Seriously? Is It Just Me…

Posts Tagged ‘reality tv

The Internet is a beautiful thing. It provides immediate access to a wealth of information, acts as a communication tool making it easier than ever to connect with people from all over the world, and it has the uncanny ability to turn a “nobody” into a “somebody” literally overnight.

This past week, you pretty much had to be living under a rock (or never use a technology device) to not have heard the story about Ted Williams. For those of you who just pulled your head out of the sand, Ted Williams, was a homeless man from Ohio with a golden voice, who was discovered by a local videographer who regularly drove past Ted begging for money. It’s truly an amazing story of how a recovering alcoholic and drug abuser who had lost everything was given the opportunity to get back on his feet, all thanks to the power of the Internet. Voice over deals from Kraft, Cleveland Cavaliers among others began to pour in, and the once unkempt panhandler was about to collect thousands of dollars.

These are the success stories that most Americans love to share, discuss and support, including myself. Frankly, I’m tired of the reality show drama kings and queens being catapulted on to the celebrity pedestal for simply having the nerve to sleep around, get drunk and engage in cat fights in a public forum. I was extremely disturbed the day I heard that Snooki from the Jersey Shore (yes, you know who I am talking about) had “written” a book after she confessed to Ryan Seacrest that she didn’t have a formal education and had to use a professional writer to draft it for her. Hello, I would love a book deal, and I’m sure so do the hundreds of extremely talented writers shopping around their manuscripts.

Or let’s take one of the many bankrupt real housewives who decided to record a song without an ounce of vocal talent, as they earn a number one single without even taking the process seriously. I know there are thousands of struggling songwriters and vocalists working day and night just for the chance to record, let alone get a song heard on the radio.

Sure I may sound bitter, and honestly I was for a while, especially after the whole Snooki book deal announcement (shiver). Then I heard the story about Ted Williams, and I thought finally America got it right, we have anointed a “nobody” with fame who truly deserved the chance to make money off his God-given talent and I beamed as I listened to stories surrounding his newfound “somebody” status.

Unfortunately, fame doesn’t come without paying a hefty price, and sadly Ted has entered a rehabilitation center for his addictions. My heart fell, as I imagined how overwhelmed he must have felt as he received job offers that earned him more money in an hour than many of us make in month, which surely brought out the vultures who wanted a piece of his financial success, and then at his loss of privacy as the paparazzi hounded him for photos and interviews.

And in true American form, as his downfall quickly spreads through the media, we will soon forget about Ted, as we move on to the next “nobody” seeking their 15 minutes of fame. So too, will we one day forget about Snooki, as the next rising drunk girl with a gimmick finds her way onto our computers, TVs and radios. Watching Ted’s quick fall from the pedestal, I realized that the price of fame must certainly be paid by all involved even the broke housewives. Seriously!

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As a faithful fan of the Real Housewives of New York series, I’ll admit that I was quite excited to watch the reunion episode from this season. However, it turned out to be 40 minutes of constant bickering and bitching between seven grown women, which depending on who you ask makes great television.

The highlight of part one’s episode for those who had been watching was to see if Jill Zarin and Bethenny Frankel would mend their shattered friendship in front of millions of viewers. Personally, I had been anticipating this episode in hopes that they would, because frankly true friends are hard to find and I enjoyed watching them together.

I was a complete ball of nerves as I witnessed a tear stricken Jill apologize repeatedly to Bethenny for her callous behavior to her this season, her regret was stifling as she all but begged for forgiveness. Then it was Bethenny’s turn and I thought this is it, the make up. I was sitting on the edge of my sofa, anxiously awaiting the response that would make all the tension, drama and backstabbing displayed on this season worth the agony of watching each emotional show. And then Bethenny unleashed the flood gates of her hurt, anger and embarrassment onto Jill by outlining each of her wrong doings throughout their relationship. She reminded her how many times she tried to make amends and was repeatedly shut out to the point where her heart simply shattered. My mouth fell open, as I watched Jill run from the room crying and Bethenny stammering on about how she simply could not keep Jill in her life anymore. There would most certainly be no make up tonight.

As the show came to a close, I was feeling incredibly let down, frustrated and quite honestly angry with Bethenny. How could she not forgive this woman who appeared to so desperately want to be friends with her? What kind of person can see an old friend crying her eyes out and just say I can’t?

It was disheartening to say the least, until I remembered that friendships as close as they may have been do end and that’s okay.

When I went off to college, I made the decision to cut out my toxic best friend from high school. For so many years (awkward teenage ones, I might add), I tried to make that friendship work. I took her verbal abuse, her jealous attacks, and her backstabbing while forgiving her nasty comments and harsh demands to be her friend time and time again. And then with a shattered heart and bruised spirit, I was done. I had finally reached a point (more so, the courage) where I realized the relationship was unhealthy for the both of us and I ended it.

Over the years, my ex-girlfriend has repeatedly contacted me to makeup for her wrongness, seek forgiveness for her past behavior and suggest that we be friends again. And each time I listened to her, absorbed what she was saying, and forgave her for what she did but I never allowed her back in my life. The friendship had long run it’s course and I no longer had a place for her in my heart.

As I reminded myself of that painful experience, I began to completely understand why Bethenny couldn’t rush into Jill’s arms and say I love you, I forgive you, we can be Bestie’s again. The pain and hurt that someone you love causes you can leave a mark so deep you’ll never forget how you got it. Can you move on? Yes. Can you learn from it? Yes. Can you forgive? Yes. But no one, not even the million of viewers let down by the lack of a reconciliation, should expect you to open yourself back up to a relationship that caused you so much agony.

I hope that Jill was truthful when she said she had changed and I believe that my old friend has changed as well, but often that relationship ending was meant to be the catalyst for that change, nothing more and nothing less, and that is okay. Doesn’t make for great reality TV, but it is oh so real. Seriously.

I hate to admit it but I love reality TV. I enjoy the sneak peek into other people’s daily lives, turbulent relationships and fascinating careers. The job programs are the most interesting to me. I had no idea there was such a position as an Ice Road Trucker, and I have always secretly wished I could be a top chef, house flipper or fashion designer. But I like the other several million Americans have settled into the daily rat race also known as corporate America. Without business workers, such as myself America would not be the country it is today. But so many of today’s office employees are miserable, feeling like they have no purpose in life but to shuffle papers, take demands from superiors, and sit in a 4 by 4 cube all day. And therein lies the beauty of reality TV.

  1. It provides an escape from reality. Let’s face it, working 9-5 everyday for the “Man” can wear on even the most stable and optimistic person.
  2. It can help you recognize your dreams. Some shows have the ability to simply inspire you to get off your couch and do that one thing you’ve always dreamed of doing.
  3. It makes you realize maybe your life ain’t so bad. Let’s face it, you’re not in a jungle starving to death and sleeping with a bunch of cutthroat strangers ready to boot you off your island. Oh wait, maybe that is your workplace reality…seriously?!?

Soapbox Diaries from an Unplanned Single Life!

I hope you enjoy the random thoughts, observations and life lessons that I've learned along the way. It's called Seriously? because some days I just shake my head and say seriously, is this my life?


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