennifer Wilbanks, aka the runaway bride, will become infamously immortalized in American pop culture for probably the worst case of cold feet imaginable.

The bride-to-almost-be skipped town days before her huge wedding and then made an embarrassing situation reach national headlines when Wilbanks claimed she had been abducted before eventually recanting.

While the entire situation has given the country something to chuckle about at Wilbanks' expense, the entire debacle has helped shine a light on two big problems that permeate our society: lack of communication and compounding a bad choice with a worse one.

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The Duluth, Ga., woman did both but she is certainly not alone in these errors. Each of us is guilty in some ways.

Families can learn much from this woman and her mistakes. Many married couples often run into trouble when the communication breaks down. One side may be talking but the other side tries to listen but does not hear.

Then the cycle reverses.

Politicians are prime suspects of making both these same errors except the media does not paint it to be such a comical experience. Locally, the lack of communication can be seen in both the city and county governments.

Ironton's city council bickered back and forth for more than a year about the financial situation of the city. Both sides did a lot of talking but little true communicating.

One side talked endlessly about the need for a fee but didn't really seem to listen to other ideas. The other side stood firm in their beliefs that the city had to live within its means but never would completely outline why they thought this way.

We are not sure if the communication problem has been fixed or if the talking has just stopped.

The county government knows a thing or two about lack of communication as well. The commissioners have been pushing hard for county officeholders to live within their budgets but little open discussion has been held to talk through those ideas.

To find an example of making a bad situation worse with another poor decision, look no further than former President Bill Clinton. As if the Monica Lewinsky fiasco wasn't bad enough, he made it worse by straight-faced lying to the American people.

So, we all may get a laugh from the media spotlight on the case of the bride with cold-feet, but we all should remember that each of us are faced with those same dilemmas.

Most just choose not to run.