Thursday, October 6, 2011

Everything I need to know...

I learned from television.

Don’t judge me. I was a latch key kid. There were way worse things I could have gotten into. I have an unnatural relationship with fictional characters. Always have, always will. I can take comfort in the fact that at least the shows I watched, as a kid, were approved for all audiences and the scripts were written with a (mostly) high moral fortitude.

One of my favorite bloggers, little miss momma, suggested a “Things you need to know about me if we’re going to be BFFs” blog. I thought “What do I want people to know?” Well, I want you to know that media has greatly influenced my life. For better or for worse. I want you to know that I take things that other people have written and re-write them to make them work for me. I take women from television and use their strengths to strengthen myself and their weaknesses to make myself feel normal. It happens. Ask my real life BFF Megan , she's obsessed like I am. She gets it. I’m sure some of you will too. If not, well, then thanks for reading but you’ll probably have NO IDEA what I’m talking about. That’s okay. I like you anyway. But, seriously, set your DVR once in a while and watch some TV. What are you doing instead? Cleaning your house? Working?


The last few weeks have been especially awesome for TV. All of my favorite shows have come back for the fall season and I’ve even added a few new favorites to the list. (If you haven’t gotten a chance yet, check out New Girl with Zooey Dechanel on Fox. It’s Flippin hilarious!)

If I tried to list every woman on every show that I’ve borrowed life lessons from, it would take way more than one blog. So here’s a partial list:

Christina Yang and Meredith Grey from Grey’s Anatomy

These two have the most amazing heterosexual life partner situation happening for them. The most amazing fictional one anyway. The real life one I have with Megan kind of trumps it, but they are definitely our inspiration. They are dark and twisty, ridiculously loyal and their support for one another, whether legal or not, is unwavering. There is no judgment, they don’t talk about one another being the other’s back and if one of them is doing something stupid, the other will call her out on it, even if she eventually helps her pull it off. They are each other’s “Person” and you won’t find two thicker thieves around. It is their relationship that reminds me of the type of friend I truly want to be and the type I’m grateful I have. The kind that shows up, no questions asked, and does whatever is needed. I love Christina and Meredith.       

Ellie and Jules from Cougar Town

If Christina and Meredith ever get a sitcom spin-off, it’ll probably look a little like Cougar Town. These two, while not quite as dark and twisty, definitely have a heterosexual life partner thing happening for them as well. They are a little lighter, a little fluffier and they drink way more wine, but they have each other’s backs. They have stood by one another through marriage and divorce, babies and college kids and manage to be completely possessive of one another without it getting weird. They laugh at each other, laugh at themselves and accept one another fully even with all of the strange, annoying, and down right mean idiosyncrasies the other possesses. If Megan and I ever get our wish and live next door to each other…I imagine it’ll look a whole lot like Ellie and Jules.  

Frankie Heck from The Middle

Frankie might not be the best to teach me how to be a friend, but she sure has that realistic motherhood thing DOWN! I watched last night as she washed her armpits in the sink while trying to get out the door for work. One of her kids was in her shower and her husband was sitting idly by and reading the newspaper while she tried desperately to get all the kids out the door and ready for school. Frankie Heck is me. She’s me in 15 years. She’s me right now. At her core, all she really wants is her family to be healthy and happy and well put together and to be appreciated for all that she does. Her house is NEVER clean. Her laundry is NEVER done. Her dishwasher is ALWAYS full and her kids are ALWAYS crazy. Her relationship with her husband, Mike, reminds me of Jeremy and I so much that I swear sometimes ABC has camera’s in my house. I love that Frankie is real. I love that she’s constantly jealous of other moms. I love that she takes the simplest things that most families I know deal with and makes them endearing and funny. Example: Taking Back the House, from Season Two, where she highlights things like the kids sneaking into her and Mike’s bed in the middle of the night and the fact that they never get to watch their own TV. They decide to take back ownership of their own home and their crazy kids fight them every step of the way. Sure, in the end, things stay exactly the way they are and Frankie and Mike continue to put their children first, but I love that there is someone to watch who goes through the same stuff I go through and reminds me that it’s okay to laugh at this thing I call my life.


Let’s be honest, there would be no Frankie Heck without Roseanne. Roseanne was the first time where I could watch a TV show and think, “Yeah, that’s a real family. That’s my family” The ends never met. The endings were rarely happy. The trials and tribulations were so raw and so real that you couldn’t help but laugh. I can remember my mom actually telling me that I could watch Roseanne because it was the most real show on television. I still watch Roseanne all the time. Thank Jesus for Nick at Nite. If you haven’t watched it recently, stay up late, turn to Nick at Nite, take comfort in the fact that no matter how broke you are, how screwed up your situation might be, Roseanne and the rest of the Connor Clan understand.    

So, there it is. Things you should know about me. I love TV. I love characters. I’m trying to be better, but on the days when I’m not better, I find reasons for that to be okay, too.

DVR. Go. Do it. NOW.