If feeling under the weather is a euphemism for feeling just plain crappy, then I’ve spent the last few days feeling sleety. With little to no chance of sun. Just a winter cold with all the inherent symptoms — but enough to make even thinking a huge ordeal. As someone who doesn’t take well to taking it easy, I have to say that this cold has forced me into submission. And into dosing myself with mindless TV.
Much to my dismay, I’ve found that daytime TV offers an unrelenting downpour of so-called reality shows, with a marathon of at least one each day (translation: 47 episodes back to back to back to … you get the picture). My viewing has been fickle (between Lifetime, Bravo, and E! mostly) — anything that might distract me from actually giving in to feeling awful. What I discovered is that the only thing worse than choosing to watch this mind-numbing stuff is watching it because you feel like you have no choice (I’m telling you, even using the remote was too much effort).
From a loudmouthed matchmaker for millionaires, to a house flipper with a major ego, to a bunch of preachers’ daughters whose favorite accessory is an up-to-there mini skirt versus a hell-and-brimstone Bible belt, to real housewives from no place I want to live — these are the people I let into my home to pass the time between doses of Robitussin.
I think it’s sad, really, that the people on these episodes delude themselves into thinking that these shows make them look good; sadder still that I put myself on a constant IV of watching this stuff; saddest above all that I couldn’t look away.
Did it help? Yes, in the way that dropping a brick on your foot can help you forget, briefly, the pain in your ear. Or the way that hearing a friend’s real heartache can make you realize how small your hangnail really is. Or the way that seeing the brutal winter snowstorms on the news can make you see how complaining about a single rainy day in LA is not ok.
Sometimes, to quote Dr. Timothy Leary (don’t even think about asking me who he is — look it up), you just need to “turn on, tune in, and drop out.” Hey, doctor’s orders.
© 2014 Claudia Grossman