If my life was a reality show, the theme song would be the theme from “Mission Impossible.” But let’s face it, without the help of a good editor, reel-life is real boring even with the help of a jazzy theme song from a cool 1960’s Cold War secret agent show.
My days are an endless series of stress-filled repeat episodes that leave me feeling as if I’m going to self-destruct in 5 seconds. Every morning I scream at the kids to hurry up and get ready for school; I push them out of one door and into the car; try to levitate my minivan above the insane traffic that constipates every road leading to the George Washington Bridge every single weekday morning; pull them out of the car to drag them across and up Fort Lee Road trotting them like long-shot race horses as the crazy Korean crossing guard curses me in a language I’m beginning to understand for crossing during the flashing 5 second warning; I internally scream my own violent obscenities as I push the kids through the school doors seconds before the late bell rings. After the overwhelming need to breathe into a brown paper bag passes, I begin my morning meditation: foraging for orphan change on the floor of my car so I can buy a cup of coffee and find my inner human being.
Against the better angels of my nature, I’ve become addicted to the most mindless shows reality T.V. has to offer--Bravo’s “Housewives of New Jersey” and MTV’s “The Jersey Shore.” Undoubtedly, you can’t get much worse than that. However, as a native Jersey Girl who needs her fill of mindless entertainment, I tune in to see not only how my beloved state is being portrayed, but betrayed.
What gets me about “The Housewives of New Jersey” is, well, everything. How believable is it, really, to have women with deep Hudson County accents represent tony Franklin Lakes? At the very least, attention must be paid to any group of women who can masterfully stylize the word boobs into the plural possessive “bewbies” and interject it into every third incoherent sentence. Now, I’m certainly not pulling the grammatical high card here; my entire family has created a language of our own by butchering the English language; I can conjugate the word “jaboopy” which happens to be a family favorite, and the topic of a column all its own.
What’s most amazing about the housewives is that they represent no woman I know. Who rewards their daughter with a brand new car for failing out of school? And when one of my 45-year old girlfriends is seen out with a 25-year old it’s called babysitting your friend’s son while their away on vacation, not dating. But it was the infamous “table flip” episode that caught my attention. Many people from Bergen and Hudson County know the “table flip,” in fact, it’s an Olympic sport in my family, but I don’t think the rest of the country was prepared for it.
Then there’s MTV’s “Jersey Shore” where nobody ever goes to the shore and every moment is edited into a string of bad decisions! Lord knows that I spent enough drunken summer nights on the boardwalk in Seaside Heights to get down on my hands and knees and thank God those were the days before cell phones, digital cameras, and reality TV. If a camera crew had followed me around, God knows what “situation” they would have found me in, but one thing’s for sure--they wouldn’t have found me with “The Situation.” Despite the fact that the look for men back then was more ‘long-haired lanky’ than ‘juiced-up steroid,’ there was only one hair gel, “Dippity-Do,” and it wasn’t marketed to men.
However, it’s very possible you would have found me with “The Situation’s” uncle, “Vince the Slap Chop Guy” from the infomercial. There’s something awfully (emphasis on awful) familiar about him. Whenever I hear, “You’re gonna love my nuts,” something about his voice triggers my mind back to the summer of 1981, Lucky Leo’s, and way too many Jell-o shots.
Oh well, back to my un-edited reality: kids’ bath time, making lunches and packing snacks. (Cue theme from “Mission Impossible.”)