The Slurping Sound

Posted: 14 April 2005 in observations, work

As a shift worker, I am plagued by daytime television. I can’t help but get sucked into it. Bottom line, when I’m not at work at odd hours, or sleeping off working odd hours, all I want to do is sit on the couch and make sure the playstation isn’t dusty. I’m very meticulous about it, I assure you. But, I’m a terrible skateboarder, driver and other doer of surf/steer like actions required by some search and acquire games. So that leaves me hanging until D. (the resident driver/biker/hoverboarder) comes home and wins the level for me. But, being playstation deprived does not prevent me from sitting on the couch for hours. It does, however, strand me with the television. I try to make sure I have some reality show tivo’d to appease the beast, but, unfortunately, I’m not always that prepared. That leaves me with daytime television.

To my credit, I give up in disgust before the soap operas come on. But, that doesn’t save me from the noon hour and Starting Over. I know. No, you don’t have to tell me. I truly believe my reality tv habit is forgivable as long as can avoid watching this drivel. Since you haven’t seen it (no, seriously, you never would have seen it) I’ll tell you, it’s strangely fascinating. The premise, that a revolving set of six women who need to remake their lives live in a LA mansion under the care of shrinks, life counselors, dietitians etc. Once you’re deemed rehabilitated, the therapy team “graduates” you and you, supposedly, go on to live a so fresh and so clean life.

The gigantic slurping sound you’re hearing is your brain dissolving and flowing out of your ears.

Most of these women are in their thirties, of average appearance, somewhat overweight and heavily angsty. Their stated problems range from being messy to childhood sexual abuse with oddballs like “my father is in prison” and “my sister is Toni Braxton”. Having watched it off and on, more than I care to admit, it all breaks down to one thing in the eyes of the therapy team: the women don’t like themselves. If she’d just break down her walls and love herself, she’d cook lower fat food. If she’d just give herself a little hug, she’d find her adopted son. If she’d only admit that she is a good person, she’d be able to live a full life as a blind woman. Though I’m sure that’s a simplistic view of what’s actually going on, that’s what the camera focuses on.

You’ll be happy to know I’ve weaned myself from it. Frankly, I can’t stand to watch the self pity and whimpering of six grown women whose problems aren’t any worse than the rest of us. But I’m a person At Risk. It’s a good thing there’s plenty of reality tv on tonight…


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