Michelle Kwan is engaged!!

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by Lucy25, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

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    What you call her "goodwill embassador" gig (as a U.S. public diplomacy envoy) is still on-going under the current secretary of state, Hillary Clinton. Her "p.r. gigs for the White House" are as a member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. Her positions are not salaried ones.
  2. attyfan

    attyfan Well-Known Member

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    Also, I am sure that there are plenty of jobs in the State Department that are neither political appointments nor require the Foreign Service exam. Didn't Michelle and Clay meet when they were going for the same fellowship, for example? So, when Michelle is no longer a "public diplomacy envoy", the exam could still be irrelevant to any potential job.
  3. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    Just ignore it. Frau Muller knows nothing about the State Department and doesn't want to know.
  4. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    ^^ :lol:

    I was in the process of responding to your question, when I saw that others have beat me to it. But in any case, for further clarification:

    I believe the hard copy People article mentioned Michelle has a job in the state department. But I think that is a reference to her nonsalaried public diplomacy envoy position to which she was initially appointed by former Secretary Rice in November 2006 (also in Fall 2006, Michelle transferred from UCLA to the University of Denver to pursue an undergraduate major in international studies with a minor in political science -- and of course she graduated from Tufts University in 2011 with a Master's in international studies).

    Wiki also mentions that Michelle has worked with Vice President Biden and with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (apparently in her role as public diplomacy envoy). In April 2011, the state department announced that Kwan would serve as an adviser to U.S.-China Women's Leadership Exchange and Dialogue (Women-LEAD). Also in April 2011 (as reported in the recent article on Kwan's engagement), she met Clay Pell while they were both competing for a White House Fellowship appointment. Clay received a WH Fellowship appointment but Michelle did not.

    It was in January 2009 that Michelle was appointed a member of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (I thought President Obama made the appointment, but Wiki perhaps inaccurately states it was President Bush). Michelle K is probably involved in First Lady Michelle O's "Get Fit" initiative as part of her role on the aforementioned Council.

    As we all know, Kwan has received numerous awards and honors, including an honorary doctorate from Southern Vermont College in May 2010. During her skating career, Kwan has had numerous corporate endorsement contracts, and she has had a long relationship with the Walt Disney Company. She is also one of the Godmothers of the Royal Caribbean cruise ship, Oasis of the Seas.

    It seems that Kwan's political appointments are all non-salaried, unless part of what she is doing at the state department involves receiving a salary. With all of her corporate endorsements and paid skating-related events over the years, MK is obviously independently wealthy. Not to mention the fact her family owns the skating rink, EastWest Ice Palace, in Artesia, CA.

    The below from Wiki goes without stating, but it is always awe-inspiring to read once again:

  5. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    Michelle will never want for money; or, opportunities to serve..
    Unsalaried positions can be important stepping-stones to the ideal paid one.

    Don't think that because these positions may be "voluntary", that they don't involve responsible, real work!
  6. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    In the past, diplomatic positions were paid a pittance, and it was expected of this mainly very, very wealthy set that they would be using a lot of their own money to subsidize travel and the social events expected of their position, not to mention the expected shows of wealth (furnishings, vehicles, servants, clothing, etc.)

    They were, essentially,volunteer appointments.
  7. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely! Michelle has always worked very hard and IMO has never taken any of her gifts and opportunities for granted. Salaried or unsalaried matters not, and as I mentioned, we don't know whether or not some of the work she is doing at the state department might involve a salary. But that is beside the point.

    To me, the important thing is that Michelle has always striven for excellence in everything she does. Michelle is a force of nature. Even after all Michelle's successes and accomplishments as a skater, she has only continued to grow in stature. Above all, she is all about giving back. And it's great to see her find someone special with similar goals and values. :)
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2012
  8. ladybug2

    ladybug2 Guest

    We must not forget that Michelle is a Director of the Special Olympics among all the other positions that she holds. She is one impressive young woman.
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  9. Jo Ann

    Jo Ann New Member

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    Thank you very much, aftershocks, for your informed, articulate posts. It is awe-inspiring and impressive to read what Michelle has accomplished already in her life. Clay's accomplishments are equally awe-inspiring and impressive. Along with all that, they share a sense of humor and can laugh together which is equally important in a successful marriage.

    Best wishes to both of them! May their lives together be filled with love, joy and laughter.
  10. Iceman

    Iceman Well-Known Member

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    Ambition has it dark side as many great minds have acknowledged and it should not be seen as always a positive character trait. Hopefully, Michelle and her beau will not and have not fallen victim to this darker side:


    “Nothing truly valuable arises from ambition or from a mere sense of duty; it stems rather from love and devotion towards men and towards objective things.” Albert Einstein


    It is the nature of ambition to make men liars and cheats, to hide the truth in their breasts, and show, like jugglers, another thing in their mouths, to cut all friendships and enmities to the measure of their own interest, and to make a good countenance without the help of good will. - Sallust


    Ambition often puts Men upon doing the meanest offices; so climbing is performed in the
    same position with creeping. - Jonathan Swift

    Ambition is a lust that is never quenched, but grows more inflamed and madder by enjoyment. - Thomas Otway

    We grow small trying to be great. - Eli Stanley Jones


    When ambition ends, happiness begins. - Hungarian Proverb
  11. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    ^^ Please read, absorb, and tell all the above to yourself Iceman. You are the one conjuring up and seemingly focused on the "dark side" of things.

    You apparently neither know, understand, nor wish to know and understand exactly who Michelle Kwan is and what her life and career are all about. If to you she is just about "ambition," well continue on in your ignorance.


    For those who are interested, here's my opinion:

    Michelle Kwan, in my estimation is all about light, love, family, hard work, dedication, determination, courage, defining purpose, looking forward, inspiring others, spreading happiness and joy, learning from disappointments, never giving up, striving to keep resentment and regret from clouding her mind, staying present in her life, giving back to others in whatever way she can, serving her country, being positive, sharing laughter.

    As a result of all of Michelle's extraordinary qualities, guess what? People from all walks of life are drawn to her, admire her, and opportunities and abundance grace her life. Far from being overly or negatively ambitious and/ or thinking she's entitled, I believe Michelle is very humble and appreciative of all the good things that have come her way. But more than that, she does not "plot ambitiously" nor does she simply bask in all the adulation and abundance. IMO, Michelle seems to wake up thinking, "Besides the many things I must do today to achieve my goals and push forward with my life, how can I be a better person today? What can I do to help make someone else's life better?

    Michelle Kwan spreads light, love, laughter and inspiration wherever she goes. Is she perfect? Of course not. She would probably be the first person to admit that fact. Ultimately, this is what makes her so charming and appealing. Michelle is grounded and down to earth, and at the same time she remains utterly unpretentious. She deeply touches everyone who "gets" her very human yet heavenly majestic qualities. She is indeed, the Kween!
  12. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    Iceman, how does your post apply to Michelle?
  13. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    Iceman appears to have wandered into the wrong thread, IMO.

    Perhaps a better question for Iceman is, What is it about your own thinking that leads you to dwell on the topic of “ambition,” much less bring your “hopefully not” view of Michelle and Clay into a thread celebrating their engagement?

    I have discovered, from what I have learned so far in my life, that everyone who is human is blessed or cursed with their “ego, vanity, and pride.” If you are a human being you can not escape from any of the aforementioned – they exist in each one of us. The blessing is in waking up and becoming aware of and accepting their existence without judgment, and in learning how to rise above them and the drama and conflict they create and feed upon. The curse is in never waking up.

    Having money or being born into money does not define either Michelle or Clay, IMO. To me, neither of them seem to be consumed by ambition. In my estimation, they are both focused on excellence, setting high goals and working hard on achieving their goals, while at the same time maintaining a balance and a harmony through enjoying and sharing their many blessings and gifts.

    IMHO, Michelle Kwan is not driven by her ego. She is guided and uplifted by her essence.
  14. RickInSanJose

    RickInSanJose New Member

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    Aftershocks, I wish there was a "Thank You" function on this forum, because yours is one of the most eloquent and beautiful tributes to Michelle I've ever read.
  15. love_skate2011

    love_skate2011 Well-Known Member

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    gggrrr
    Michelle's wedding thread is turning into politics
  16. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    "Everything is political, but not everything is politics."

    Well, aside from Clay and Michelle both serving their country, and having first met each other at the White House, and both currently living and working in Washington, D.C., and Clay being descended from a family of distinguished politicians, what else is it you find "political" or "politics-related" about this thread?

    Most of what I have read here are joyful and celebratory well wishes, as well as tributes to Michelle's character, ideals and accomplishments. Along with some friendly, speculative and expectant chatter regarding the upcoming wedding and well wishes for Clay and Michelle, there have also been a few seemingly "sour grapes" comments.

    Albeit, however, the thread is or has "turned into" whatever you perceive it to be.


    To Jo Ann, to skatesindreams, to many others, and especially to RickInSanJose: :) Thanks to you too! The other cool thing about Michelle is how those whom she touches and inspires have been and are still being brought together, some in lifelong friendship, others in graceful moments of understanding and appreciation.

    If that's politics, then I have to say, "I love politics!" :lol:
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2012
  17. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    love_skate2011, aftershocks spoke for me.
  18. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

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    The impression I've had of Michelle isn't "ambitious" but "passionate". I think it's hard for a lot of athletes to find something else that really engages them after they stop competing. Michelle has mentioned how much she enjoyed the intellectual exchanges in college and grad school and how inspired she was being with people who want to make a difference in their community.

    From the articles I've seen, it seems that Clay also feels passionate about a number of causes. I'm not surprised that Michelle would find a lot in common with someone who has found the time to be involved with a lot of charitable causes in addition to his "work".

    I've enjoyed seeing the recent interviews with Sasha where she seems really excited about living in NY and going to school. It's always nice to see people that we've followed for years find a path that fulfills them - whether it's in the sport as a coach or in a different field entirely.
  19. kwanette

    kwanette Fetalized since 1998

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    Well said, particularly the distinction between ambition and passion.
  20. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    You don't think wanting to be to "go the Olympics, win an Olympic gold medal, and be legend in the sport" is ambitious?

    Kwan is definitely passionate, but let's not pretend she isn't a little ambitious as well.
  21. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    Ambition, properly directed, is necessary for; and creates, the work ethic that leads to achieving great success.
    It certainly applies to Michelle.
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  22. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your thoughts, Garden Kitty. ITA! Michelle and many other elite skaters and other athletes (and even dancers) all go through a similar process when the careers they have pursued for so long from very young ages, come to an end. I enjoyed the interviews with Sasha as well. It was great to see her happy and focused on creating a new life for herself.

    You are so right re the bolded sentiment. It's wonderful seeing Michelle, Sasha, Todd Eldredge, Matt Savoie, Kurt Browning, Rohene Ward, Stephane Lambiel, Jennifer Kirk, Yuka Sato and Jason Dunjgen, Karen Kwan and Peter Oppegard, and many other former skaters whose careers I enjoyed following, finding fulfillment within and outside of the skating world.

    :respec:


    ITA with Garden Kitty, kwanette, and skatesindreams. Thanks again Garden Kitty! Yes, "passionate" is one of the very evident qualities Michelle possesses that I should have included in my earlier reflections. :)

    IMO, VietgrlTerifa, it is not a question of either/ or. Just as every human being has an ego, everyone who wants to achieve anything in this world, has to meld ambition with passion. It is the very negative connotations that Iceman dropped in to "darkly" warn about that I find OTT and also OT. :p

    The fact that both Clay and Michelle have set and continue to set and achieve high goals in their lives obviously means they have ambition to try and reach their goals. OTOH, IMHO neither of them are driven by ego or ambition. They are driven by passion and by caring and by love for their families, their neighbors and friends, their country and the global community.
  23. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    Definitely.

    Also, one can be passionate in the collecting of say, vintage matchbooks. I'm not sure if they'd catch the eye of an Olympian. :lol:

    From what we've heard, both Michelle and Clay are passionate AND ambitious in regards to their passion. They do something about it.
  24. Badams

    Badams Well-Known Member

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    When did being ambitious become a bad thing?
  25. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    ^^ Go back and read Iceman's "dark" and dire warnings. :lol: That is where this "ambitious" discussion began. ;) And that's also where the "negative" connotations started and were responded to.

    Reading the entire thread for context might be helpful. :) I don't see anyone "pretending" anything either. In fact, I never said Michelle did not have ambition. I responded to Iceman's "dark side" warnings. It is not about "politics" :lol:, it is about semantics and interpretation, and understanding of what ambition means for each individual and where it comes from and what it is guided by in each individual. The discussion has worth and value, and aside from Iceman's negative and "dark" connotations, I don't think anyone is completely disagreeing with anyone. I just don't think we are all starting from the same semantic standpoint, or the same understanding and perception of who Michelle Kwan is exactly. :p

    For those interested, here are my thoughts and perceptions:

    Yes, Michelle had a dream (and therefore “ambition”) to go to at least three Olympics. Yes she talked about the dream of becoming a legend in figure skating, but I doubt even she ever had the “ambition,” nor ever realized or dreamed that she would in fact become a legend in her own time! What she did was get up every day and work hard, moment by moment through all the ups and downs and the disappointments. She had the opportunity to go to four Olympics, but was only able to compete at two, and she did not win the elusive gold medal that she dreamed of winning. She came oh so close, but that dream did not come true for her. To be very honest, IMO it is NOT "ambition" that gave Michelle her legendary status. Neither is it “ambition” that has gifted her with wonderful opportunities and abundance. It is how she responded to disappointments and remained present in her life that distinguishes her. It is because of Michelle's passion and grace, her talent and desire, her courage, her work ethic and her determination to never give up that she ended up winning nine U.S. National Championships, five World Championships, two Olympic medals (silver and bronze), and receiving 57 perfect 6.0 scores.

    Most of those achievements were not things she dreamed of, nor "ambitiously" set goals to reach. As she continued winning National championships by virtue of hard work and competitive spirit, other people started pointing out to her that she had the opportunity to reach and maybe break Maribel Vinson Owen's record. Still, I don't think that was uppermost in Michelle's mind at all, until the actual Nationals where she had the opportunity to match Vinson Owen's record. I believe Michelle's mind and heart were always focused more on her Olympic dream. But the getting there was a daily process of working hard and learning how to enjoy and gain from the journey, not the destination. In the process, she ended up setting awe-inspiring records.

    Beyond the numbers, it is simply how Michelle carries herself through all the ups and downs of life; it is the way her presence and her passion comes through from inside of her and touches others that makes her so admired. That is why she is a legend. And that is why she is called Kween. She is not called Kween because of her ambition. It is not simply a throwaway title, nor a fancy nickname bestowed by “crazy” ubers. Michelle is Kween because of the love, joy and admiration she inspires, and because of the example she sets.

    And yes, while Michelle is of course human and imperfect, she has yet shown those who love her how it feels to fly. With her heart and her “passion” Michelle has taught us that it is still possible to soar over the rainbow even when your long held dream doesn’t come true.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2012
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  26. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    I have.

    I was merely responding to Garden Kitty's comment:

    "The impression I've had of Michelle isn't 'ambitious' but 'passionate'."

    I was just saying that Kwan does have a history of being ambitious (I fail to see how one can be successful in a competitive atmosphere like skating without being ambitious) and that it works well with her passionate nature. Which you would have read if you read my post properly where I said she was both when you said:

    "IMO, VietgrlTerifa, it is not a question of either/ or."

    Forgive me if I had misread your post.
  27. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    PURPLE!!!

    Understood VietgrlTerifa … like I said we’re not completely disagreeing. It’s a matter of semantics, perception and interpretation. Perhaps skatesindreams said it best:

    IMO there is nothing about the above that negates or conflicts with Garden Kitty’s “impression” or kwanette’s “distinction” either. ITA with all three of them more than you because of the fact that “ambitious” is not the first word or first quality that comes to my mind when I think about Michelle Kwan. Passionate and courageous for me are more on the mark. IMO, Michelle obviously has ambition but she is not defined by ambition, and she is nowhere near the “dark side” danger that Iceman invoked. :p She’s not even in the vicinity. Michelle is on a totally different plane … she operates within a completely different stratosphere. And I intend no pretense, nor any pretentiousness with my comments.

    Once again, cheers to Michelle and Clay!! :cheer:

    http://militarytimes.com/blogs/scoopdeck/2012/09/12/michelle-kwan-is-engaged-to-a-coastie/

    http://www.glamour.com/weddings/blogs/save-the-date/2012/09/olympic-figure-skater-michelle.html
  28. Kabooke

    Kabooke New Member

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    Since when did being "ambitious" become a bad thing? And in America no less?
    Not to mention the presumption of the "darker side"?

    Everyone whom achieves anything in life has ambitions/goals/desires. The "darker side" only deals with those whom will walk on/hold down/double cross/compromise ethics/ect...others to achieve those ambitions. Anything out of balance can become "dark", but why would that be the first thing anyone would think about?

    Anyway, all the best to Michelle & Clay. :cool:
  29. kwanette

    kwanette Fetalized since 1998

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    Well said.
  30. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    Exactly!

    IMO, MK is a perfect example of someone who has learned how to maintain a "balance" in her life, both personally and professionally.

    As I previously mentioned, I think Iceman wandered into the wrong thread. :p

    For those interested in continuing the "ambitious" discussion in all its aspects, "dark" or otherwise, and re "American Ambition," here's a link to a new thread in PI:

    http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/showthread.php?p=3693303#post3693303
  31. UGG

    UGG Well-Known Member

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    Why did this thread get so weird? Anywhoo-

    I just checked out Vera Wang's website and I really dislike all of the wedding dresses I am looking at...
  32. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    ^^ Since when did "ambition" become a "weird" thing? Hmmm, maybe since that "weird" skater guy with his own tv show ...

    JUST JOKING ... no comeback rejoinder necessary. :)

    Anywhoo- (thanks for bringing discussion back to more important matters) ;)

    http://www.verawang.com/?country=USA

    I think it's likely a done deal that Vera is making Michelle's dress. Surely it will be custom made especially for Kween and will not look exactly like any dresses currently on Vera's website. :D

    As someone else mentioned, MK's dress might be a strapless sheath (somewhat body hugging, hopefully with some exquisite design details).
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2012
  33. love_skate2011

    love_skate2011 Well-Known Member

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    and where does Lysacek play into this ? :confused: :rofl:
  34. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    JoKwan Evanera Wangcek?!!! :duh: :rofl: ... coached by Frank Carroll


    Anywhoo-

    Back to dress discussion, perhaps ;)
  35. UGG

    UGG Well-Known Member

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    Oh I know the dress will be a custom dress for Michelle-I was just saying in general I really don't know who would wear any of those dresses unless you were a celebrity. I had a very beautiful wedding when I was married -and all of those dresses would have been way too "dramatic" for the event LOL. IDK if that makes sense. I cannot picture anyone wearing those style wedding dresses at any wedding I have ever been to.

    Anyway-I know Michelle will have a very beautiful dress. I was just talking in general about the style of VW. I could see Michelle more in a Claire Pettibone dress.

    http://www.clairepettibone.com/bridal/?cp=lookbook/cc
  36. UGG

    UGG Well-Known Member

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  37. RickInSanJose

    RickInSanJose New Member

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    While I'm a wedding dress ignoramus, I can't imagine Michelle looking anything less than stunning and radiant in any wedding gown -- even an off-the-rack J.C. Penny gown.
  38. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    ^^ Yes, I too am certain Michelle will be beautiful in whatever gown she wears -- radiant from the inside out, just as she usually is, but especially so on her wedding day. :)
  39. JILEN

    JILEN New Member

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    I was'nt a big fan of those one-off-shoulder strap costume VW use to make for MK so anything other than that I would be happy to see MK with but tube wedding gown? I hope not it's s overplayed. What about something classic and traditional maybe?
  40. sk9tingfan

    sk9tingfan Well-Known Member

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    I totally agree with you.