Got Reality TV?

Winter in northern New Hampshire lasts many moons many long moons an eternity. For me, this means a lot of crappy reality TV.

Because there are just so many evenings when I want to huddle around a roaring fire reading the classics. Yes, I do read every night and yes, 90% 75% 50% 2% of the books I read are great works of art, but this winter has gone on for so long and been so persistently cold that Jim tells me we are going to run out of firewood for the stove that heats our home BEFORE the end of this particularly tiresome winter. And I am sorry. No fire, no Charles Dickens.

And anyways, a girl’s gotta live! It can’t all be Jane Austen.

So while many some the occasional evening is spent with Mr. Darcy, some evenings I spend with the “The Bachelor”, or at the Brooklyn “Real World” house dump, or with my friend, Whitney, in “The City”.

My excuse? I still have a teenager in the house. I still am a teenager. I always was more low brow than high. The moose made me do it. With all our label problems, I have been sniffing too much varnish and glue to think clearly and make good choices.

So yes, I was there Monday night when the bachelor Jason proposed to Melissa on a New Zealand hilltop, then I was there five minutes later in an ABC studio far, far away when Jason broke up with Melissa so he could pick up where he left off with another bachelorette, one of the twenty four ladies he had previously discarded.

I was also there the next night at the “After the Rose Ceremony, part II” when the bachelor was aglow with love for his replacement squeeze.

Ah romance!

Things haven’t been much better on “The City” where snarky Olivia, over at Diane Von Furstenberg, has taken credit for pulling the clothes for a magazine cover shoot with Jessica Alba when in fact….. our plucky heroine Whitney pulled the winning outfit. Plus Whitney’s boyfriend is staying out ’til five am with his ex, while simultaneously living at Whit’s place.

Ah young romance!

And everyone in my family is tired of me pontificating about the action on “Real World” and how it reflects the problems of our times.

In a household of great religious, social, and gender identity diversity, this group is fighting about the dishes. As four very spoiled girls refuse to wash a single cup or plate, take out their trash, or lift a finger around their luxury “Real World” digs because, “they are adults and don’t need to be told what to do.” the four boys in the house are on the warpath, trying to get them to be responsible about their messes.

Besides the boys warming the cockles of mothers’ hearts everywhere, this unexpected dynamic fits into my thesis about the crisis of personal responsibility plaguing our culture. And frankly, my own children are tired of me reminding them about this.

So anyways, until now, I have been only a spectator in all this TV reality drama, a noisy opinionated spectator, but nothing more than that. Then two days ago I received an inquiry from ABC to see if I was interested in being on their reality TV show “Wife Swap”.

I kid you not.

Apparently, I would go live for a week or two in another family as the temporary wife and mother of a new brood, while this family’s wife and mother would come and be the temporary factotum here.

The letter from the casting director tells me that they are looking for an animal communicator and somehow decided that was sort of what I did. Hmmmmm. I can only guess how much of the website they read………. VERY LITTLE, because I would say that talking to animals was the least of my oddities.

In any case, no one needs a film crew to imagine how this one would play itself out. Can’t you just write this script already?

I will be sent off to some household where my new family thinks someone who talks to animals is crazy and works for Satan. This will cause sparks to fly. Lots of sparks. Because not only do I talk to animals, but I work for Fairies and Angels. I also see colored lights around people. Around my new husband’s head I will probably see red. He and our viewing audience will think I am certifiable and maybe my new husband will certify me right then and there. On reality TV! My moment on “Wife Swap” will be more exciting than “the Most Dramatic Rose Ceremony ever” and that’s saying something!

Meanwhile, what about Jim and Will? Apparently the new wife and mother is supposed to right the ship in a household woefully out of balance. Would Will and Jim provide enough fodder for the new wife? Would they get their fair share of air time when at my new household someone has been called in to do an exorcism on me?????????

Yup, there are some serious problems with Jim and Will. I may be just the wacky handful that all good reality TV shows are looking for, but the Sheehan men are vanilla to my rocky road. Will has no piercings, tattoos, drug or attitude problems. We could work up some issues fast, but maybe nothing more exciting than a serious milkshake addiction. He does like two milkshakes a day and who can blame him? He is growing faster than bamboo. We also could try to drum up some disciplinary problems. I mean the kid does experience an occasional lapse about feeding the dogs at five sharp.

And Jim? I am sorry but there is nothing incendiary about a guy who does the laundry AND takes care of all car problems. If his new wife wants a dramatic challenge, she is going to be bored bored bored. And I am afraid that if ABC needs dual drama at both my new household and my old one, they are going to be sorely disappointed.

I guess I will just have to pass on this chance of a lifetime,

But if any of you animal communicators out there are ready for a rumble, I’d be happy to forward on the name and email address of the casting director to you. He wants you and if you sign up, I promise to watch. We’ll be out of firewood by then and will be huddling around the TV looking for the kind of warmth only reality TV can bring.

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