Friday, October 30, 2009


I used to watch Jon & Kate + Eight, and I liked it. I liked seeing how she managed to get housework done, and cook for a family of ten, and somehow manage to get all the kids dressed and fed breakfast before noon. Sure she got help from a team of volunteers, but I still got organizational tips and stuff. It was a neat little show, like Little People, Big World, which I also enjoy.

Now, I didn't really like how Kate talked to Jon, like he was one of the kids rather than an equal. But he said on many different occasions that it didn't bother him so I figured that was just how they were. I've learned in my life that I don't have to like other peoples' relationships, and that me not liking it doesn't often matter much. My friend's boyfriend does things I wouldn't put up with but hey, my husband does things that bug my friend, and it's all fine.

Then the show got sort of gimmicky. It went from "a day in the life of this family" to "let's put the kids in fake situations and watch them react". In other words, it went being from a weekly documentary to being more of a staged reality show. I wanted to see Kate make treats for a birthday party, not watch the guys from American Chopper come by to play with the kids. I'm not going to get housekeeping tips from watching the family hang out in a rented beach house. I lost interest in the show. But then . . .

Gosselin Mania 2009!!! Jon's a douche! Kate's actually the nice one! He's boffing the nanny, the reporter, and Kate's surgeon's creepily young daughter! Kate's on The View taking the high road. Jon emptied the bank account, but claims it's all his money. A judge declares Jon to be a giant ass and demands he return the money. Jon announces that he's now a Korean Jew. Public opinion shifts from "Jon deserves to be treated better than she treats him" to "WTF did she ever see in him anyway?!"

I don't actually watch the show anyway, which is fine since Jon got kicked off and then stopped production (Korean-Jewish hissy fit), but I do love the articles. I know, it's so trashy. But it's like watching a train wreck, if the train wore sparkly Ed Hardy shirts and constantly tried to defend new crashes to the press. But my absolute favorite thing about online Gosselin news articles is the comments section, because invariably there are about 50 comments like this:


For one thing, if you're commenting on the tabloid articles, by definition you aren't boycotting them. Also, judging by the number of comments, some people do care about these people and that is why they report on it. But perhaps most strikingly, if you know what Kate's brother and sister in law said then you have been following this whole train wreck and, far from being above it all and better than the rest of us, you are one of us. You are exactly the same as every mouth breathing housecoat clad Kate wannabe with her own spiky reverse mullet haircut, as well as those of us who read it all just to laugh at Jon's idiocy. You aren't trendy or edgy or superior. You follow the stories, you know how Hailey Glassman is, you know who Michael Lohan is.

You're one of us. Accept it.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mythbusters, for men

  1. Going to the zoo while menstruating will not cause apes and monkeys to attempt to escape and gang rape us. If they were that sensitive to the cycles of other species, they'd go batshit every time any other animal in the zoo came into heat. And speaking of heat, it's pheromones released during that time that drive the males of certain species wild. Male dogs don't swarm the yard because Fifi smells like blood, but because Fifi smells like the doggie version of Axe body spray, for at least a couple weeks after bleeding stops.
  2. We can swim in the ocean with a tampon without attracting sharks. See, menstruation isn't actually blood, and there isn't really a lot of it; it just looks like it. It's actually (prepare yourself here) liquefied uterine tissue, and only a few ounces a month. The uterus grows a think inner layer every month which then melts/disintegrates and then just sort of leaks out slowly. It's gross, but it's not blood. I suppose if a woman were wearing a full maxi pad and were dropped into an existing circle of hungry sharks, she might attract more attention than usual, but a few drops of vaguely blood-colored tissue isn't likely to bring sharks from miles around right up to the beach. They'll stay out where they are and keep eating sea lions.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Growing old gracefully

When I was little, I always knew that someday I'd be old. I'd have gray hair and wrinkles, and I'd probably drive an old boat of a car, like my grandmother did. I think most little girls know this. When do they stop knowing it?

Botox, hair dye, cosmetic surgery, wrinkly cream, eye serum, light reflecting crease plumping make up. They even sell little pieces of tape you're supposed to use to give yourself a face lift by taping your eyebrows to your hairline. And it's all because people don't want to look 40 when they're 40.

We all know that half the time, the Hollywood stars who try to fight the clock don't look younger, they just look really surprised, or like The Joker, or just freaky. And that really sucks, because actresses are supposed to be able to play real people, and real people don't look like Delta Burke does now. Who is going to play the grandmothers now? Without any Jessica Tandys or Estelle Gettys, who will play old women? It's bad enough that every 40 year old role is played by some unrealistic mannequin, but the grandmothers too? I really don't want to see a remake of Driving Miss Daisy starring Teri Hatcher. And no one would understand why the people in the new Cocoon ever left Earth at all!

I worry about how attractive my husband finds me. And I worry that I look older than 33. But I honestly don't worry about not looking 21 anymore. In fact, I would love to be able to go and have my dyed-red hair dyed back to its natural color and then just let the gray grow in. I have grays, and I'm fine with that. And there's now a truly horizontal reason I need to wear a bra, not just a stabilizing issue. And that's cool too. And as for wrinkles, bring them on. I have buried friends way too young to die and my thought for each of them was "(S)he didn't get to be old." Being old, and gray and wrinkled and all of it, is a gift. It's a privilege not all of us get to enjoy. I have stretch marks, and parts that are lower than they used to be, and hair that's given up on having color. And I'm okay with that. It occasionally occurs to me that I'm "letting myself go", but sometimes it feels so free to let go. Holding on, especially to the past, just wears you out. I'm fine with looking my age - my real age, not what Hollywood tells me my age should look like .

A great quote from a movie: "There is nothing tragic about being 40, unless you try to be 25 instead."