July 14, 2024
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July 14, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

I am sure that there are many people who are op­posed to reality televi­sion. One might think it is a waste of time. I happen to love it, but not all of it. I no longer watch any of the bache­lor/ bachelorette series because I would be­come emotionally involved and then they would never get married and live happi­ly ever after. I would spend weeks watching their love bloom, romance abound, and then the rose-covered proposal and, before you know it, the cover of People magazine with the “Where We Went Wrong” headline. I will tell you where you went wrong, you went on this stupid TV show.

The Real World on MTV, I believe, was the first reality show. They took a bunch of good-looking people in their 20s and put them in a loft in the city while we got to watch their escapades. I only watched it because it be­gan during the time of my life before I was married, but after I was finished studying for something (though, that might not be true, I was definitely not married, but for sure I was supposed to be studying for something…oh well). Fun show, but lost its appeal.

Let’s quickly fast forward to the Real Housewives series. There is New York, New Jersey, Atlanta, who knows where else, and Beverly Hills. I confess I watch the Beverly Hills Housewives. It makes me happy to see that even if you have unlimited money and stunning jewelry, women are still mean to each other. Behind their backs, to their fac­es, it just doesn’t matter. We never leave high school, even if we live in a house so big that the closets have their own bathrooms and defibril­lators. Really the only difference between the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and the soon-to-be-aired Real Housewives of Bergen County is the plastic surgery. In Beverly Hills, the women take care of their faces and in Bergen County it seems that plastic surgeons are only used to give our kids stitches (because all housewives in Bergen County are naturally wrinkle free with perfect noses).

I would like to talk about my new favorite vice, the show called Wife Swap (there is also a Celebri­ty Wife Swap in case you were in­terested). This is a show where the mom from one family goes to live with an­other family, whose mom has gone to live with the other family (hence the name Wife Swap). The moms sleep in the guest rooms of each other’s homes and then spend the next few days trying to acclimate into their “new” families. From the episodes that I have watched, there is always the sloppy mom that has switched places with the overly zeal­ous neat mom; the fat mom that switches places with the health-conscious yoga in­structor mom. There is then the stereotypical overbearing husband, who may or may not work from home and grow his own vegeta­bles and the husband who only sees his kids five minutes a day…you get the point. At the end of the show, the couples reunite and there is a discussion about what they have learned about each other, their spouses, their methods of parenting, what helpful sugges­tions they came up with so the dad who only spends five minutes with his kids might con­sider spending 10 minutes with them, blah, blah, blah. The fat mom just wants to eat an entire pizza without a camera crew look­ing on; the neat mom sees a dust bunny un­der the kitchen table and is about to have a nervous breakdown. And then the camera crews leave, the dust bunny has been prop­erly dealt with, and order is again restored to all of the homes and families that have been placed under a microscope.

The other day I was spending time with a friend of mine who only has girls. We were discussing how we should do a wife swap. I would go and live in her house of all females and she would come and live in my house of all males. This experiment could go wrong on so many different levels. First, the hus­bands would have to agree to it. Do they really need two different women driving them crazy? Will my style of be­ing an annoying wife help this woman’s husband be more helpful or will her husband actually be so helpful that I will have even more to complain about to my spouse? Will the father who lives with only women have the ability to cook and clean, the true understanding of PMS, and sensitivity to moodiness? Whereas the father of only sons hasn’t left the couch since the Rangers won the Stanley Cup in 1994; yes, this could be a big disaster. So even though the Real House­wives series have brought in an exorbitant amount of revenue, some reality is best left unseen by the public and the only swapping we should

By Banji Dawn Latkin

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