April 9, 2010

My Family Laughs At Me

I like to cry at TV. No, I don't sometimes find myself crying at something unexpectedly; I purposely watch stuff that makes me cry. If you want to see big waterworks, just sit down with me 'n Maggie when we watch our Meerkats, and one of them dies. Maggie passes me a tissue.

I use that ridiculous Extreme Home Makeover show for the same reason. It's a terrible show; truly. But I know it will be edited so that I will be in a flood of tears in the first five minutes, and then then in the last ten. I usually only watch those parts. Seeing Ty Pennington's craggy, lived in annoying face I can do without. And watching the 'design team' waltz around in custom, pristine work wear just makes me laugh. Oh, how that makes me laugh. All these sweaty grunty people in the background actually working, and the 'stars' of the show creating star-shaped headboards for a 6-year-old who will apparently never be growing up. Which of course is part of the whole idea: a dying kid gets the best ratings, right next to a war vet, preferably young, preferably with 8 kids (of whom 6 are adopted).

I made Ari watch with me one night. A couple with 2 kids had a crappy-but-okay house on a bunch of acres. As they poked around pointing out the bad stuff - crumbly mortar, uneven floors, leaky faucets - I just shrugged. I have all that, but without the acres. These people were living like veritable kings in my book. Ari asked what was wrong with them. "Shhhhhhhhhh," I told him. "They haven't told us yet." I waited to hear what rare disease the son had, or that the mother had a genetic disorder that would soon have her in a wheelchair. Nope. And the father had a job, the kids each had both legs, and nobody was being poisoned by asbestos in the house they lived in.

Didn't matter. "You're goin' to Disneyworld!" shouted the most annoying man on TV. Seriously. He's worse than the Shamwow guy. Anyway. Off they go (and, for the record? I consider Disneyworld a punishment. Shudder) and sure enough, their other house gets ripped down and a new Poshy McPoshville is erected instead.

When this show first started, they'd just tart the place up a bit. Then things got silly, and now everyone needs 6 burner stove, restaurant fridges and kitchens big enough to hold a square dance in. It's insane. I also have a problem with much of the stuff they do being done like crap - things like foundations have to cure.

Anyway. Right on cue with the housing market tumbling, many of these Extreme Mansions have come back to bite their 'lucky' recipients in the butt. The big surprise for many of them? Your tax bill is calculated on the value of your house. If you go from sleeping on a pullout and peeing in a bucket out back to a home theatre and a hottub that seats 12, guess what? You're doomed.

And I can tell you for real, utilities for a one bathroom-and-3 bedroom- abode are slightly less than a 5,000 square foot Sears catalogue. Just slightly.

Because of all this, the show says it's going back to more modest makeovers. They should call me. I have a ton of suggestions for them that would avoid all this bad press.

They could come to my house and just clean it. The transformation would be mind-boggling, they wouldn't have to send me anywhere, and my tears would be real.


Anonymous buzzwhack said...

This was even better than your Friday rant.That takes some doing!
So you have Meerkats and watch shows to deliberately make yourself cry? Tres chic!So the housing market is overheating again and big renos may come back to haunt us in taxes? It makes me feel great about my house which can be described as second generation Lego circ. 1975.Now, how do you know your family is laughing at you and not with you? At least that's what mine always says. The pointing fingers and sniggering makes me doubt.. a lot.
Good post but don't forget the rants..Rick Mercer would approve.

April 09, 2010 1:53 PM  
Anonymous jmd said...

I made a complete fool of myself in a movie theatre watching ET, sobbing when the little alien had to go home. I also cry at commercials, greeting cards, old photographs, etc. And yes, my family teases me, but I'd rather be a softy than Hard Hearted Hannah.

April 09, 2010 3:07 PM  

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