Saturday, May 30, 2009

Maybe I shouldn't be on TV

When I turned 30, I made a list of experiences I wanted to have. One item on the list was to appear on TV. That's probably obvious given my repeated references to being "The View" and my continuous gripes about a certain sub-par 30-something. Anyway, I think I may have strike that off my list. I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I am very sad about Jon and Kate (Plus 8). I saw the episode that milked their marriage troubles to death last week and the children pointed out the tabloid photographers lurking as they shopped for party supplies. Days later, I saw those very pictures on the cover of a magazine as I moved through the checkout at the grocery store. I was horrified at the stark reality of this situation. I imagined my daughter or my son seeing themselves on a cover or, when they are older, having them read that their parents were fighting. I wanted to cry.

The fairness of this media attention isn't really important to me. But I liked this family. And I sort of liked to think of myself and my imaginary television persona in a class with them. They are an interesting family trying to enact the life they are building together--or some version of that life--in a conscious way. Clearly, they never expected this kind of attention or the changes it has created in them. I mean, if someone said, "Hey Steel Magnolia, your family's fascinating and your children are cute. Can we make a little cable show about how in the world you do it?" I would have agreed. In fact, hubby and I submitted ourselves for "A Wedding Story" when we got married. Who would imagine, even in the media-soaked world of today, that being on TV would possibly rip your family apart in one season? Well, maybe they should have paid more attention to Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey, but still.

I don't know. I just thought that they were a happy family and they were trying to get it right, sometimes failing and sometimes hitting the mark. I'm sad that a family that was functional now may not be anymore. I'm sad because our best intentions sometimes don't compensate for the crap of life.


Ink said...

I didn't even watch the show and I'm upset about it, after having read so much coverage in the mags. Do you think there's anything to the charge that she only turns "on" the momcharm for the cameras? That's chilling.

And were you on A Wedding Story? I used to LOVE that show. Also Fashion Emergency.

The Steel Magnolia said...

No! I'm STILL sad to say that we got through the first round of A Wedding Story, but we were not picked. When the season aired, they had a couple on who was similar to us, so I decided that those people had already been chosen; thus, we were fabulous, but victims of circumstance.

I really hope Kate is a good mother. Otherwise, it's all just too awful. In the home videos from before they had all the kids, she seemed pretty soft and genuine. She's not all that likeable now, but I am just soooo forgiving of anyone with EIGHT children!

Ink said...

Well, that was their loss because of course you're fabulous!

And I hope Kate is, too. It's got to be hard to the subject of so much media scrutiny.