If you’re hanging on to every detail that Sheldon and Amy make in advance of their wedding, then tonight’s episode of The Big Bang Theory was the most monumental since their engagement. Although it often feels like Shamy takes one step forward and two steps back, it seems—for now—that their choices for best man/maid of honor are set in stone. The winners? Penny and Leonard Hofstadter. The only problem? Amy made the wrong choice.
I get that this is a show—and Amy and Sheldon’s decision was interesting enough material for 22 minutes—but the future Mrs. Fowler-Cooper has two best friends in her life. So why did the episode have to become about choosing one over the other? Bernadette, who even campaigned for the honor, was left in the dust, presumably to play the role of bridesmaid. But easy choice—and the only choice, really—should have been to just have two maid of honors.
I’ve never planned a wedding, but “The Matrimonial Matric” particularly hit home for me. When my best friend got married, she—like Amy—had two best friends in her life. I was probably the closer friend—especially in her adult years—but she ended up choosing the other woman as maid of honor, basically because they had been friends since kindergarten. It didn’t matter that she and I had shared so much of our lives together—including living together—or that my parents treated her like another daughter. Instead, I was asked to be bridesmaid. It sucked. By declaring one of us a little more important than the other—even if my best friend didn’t see it that way—was a harsh reality that affected me more than I wanted to admit. And to top it off, the maid of honor used every opportunity to make it clear to me that she had a higher position. So you can see why I declared back then to never have a maid of honor in my own wedding one day.
While I don’t usually subscribe to the “everyone gets a trophy!” sentiment, choosing only one maid of honor if there’s two or three equally deserving people is an outdated practice that rarely results in a good outcome. In this era of be kind, love one another, and support other women, it forces you to think about what those sentiments really mean. The Big Bang Theory had a great opportunity to bring all three women together on Amy’s big day. Instead, they turned it into a ridiculous competition. Bernadette should consider herself lucky that she doesn’t have to deal with the Fowler/Cooper antics.
There was one winning moment, though, and it came courtesy of Mayim Bialik’s hilarious reaction to Penny telling Amy that she’s her best friend, too. That bit of perfection almost made up for Amy’s choice. Almost.