My Deprived Childhood

Growing up I spent my weekends at soccer games, hanging out at the Bedford Bluffs (our swim and tennis club), at swim meets and skiing up in Maine at Sugarloaf Mountain. My parents kept Abby and I busy and I never felt like I had really missed out on anything in my childhood.

That is, until now.

Right now I am sitting in my apartment watching tv. Here are some of the comments from the show I am watching that have made it painfully obvious that I missed out on a lot growing up.

“We started spray tanning her when she was 11 months old.”I am sad to report that I got my first spray tan ever THIS year. I missed out on 27 years of bronzed skin.

 

“Popular kids aren’t ugly. The kids that are pretty get recognized sooner. You know, like in red rover, red rover. Well I want her to be my girlfriend, so I am going to call her to be on my team. It is nothing that I can change – it is just the way of the world.”
I thought that you just had to run fast to be good at Red Rover… wish I knew you just had to be pretty. It would have saved me a lot of effort.

 

“I get my groove on, get my pedicure on, get my twinkle toes shined up” (this was said by a father)
My father has never gotten a pedicure with me. No wonder we have such a strained father-daughter relationship.

 

 

“Do you want sparkle baby eyes?”
Umm, yes! I don’t even know what those are but I know that I want them. If only I had been asked…

 

“She didn’t do so good… Maybe everyone else will just mess up really bad and then we’ll be good.”
Now I am not sure about this one. I know my parents certainly supported me, especially in swimming. So maybe my parents did say this after I competed in my swim races. I can only hope!

 

“The screaming and the hitting… I don’t really get embarrassed when my daughter does it only because she is still little and it is still kinda cutesy when she does it… She does it to show the other kids and the moms that she is dominant.”
My parents told me that yelling at them, screaming and hitting wasn’t appropriate. And so ended my world domination.

 

So thank you Toddlers & Tiaras for making it painfully obviously that I had a deprived childhood. Mom and Dad, I think you have a lot to make up for… and I will start with unlimited spray tans for the next 10 years.

Sucked in by the Sap

I blame my parents for my addiction to crappy tv. Growing up, not only did we not have cable, but we only have 4 channels on our tv. I grew up on ABC, NBC, CBS and far far too much PBS. While other kids were watching Punky Brewster, 90210 and Melrose Place, Abby and I were watching Mr. Rogers and Square One. We had a limit of 30 minutes of tv each day during the week and an hour or so on the weekends. Reading, playing games and swimming took up most of our time. In truth, I was blissfully unaware of all that I was missing and honestly didn’t mind, or realize, that my childhood (and teenage years) were lacking the quality tv time of my peers.

When I went off to college I started to hear stories about Dawson’s Creek. I felt left out as I never got to meet Dawson, Joey or Pacey. Thankfully, the DVD box set came through for me. I started to form relationships with people my friends had known for years. Rory Gilmore and I became fast friends as we shared the stress of college. The parents on 7th Heaven taught me many life lessons. And I partied with Salinger siblings.

Over the years, my obsession with tv has changed from classic 90s family shows to reality shows. I now spend countless hours watching shows like American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, the Next Food Network Star, and Toddlers & Tiaras. Recently, I have become hooked on to two new shows: Losing it With Jillian Michaels and America’s Got Talent. Both of these shows have one thing in common – they play up the sap.

On the surface these shows are not good. One show follows a family struggling with obesity for 1 week of their lives. Watching over weight people learn how to eat appropriate sized portions and visit a gym isn’t a great plot for a show. The other show scours the country for marginal talent. I think that Winter Follies, the annual talent show at my high school had much more talents acts than this show is able to find. Really the acts are more bizarre than talented. But what draws me into to these shows are the sappy stories. The story of a family overcoming the evils of southern cooking. The story of a boy suffering from epilepsy who has found peace in indoor kite flying. The story of an old watch maker who shared his love of playing the harmonica with the world.

These stories of people, from the most obscure places around the world, I am embarrassed to say, have moved me to tears more than once. So I thank you, sappy reality tv, for allowing me to continue my quest in making up for lost time. Ironically, I do this by sitting in front of the tv, losing time from reality.