Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Little Miss Perfect

Ok, I don’t watch a whole lot of TV. I have my obvious obsession with 24 and I’m also into The Office and The Big Bang Theory, but really, I just don’t have time for too much TV. The time that I do have, I’m just not interested in staring at mediocre “entertainment.” I particularly avoid reality TV because the people on these shows nauseate me. The attitudes, the ‘totally real/totally fake’ situations that they get put in to ‘win,’ and just the smarminess of it all are really repugnant to me.

And so, tonight, I surprised myself while flipping channels. I was sitting for a few minutes, scanning the stations to see if anything good was on, just killing time. To Kill A Mockingbird was showing, so I flipped to that. Unfortunately, a commercial break happened. Commercials are death to me watching anything, even one of my favorite movies. I just can’t stand watching the parade of stupidity that I’m forced to accept. Big time car dealers hawking their wares, banks telling you how dependable they are and Wal-Mart trying desperately to get me to come back. (Side note—I haven’t been to Wal-Mart since November 2008. I’m pretty proud of that. That’s a story for another day, though.)

So, like an idiot, instead of just muting the TV and waiting for what I knew to be good to come back on or, heavens forbid, turning the danged thing off and picking up a book or something, I stopped at WE and got sucked into watching Little Miss Perfect.

I cannot say how repulsive I found this show and yet, how hypnotic I found it. The little girls competing to be “Little Miss Perfect” were…I just don’t have the words. The moms, on the other hand, well, let’s just say that the words I have for them are not terribly family friendly.

Immediately in each episode I watched (yes, I watched two episodes…*hangs head in shame*), you see that these women are obviously living out some sort of sick, twisted parasitic life with these girls. Not a one of the moms they featured was even remotely in any level of healthy physical fitness, which is just a nice way of saying they were all really fat. Really fat.

I don’t have any room here to be throwing any fat stones, believe you me, but then I’m also not on a TV show trying to make my daughter perform like a trained monkey in a ball gown. I’m not seeing my child’s accomplishments as a reflection on me.

Anyway, suffice it to say that the moms were obviously pushing the girls to compete, even past the point that the little girls were uncomfortable.

I’m not sure, though, that my highest contempt goes to the moms here. For the most part, they’re just living some sort of delusional fantasy in which they think their five year old (!!!) winning some sort of made up title while wearing a big hair wig and more lip gloss than is available in all Sephora stores nationwide combined is a laudable accomplishment.

It’s the pageant officials who really turn my stomach. The host of this particular pageant, which is apparently a traveling show that goes from state to state, crowning one “Little Miss Perfect” everywhere it stops, is such a cliché I could barely watch him. He apparently got his persona from Jack McFarland, from hairstyle to jazz hands. He sashayed across the stage, wearing as much makeup as the girls and then in the private sit-down discussions, he’d dish about how much he hated the way pageants tore little friendships apart, but isn’t that the beauty of pageants in that they teach you to win and lose gracefully? He even had the audacity to complain about how the little girls seemed to be running things, implying that the parents had no control over their little monsters. I had to laugh, because who did this pompous ass think was responsible for the girls’ behavior? Yes, the parents are the final arbiters there, but without the ‘encouragement’ of the pageants to look, act and be these sassy little things, they’d probably be back at home, doing their vocabulary homework and reading a story for the night.

I want to clarify here that I do not dislike the pageant guy because he is gay. I don’t even dislike him because he’s obviously gay. My best friend in college was gay and I have not a single qualm about that lifestyle. My problem with Jazz Hand Boy is that he has made it into such a caricature that it becomes this grotesque, put upon thing that distracts you from anything he says. The things I did actually hear him say were so totally insincere that I wanted to keep a barf bag handy just for when he was on the screen.

I could go on and on (and on and on….) about all the things that bothered me about this show.

So why did I give almost two hours of my very precious time to it tonight?

I’m not entirely sure. Partly, it was because one of the moms looked and sounded so much like this woman I know that it was scary. (I won’t name names here because, while I’m fairly certain that this woman doesn’t read my blog—I’m pretty sure she doesn’t read much—I’d hate for there to be awkwardness should I have to see her again after some accidental ‘Hey, I Googled myself and I found this crap!’ episode. You understand. If you really want to know [and you know me IRL], ask and I’ll fill you in.)

Partly, it was the train wreck effect. I knew it was terrible, but I just couldn’t tear myself away, any more than I can avoid eating the ‘Pirate Special’ (chicken fingers, mashed potatoes and a hot roll) in the lunch room on Fridays. I know it’s bad for me, I know it’s not particularly tasty, comparatively, but for some reason it’s just comforting to eat. Maybe that’s what this is—maybe I’m just comforted by the fact that, no matter how low I go, I am pretty sure I will never make my precious little girl do anything as asinine as what these moms were doing. It’s almost like it makes me a better parent (and nothing makes me happier than feeling superior to someone… :) ).


What about my own Little Miss Perfect?

My little girl turned one today and I couldn’t have asked for a better day with her. I stayed home with her and we spent all day playing games, reading books and watching Elmo and Abby on Sesame Street. She climbed all over me like the little mountain goat that she is. She chattered on and on, repeating things I said and garbling other things into her own very animated language. She laughed big, deep belly laughs at the faces I made with her and the tickles I poured onto her chubby little tummy. At naptime and with her evening bottle, she curled up in my arms and snuggled her little head into the curve of my neck so that I could smell the baby shampoo Robert washed her with at bath time.

I kind of get the stay at home mom thing, now. I kind of understand how playing with the baby all day could be kind of fun.

I still think I’d be bonkers by the end of the week, though, so I’m pretty sure I won’t be quitting my job to stay at home with the kids and grind up my own baby food or anything.

But it was a good day great day. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Happy birthday, my little LaLa girl! I’m so excited to see where you will be going; I can’t wait to walk your path and share the world with you!




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