there's a few reality shows im ashamed to say im addicted to in a sort of peripheral kind of way. im willing to watch almost any episode of wife swap, trading spouses or supernanny.
i immediately understood my fascination with supernanny - i think jo's advice is spot-on in most instances. im sure she's not doing it all herself, but she seems to help a lot of parents and children and that can only be a good thing.
in terms of reality shows of a more competitive nature - i dont really care about competition, but i guess there's enough of the barbarian in me that i still enjoy a good metaphorical trainwreck.
like this evening's episode. the swap involves a cajun woman from louisiana and a ballerina from california, who fancies herself - among other things - as an art afficionado. (i really love that word. it impresses me no end i know how to spell it. i think i know how to spell it. i could be wrong.)
the cajun bride looks put-upon but the ballerina is coming off looking uptight and snooty and worst of all - hypocritical. but really... i can't see how she left the producers any choice. i knew it was all going to go badly for her when she announced - in voiceover - that she and her husband enjoy and appreciate (and i quote) "the finer things in life."
i don't think it was an accident that buddy chose that moment to howl.
so here, in no particular order of importance, are all the things i think i've learned from watching wife swap and trading spouses:
1. NEVER admit on national television - or anywhere in fact - that you enjoy "the finer things in life." we all like the finer things. we all just can't afford them all the time. and after all, people can differ on what they consider "fine:" there's a lot of things like whiskey and fast women - that truly are quite "fine," in their place.
2. envy is a useless emotion. the grass is not greener, anywhere, anyhow, for anyone.
3. openminded and adaptable people are not as much fun to watch as inflexible and neurotic people but are far easier to live with.
4. sometimes when you think you have something to teach, it means you have something to learn.
5. everyone is as crazy as everyone else, but in their own unique ways, and every family can at times appear completely insane when viewed from the outside.
i especially find the last one immensely reassuring.