90 Day Fiancé Could Not Exist Without Pissed Off Family Members
It’s hard to know exactly what my family would do if I brought home a 90 Day Fiancé. I suppose it depends on the circumstances — if I met my significant other on a week-long trip to Rome (them, an artisanal focaccia artiste with a minimalist wardrobe; me, a wine-drunk tourist trying to “find myself”) and brought them home to marry me in less time than it takes to get around to cleaning the fridge, I could imagine my family taking significant issue. Then again, if I went overseas, fell in love, maintained long-distance communication over the course of months, and then brought my fiancé to the states to be wed — well, I could still see my family taking significant issue.
That’s the rub of this whole K-1 visa thing — it’s a stressful situation no matter what, and it impacts more than just the couple trying to walk down the aisle. Also, unlike my sexy Roman focaccia fantasies, 90 Day Fiancé is a reality show — without familial conflict, there’s nothing to drive the plot. 19-year-old Fernanda met Jonathan, 32, while he was vacationing near her home in Mexico. Now, she’s in Texas with him and plans to get married, but her family is heartbroken and disturbed that they can’t get visas to attend the wedding. Leida moved from Indonesia to be with Eric, but her wealthy family showed up, too — according to her sister, they have “no plans” to let her stay in the United States. Kalani met Asuelu while vacationing in Samoa, and she ended up getting pregnant. Asuelu moved to California to be with her, but Kalani’s family is thoroughly unimpressed by his efforts; Her father even threatened him over dinner.
Suffice it to say that when you meet someone to marry via the internet and/or a vacation during which you were likely drunk and feeling fuckloose and fancy free, bring them to your country to not only live with you, but make a legally binding commitment to you, there is a high chance that your family may have shit to say about it. Sometimes, the families are a bit too judgmental for my tastes — Asuelu, for what it’s worth, seems to have earnest intentions with Kalani and their newborn son, even without the eyeroll-worthy display of beefed up masculinity from Kalani's father.
Then again, I get where these families are coming from: They're essentially watching their loved ones make the decision to commit their lives to someone who you perceive, at best, as a stranger — and at worst, a selfish interloper.
In no 90 Day Fiancé plotline does conflict rear its ugly head more than Colt and Larissa’s. Colt is a 33-year-old man who lives with his mother, Debbie — their relationship reveals itself to be more co-dependent and strange as the weeks go by. After proposing to Brazilian fiancé Larissa, you’d think that Colt might make some moves to get his own place for the two of them — but you would be so very, very wrong. Instead, Colt moves Larissa into the home that he shares with his mother, and things get tense within the first five minutes of her stepping over the threshold of the Bates Motel.
Yes, Larissa is harsh. She complains about how small the house is. She makes snide remarks about Debbie’s decorations (for what it's worth, Debbie, I think it's pretty cool to have a slot machine in your dining room). She even fat shames their magnificently voluptuous cat, Cookie Dough. Then again, she also makes some fair points. It’s absolutely absurd that Colt expects them to begin their lives as newlyweds while living with his mother — no matter how many bowls of beef stew —the perfect dinner for a scorching hot, arid climate — Debbie tries to get them to eat. The entire situation (small living quarters occupied mostly by the plenitude of #thiccqueen Cookie Dough, clashing personalities, and a borderline disturbing mother-son bond) is the kind of petri dish in which the festering bacteria of spooky interpersonal conflict is bound to grow. And, just like Debbie's other cat Baby Girl, I'll be perched on a shelf somewhere in a baseline state of constant horror and judgment, watching it all go down.