Some members of our household (who shall go unnamed) have become reality TV junkies. The end of the American Idol season didn't end our obsession; nor did my personal boycott of "Jon and Kate Plus Eight". Now there's "What Not To Wear" . . "Toddlers and Tiaras" . . "Nanny 911" . . "Wife Swap" . . "Cake Boss" . . "Say Yes to the Dress" . . it's shameful, I tell you. Sha-a-ameful.
Several of these are on the TLC channel (and if you already knew that, maybe you have a problem, too). Does anyone else remember when TLC stood for The Learning Channel? Is there anything educational on there anymore?
Anyway, I have a love-hate relationship with most of these shows. Honestly, some of them I enjoy watching. I've learned stuff from Stacy and Clinton on "What Not to Wear" (though I wish they'd watch their language sometimes). I have yet to watch "Wife Swap" or one of the Nanny shows without coming away feeling like a better wife and mother ("At least I'm not that bad . . "), and I truly do occasionally get some real insight into family issues that are useful to me. Some of the cakes Buddy and his crew make on "Cake Boss" are really fascinating . . . and the east coast talk and attitude are entertaining for a recent transplant from that area.
But other times, I have to admit: it's just mindless occupation that is a total waste of my time. What really could I gain from watching a bunch of women agonizing over what wedding dress to buy? You gotta wonder who ever had the idea for a TV show like that . . .
And frankly, some of the programs are infuriating. I swear I'm going to throw a pillow at the screen one of these days during "Toddlers and Tiaras". Leslie's already heard my tirade about why I think such pageants are entirely inappropriate for kids that age -- and why I think TLC is exploiting the people involved in making this show. I'm not telling her she can't watch. I didn't tell her she couldn't watch Jon and Kate either; I just told her why I wasn't going to watch it anymore and she made the decision to stop watching also. Yet toddlers are still parading across my TV in tiaras.
But when Eastin glanced at the TV the other day to see a 5-year-old in a sequined halter-and-bell-bottoms ensemble wiggling her hips and blowing kisses at the judges . . and then said, "I can do that. I wanna do that," that pillow was almost a-flying and mom's leniency was almost at an end. We WON'T be having any of that in my house. OH, no.
I'm already tired of being the mom of a teenager. I hate having to pick my battles; they all seem important to me. But I do have to pick . . and I think this is one I don't fight against her, but alongside her. If she must watch, she watches with me and gets a reality check on what she's viewing. And the TV goes off the minute I see evidence that her filters are malfunctioning.
And, in the meantime, I suppose I need to be more intentional about finding better activities to fill our minds and our evenings with -- things more noble, more true, more pure, more lovely, more admirable . . all that Philippians Four stuff.
That would mean no sequined halter tops. Ha.