A Dose of Reality

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My day started bright and early today. My friend N had sent out a last minute Facebook invitation to her friends this week, saying she and her beau were getting married at the municipal court Saturday at 9:00 am (i.e. today), and there would be a brunch at a neighborhood hangout. She made it clear she didn’t expect anyone to make it considering the short notice. Who gets married at 9:00 am? was my first thought. But I knew I couldn’t miss such a special occasion. I hadn’t seen my girlfriend in two years, and had yet to meet the groom, so I replied I’d join them for the brunch portion, which was more of a realistic goal for me time-wise. I ended up getting there so late that people were starting to leave already, but that was okay with me since the prospect of meeting a big bunch of people made me really nervous. N would have had every right to be annoyed with me for showing up at the last minute like that, but instead she kept thanking me for even showing up at all, saying she knows what a big effort it is for me to just get out of the house these days. Keep everybody’s expectations low is what I say. That’s the way to go. It seems I didn’t miss much as far as the ceremony goes. As N told me, the judge was particularly disagreeable (but she used more colorful language) and managed to trim down what should have been a twenty minute ceremony into an efficient five minutes instead. What I found refreshing was that N didn’t seem all that bothered by it all. Compared to those hysterical bridezillas you hear about and see on tv, it was nice to see my friend keeping a firm sense of perspective on the whole thing.

Speaking of television, now that the new season is on there’s a whole slew of new shows, including of course the reality shows. I’m not necessarily a huge fan of that format, but I have been known to get hooked on a season of The Bachelor here and there. I think it’s hilarious that they call them “reality” shows because once they’ve done the casting and flown the contestants into the dream setting and dressed them up to the nines and gotten the game in motion according to script, the whole thing ends up looking exactly like a soap opera. The big twist on The Bachelor this season is that he’s a single father! Woo hoo! Can you imagine that? To hear them promote it, you’d think the guy’s the first single dad that ever was.

My other guilty pleasure lately is called True Beauty. The participants have been told they are competing for the title of most beautiful person in America. There’s plenty to cringe about when you meet these *paragons of beauty* as they each go on and on about how far superior their looks are to anybody elses. Meanwhile the judges watch footage from hidden cameras, while the contestants are subjected to covert challenges designed to measure whether they are as beautiful on the inside as they think they are on the outside. On the first show, each participant is driven to the designer glass mansion in a Ferrari, and as they’re arriving and making small talk, one girl says “I bet you were all the most beautiful person in high school, right?” and of course everybody agrees. As for this humble blogger, I was too different back in high school to be considered beautiful by anyone but my mother [hey mom!] but I do remember very much hoping that some members of the clique of beautiful rich kids—endlessly preening and showing off their hair, their teeth, their tans, their clothes and accessories—would fall flat on their faces. So far, True Beauty pretty much delivers on that front. Petty, yes. But satisfying as hell.

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