Sex Ed in Higher Ed

College instructor teaching human sexuality rants about the dumbing down of America, the lost art of manners, grammar and (the perfect combination of both) the thank you note. Also includes random rants about life, pet peeves, and sometimes raves about favorite things.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Holy Trainwreck, Batman!

I just finished my Public Health Practice midterm and it was not pretty.

But this is not about that (yet, anyway.) This is about a show I saw on Sunday night (correlation between watching stinky show and possible bad grade on midterm? I think so.) and I just have to say, What. the. Fuck. is wrong with some people?

I watch too much television. I know this. I am not proud of this. I also watch really, really bad television. I get sucked into a trainwreck of a show and suddenly, three hours later, I'm wondering why all my papers aren't graded. But I digress.

Has anyone seen the WE network show called "The Secret Lives of Women?" I promise I won't mock you if you admit it. For those legitimate "non-watchers" and those of you still in the closet, here's the premise: Supposedly "normal" people can have crazy, shocking secrets! Even women - wait, especially women! But you know what? I'm not so sure that anybody on this show would qualify as normal. Even at the "supposedly" level.

Sunday night was about women whose "secret" was "I'm addicted to plastic surgery." Uh, honey, I hate to tell ya, but I can spot your "secret" at 20 paces.

One woman's face (she was 71 years old) looked like she was born with a severe facial deformity. And while trying to find a picture of this woman (I couldn't) I had a lot of fun at Awful Plastic Surgery. The pictures aren't for the faint of heart. But the titles for each entry? Pure freaking genius. Behold: Burt Reynolds: No, he's not Asian, he's got a bad face lift. And I learned a new word: Trout pout. Collagen lip injections gone wrong. I love it. Love. I'm going to try to incorporate it into at least one conversation every day. Not sure how that will go without looking like I have "celebrity Tourette's" - Me: And so class, let us remember that the pituitary gland is not in the anal regi - PAMELA ANDERSON LEE HAS TROUT POUT! Class: Wha? Teacher Lady, you so crazy.

Anyway. I truly did feel sorry for this 71-year-old woman. Tragically, she was a knockout when she was young, got divorced when she was 34, boarded the plastic surgery train and took a one-way trip to Crazyland.

But the real horror to me was a woman who should be wearing a crown and a sash that reads, "World's Most Selfish Manipulative Bitch" and her husband should be well, not sure yet. Maybe wearing a T-shirt that says, "I'm a recovering enabler" or "Please just kill me now." Don't know her age - don't remember her name - do know she had two kids and a gorgeous house in the SoCal region in the Redwood Forest. She had had so many plastic surgeries that she and her family were in crazy debt, they had NO savings, and she wanted another "touch up" that cost $55,000. But the thing that I found so fascinating (like an evil genius, but really, truly evil) was the way she manipulated her husband! They showed a clip of this conversation and it went something like this:

Plastic-Surgery-Addict-Bitch: I need this surgery.
Poor-Misguided-Spineless Husband: What for, honey? I think you look great.
PSAB: I don't feel comfortable with myself.
PMSH: I can understand and appreciate that but how do you suggest we pay for it?
PSAB: We'll have to just do something. Put it on a credit card, finance it, I don't know.
PMSH: Let me get this straight (while thinking, "Is suicide my only option? How did one night at a bar in L.A. turn out like this?"), we have no savings, the kids have no college fund, we're in a tremendous amount of debt, but you have to get this surgery.
PSAB: (Here's the scary evil-genius part, so pay attention!) How can you want me to feel bad about myself? I'm so uncomfortable with my body looking the way it does right now. Do you want me to be uncomfortable?

Now I can say that the question "Do you want me to be uncomfortable?" is a direct quote. And she used it. A lot. And the way she said it was so bizarre because for the first 50 times she said it, I almost forgot she was a total nutjob and actually kept thinking she was talking about a bad rash or something. I just had this mental image of a person with really bad poison ivy everywhere. When I say, "I'm uncomfortable," I'm usually talking about pantyhose that have that waistband-rolling-down-thing (which is why I avoid any endeavor that requires pantyhose.) Or heartburn because I inhaled a pizza. Or I had 27 glasses of water and am miles from even a disgusting public bathroom.

At the end of the show they do those little 20-30 second "summaries" like, "Erica loves her new breast implants and says this is her last plastic surgery ever. This year. In the spring." And Plastic Surgery Addict Bitch? Her family sold their house (to the tune of 1.something million dollars, of course) to pay off their debt and cover her "I can't believe you want me to be uncomfortable" additional $55,000 surgery!!

This is why I watch this shit. 'Cause compared to her, I am so normal. Aah, mocking others and their problems to make myself feel better. Works every time.


Blogger Art Nerd Lauren said...

That is the thing with reality TV- there is always someone way more fucked than you are!

March 08, 2006 11:31 PM  
Blogger liberalbanana said...

I read this post last night while brushing my teeth. (I love my blackberry. :-) Too bad it doesn't show the word verification so I can't post comments...) I nearly spit toothpaste all over the place when I read "trout pout." Hilarious!

It's nice to know that I'm not the only gal who gets sucked into TV like that. I have a friend from college whom I reconnected with through the Evil, who told me that he doesn't watch TV because it sucks your life away from you. Ever since he wrote that to me, I feel guilty every time I'm watching the boob tube! I even think I'm going to cancel cable when the weather gets nicer. Desperate Housewives IS on a basic channel and that's all I really need to survive...

I'm sorry you don't think you did well on your mid-term though. Maybe you'll be surprised when the graded papers come back....IF they get graded. Your teacher could be addicted to soaps and won't be getting those tests back to you for three months! :-)

March 09, 2006 8:32 AM  
Blogger Teacher lady said...

Ladies, you both make excellent points. Lauren, I guess that is maybe the point of reality TV - "Look at me, I'm not such a mess compared to those freaks!"

You know, Liberal Banana, this is the same professor who I had last semester. Our whole entire grade was based on one (one, I tell you!) presentation we did during finals week. And there were 7 doc students in the class. And it took him two weeks to grade our presentations. So you may be onto something there.

March 09, 2006 9:55 AM  
Blogger ColoradoCastaway said...

I hate to admit it but yes I have seen "Secret Lives of Women" once. that episode involved older women who had become Lesbians. "late in life lesbians" or something like that. anyway that one was a bit more understandable than the knife addicts on your show. Speaking of "Trout Pout" There was a 'star' on Dancing w/the Stars" don't recalll her name but she's Harry Hamlin's wife. during the course of the show her lips inflated and deflated like Reebok "The Pump" basketball shoes. It was unattractive when the were puffed up cause she looked like Harry had popped her in the mouth, and when they deflated they were all droopy and wrinkly, eewww!! Another victim of the "Trout Pout" is Melanie Griffith, she used to be cute but has recently become a most hidious creature.

March 09, 2006 10:41 AM  
Blogger Art Nerd Lauren said...

Lisa Rinna is that lady's name. Her lips are a force of nature. I can't look at em. Her body is sick though! Yeee--owza!!

March 09, 2006 12:33 PM  
Blogger ColoradoCastaway said...

I think we need to take up a collection to get LiberalBanana a computer at home, imagine what she would have to say when unhindered by work ethics LOL.

March 09, 2006 2:15 PM  
Anonymous sweatpantsmom said...

Ohhh - I saw that show you mentioned, a couple of months ago when it first ran, and I too was outraged at that Redwood woman (my term.) It took all I had to keep from hurling my imperfect body at the TV screen.

I made sure my husband came in and watched part of it. My memory's a little fuzzy bit I think I remember him bowing down to me and kissing my feet after that one.

March 09, 2006 6:16 PM  
Blogger Teacher lady said...

Ooh, Sweatpants Mom, I think you're onto something, too! The real purpose of reality TV is to strengthen this country's marriages and lower our divorce rate. Who knew? A noble cause where before I just thought it was crappy TV.

March 09, 2006 9:14 PM  
Blogger janet said...

haha omg I was nearly falling out of my chair (at work, no less) reading this. I totally get sucked into these shows too! kill me please!

March 10, 2006 3:15 PM  

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