It's time for yet another installment of "What dating app are these folks using so I can delete it immediately?" otherwise known as 90 Day Fiance: Before the 90 Days!
Omar and Avery
As always, let's start with my local girl, Avery. The big day has finally arrived, and Omar and Avery are about to get married. Now, let me say right up front--I don't know shit about Muslim wedding ceremonies and traditions. So if any of you are knowledgeable about it and would like to shed some light on whether this is really how it happens or if this is just a case of TLC frauding again, please share that in the comments. I legit want to know.
Avery and Mother Avery have a heart to heart while Avery prepares for the wedding. Mother Avery is still convinced Omar is just looking for a ticket to the US, but she wants Avery to know that her concern comes from a place of love for Avery and not because she hates Muslims. Avery knows this, but also says she's going to defend Omar from people who will misjudge him, including her mom. Avery says Omar has gone to the mosque to find out the time they will be married, but before she can change into her wedding dress Omar is back. There's a problem. Apparently, they need to get approval from the Islamic court before they can get married. I don't know if they need this because Avery is a foreigner here, or if because they are getting married in a country neither of them reside in, or if every couple has to do this. I can't tell if Omar is in shock at this development or just doesn't care. Mother Avery is all "Then get up off your ass and lets go to the court!" and off they all go. It's like the universe has been handing Mother Avery chance after chance to prevent this wedding and she refuses to take advantage.
Just like any good rom-com with a wedding, there's a race against time involved. They have to get married by the end of today, because Mother Avery is headed back to C-Bus and she wants to witness this wedding in person instead of watching it on TV like the rest of us. After rushing to the court and harassing the clerk to write faster, they finally have the papers in hand. They head back to the mosque (after stopping off at the hotel to change into their wedding outfits) where the dude from their previous visit is waiting in the parking lot to drape Avery in some kind of cloth. Mother Avery looks on in disdain, because she did not pay for that wedding dress to have her covered in a burlap looking sack.
They head inside to wait on a bench. Mother Avery once again in her community lost and found bin head covering (seriously, Avery couldn't loan her a nice head covering and help her put it on right?) and Avery in her covering sitting side by side look like people cosplaying as ET in Elliot's basket and a Jawa at a regional comic convention.
They ask for a witness and Mother Avery volunteers, except the officiant is like "No thanks, E.T." Mother Avery is horrified to learn that she can't act as a witness because it needs to either be one man or two women. She can't believe she's not worth as much as a man in this culture. The Shiekh asks about the dowry and seems a little suspicious of the $6,000 dowry. Mother Avery mutters she feels like she just sold her daughter, and Avery rolls her eyes and tells the camera if her mom doesn't shut it, they'll get thrown out. The Shiekh then asks Avery to allow the other cleric (dressed in a super classy sweatsuit with "Athlete" across the front) to act as her power of attorney. Omar explains that since the paperwork is in Arabic and Avery doesn't speak/read the language(other than her name, I guess) someone will have to act as her on her behalf. So finally, the wedding Avery has been dreaming of all these days ends up with her watching her fiance and an old bearded dude marrying each other. It was a turn neither I nor Mother Avery were expecting, but at least only one of us had to fly for 30 hours straight to witness it.
After the wedding, Omar and Avery disclose their plans to move to Syria together, and as Avery predicted, Mother Avery cries, yells, and straight up leaves.
Rebecca and Zied
The main thing I take away from these segments is Tunisia has a lot of cats running free in the streets. Rebecca sits down with a chat with her PI boss back in America, who has the results of Zied's background check. All she can report that is suspicious is that Zied has no employment history. Being hired to play The Winter Soldier at really cheap kids birthday parties isn't on there? Lies! Anyway, Rebecca--who by the way is still married, a fact that Zied still doesn't know--wonders if she's being lied to and frauded by someone hoping to harvest that American dollar. She confronts him at a cafe about his supposed job as an audience coordinator for Tunisia's apparently one show. This didn't show up on his employment history she wants to know why. Zied basically explains his boss is paying him under the table, and she says his boss would still show up on his employment history. Hey Magnum PI, if his boss is paying him in cash day by day, it's not going to show up on his employment history. I doubt his boss is issuing him the correct income tax forms for that. Zied is concerned about Rebecca ordering a background check because it means she doesn't trust him. She wants to know what skills he's going to bring to the table to support himself in America, because she is not going to be out hustling in the streets putting GPS trackers on cars while he sits at home eating bon-bons! He assures her he can work at the retail or the coffee, but make no mistake:
Darcey and Tom
The world's most awkward family vacation since the reboot of National Lampoon's Vacation is continuing. Tom tells Darcey in no uncertain terms that he didn't want to come here and watching her and Stacey nitpick at each other isn't making this trip any more fun for him. He tells her to get it together and stop arguing with her sister. Darcey meets up with Stacey for coffee, the two of them try to say people just don't understand their twin dynamic. No, this is a twin dynamic people don't understand. Anyone who has watched one minute of a Real Housewives show totally understands the dynamic between Darcey and Stacey. They blame Tom for being a sensitive wanker, and then snipe at each other about how Stacey is engaged for three years and Darcey isn't engaged at all.
The group then heads out to a very old market that Tom basically describes as a flea market. He's not happy about anything, and throws up on the side of the road on the way there, then asks Darcey to back off so he can breathe and not get sick again. Later, alone at dinner, Tom asks how she thought the day went, and Darcey said it was romantic. Which part, when Tom was honking his guts up on the Albanian roadside? Tom is in disbelief, and tells her there's no way today was romantic in any way, shape, or form. He tells her when she's around her sister she turns into someone he can't see being romantic with. He throws in the ultimate dig, which is that if he'd been allowed to stick with their previous island getaway trip, he *might* have proposed, but no way that's happening now on this trip. Darcey's life is ruined. She blames herself for listening to Stacey, which means she blames Stacey.
Tim and Jennifer
Tim chats with his non-Veronica friend back home about how he can't get things moving with Jennifer in the intimacy department. He says he wants to, but if feels like every time they get to that point, she pulls back. Oh, OK. It must have just been on *my* TV where Jennifer was grinding her ass on his crotch and he responded with a gold de-puffing eye mask party. Tim and Jennifer head to her parent's ranch, where Tim is gonna have to prove he's the type of manly man who can castrate bulls, not the kind of manly man who gets manicures and wears gold eye masks. Once they arrive, Father Jennifer immediately puts Tim to work spraying down the cattle for ticks and fleas, then giving some vitamin shots to the cattle. I cringe at both Tim's outfit for this task and the soon to be state of his skin after a day in the sun in this getup.
Wait, who am I kidding, Tim totally brought a supply of Supergoop sunscreen on his trip! Jennifer admits he doesn't have a clue about what he's doing on the ranch, but appreciates he's trying, even if he passes on the chance to castrate a bull calf. Jennifer talks to her dad to get his opinion, and while it's clear he doesn't think too much of Tim's manly abilities, he will support his daughter as long as Tim is treating her well. Since he hasn't even touched her, brought her loads of gifts, and let her throw a drink in his face, I'm guessing it would all fall under Father Jennifer's definition of treating his daughter well.
Back in town, Jennifer takes Tim out to try some desserts, and I gag at Tim slurping on a fig dessert. They sit next to a fountain and *finally* kiss, and it's just as gross, and awkward and slurpy and sound filled as you expected. This week Tarik is all of us watching this go down. I feel bad for the random little kid sitting near the fountain who is probably scarred for life after seeing that. They retire back to Tim's Air BNB where they'll either have sex, or Tim is gonna show her a new sheet mask he picked up at Ulta. With Tim there's no way to know for sure.
Benjamin and Akini
It's time for Ben to meet Father Akini! But first, once again, he's making us watch him shower. Dammit, someone please just give him a laser hair removal endorsement already!! He's getting cleaned up because he has to go to church to meet Father Akini.
Ben gets a three person on a moped ride to the service which just looks awkward all around:
At the church, Ben has already pitted his polo shirt out 2 seconds into the sermon. But who wouldn't be? Father Akini stalks around like a bad-ass, screaming about Satan and giving a chair the what for as he beats on it and yells at it. Akini can't provide any support to Ben at this time as men and women have to sit separately during the service.
After the service, Akini tells Ben she maybe did or didn't miss him, but she tells him he will need to meet the elders of the community and get their approval before they can get Father Akini's approval. Ben tells the camera he's getting sort of sick of these surprise meetings he's got to go through to win the approval of this family, but he refuses to get on a plane and go home for some reason.
At the Akini residence, Ben introduces himself to the elders and Brother Akini rolls his eyes that Ben manages to fuck even that simple task up. The elders grill Ben on his divorce, while Father Akini says he didn't expect a white dude to be showing up to ask for his daughter's hand when he heard about Ben. Did I mention Father Akini looks like he could beat the shit out of Ben and not break a sweat?
The elders accept Ben's explanation that it wasn't his choice to get divorced, and give their approval for a Ben and Akini union. Father Akini also gives his approval..."for now." The elders bless the union, and Father Akini reminds Ben that the bride price will now have to be discussed, and don't expect that to be cheap. Akini tells the camera Ben is just going to have to pay the bride price and if he has to go bankrupt doing so, oh well. Sigh. Looks like Ben is gonna have to put off that visit to Ideal Image Laser Hair Removal even longer.
Caesar and "Maria"
Caesar is still moping around his resort, sadly sipping colorful drinks while dipping his rolled up jean clad legs in the pool. He scrolls through his phone with a screen that is broken just like his heart. He's hoping for a message from "Maria". He tries to text her, but "Maria" already has a new fake name and profile at AnastasiaDate.com by now. Well, it's a good thing he's got a $195 refund coming back from the jewelry store, he can spring for a new phone screen. But knowing Caesar's dumb ass, he probably threw away the receipt so I guess it's a store credit for him!
Anyway, first there is the little matter of a non refundable romantic beach view dinner that Caesar had pre-planned for "Maria", that he now must go to and eat both dinners himself. He explains to the waitress that the empty chair across from him isn't his fiance, and begins eating his feelings and failures. However, before he can get to the main course, that Iowa couple from his first night there comes strolling by. Sadly, they don't have their teen son with them, who I feel could deliver more epic burns about Caesar being catfished. They ask about Maria's whereabouts, and instead of just leaving it at the flight was cancelled, he explains he was dumped. The dad looks like he wants to laugh, and his wife gives Caesar a hug. This exchange has Caesar so emotional that he says he can't do this dinner any more, and runs off to his room to eat his chocolate panties in peace.
However, Caesar won't be dissuaded though. Like a Scarlett O'Hara brandishing candy g-strings, tomorrow is another day, and he will begin anew. When I say begin anew, I mean he means:
Angela and Michael
Angela calls Michael up to meet her for dinner. She tells him that he needs to stop lying, or she's out of here. She does apologize for throwing the cake in his face, saying nobody deserves that. He agrees to stop lying about things he had no control over, like who rides a boat 20 feet away from him.
Now that the reunion is back on, Angela and Michael are heading out to see his mom. Mother Michael and Angela greet each other warmly, and Mother Michael asks how the trip has been (Michael is translating.) Angela tells her all Michael being thrown out of their hotel room, and Mother Michael is all "What did you do Michael" because she knows her son is always gonna be in the wrong with Angela. He admits he was lying, and Mother Michael tells him to knock that shit off. Mother Michael then shifts into baby-talk, wanting to know how it is that a 50+ year old woman is supposed to give her a grand child. Angela attempts to explain baby/egg totin' to Mother Michael (and yes she used totin') but Mother Michael thinks this means Michael is gonna have sex with Angela's daughter. Angela is all "No no no no!" and explains doctors will take care of all that egg transferring/baby totin. Mother Michael reminds Michael of his duty to procreate, and says Angela will need to let him go to have a baby with another woman if she can't produce one. Michael explains this to Angela and tells her this is the Nigerian way. She tells Mother Michael and Michael in no uncertain terms that she isn't Nigerian and if they think she's gonna let Michael fuck another woman, they've got another thing coming. I mean, he's not even allowed to ride a boat with another woman that he doesn't even know, what makes him think he could be allowed to let one take off his Trump boxers?
Next week: Avery finds out that being a Muslim wife means being seen and not heard at least according to Omar; Caesar packs up his chocolate panties and either heads home or for the Ukraine, Angela frets about her egg totin abilities, Tim and Jennifer aren't getting along post sex (or not?), Ben I assume finds out his bride price and Darcey does this: