Babysitting Your Soul




Babysitting Your SoulPINIMAGE

Babysitting Your Soul


I have, in light of recent global events, discovered a tool for emotional survival: Denial, otherwise affectionally known as Hallmark network programming.



I kid you not.



It began, like all massive fairytales, innocently enough:


Turn on the TV, see 128 children have been murdered in their school in Mali, realize I have committed to watching a neighbor’s little girl for the afternoon, and… we’re off.


“What we do Auntie Cheryl?”

“You could sit here while I write scathing letters to my government representatives, or we could watch something on television and have a grilled cheese sandwich. Probably TV and carbs I’m thinking.”




“I like that one. The one with the pretty lady and the horseys. She looks like a princess.”


Of course.


“Okay. A story sold to the Ages that looks fine.”

“Why she so sad?”

“Her boyfriend won’t commit.”

“And it’s Christmas time! Hear the music?”

“Sweet baby Jesus it is.”


And it’s October.


“Why is she packing her suitcase?”

“It appears she has to go back home to help her parents save their Christmas tree farm.”

“That would be fun!  But she looks mad.”

“She’s got a job in the city. This unscheduled absence could put her entire career in jeopardy. There’s a client that needs her advice and they have a meeting scheduled for Christmas Eve. She’ll have to miss it and her boss is pissed upset.”

“Her boyfriend looks mad too.”

“He’s an idiot.”

“My daddy not an i-d-i-o-t?”

“I’ll just say ‘No’ and we’ll leave it at that.”




“Look. She just fell off the horesy that pulls the sleigh! And the other boy, the nice boy, he caught her. I think he loves her.”

“But they just met?”

“That’s the way it happens.”


And… another one bites the dust.




“Why that boy look so sad?”

“His girlfriend just dumped him.”

“But it Christmas time!”

“Shit happens. “




“Oohhhhh. I like this one. He’s a prince but she doesn’t know it. He has to go back to his Castle and she can’t come! Her mommy needs her in the store.”

“The store hasn’t had a sale in a year. And it’s a Castle for God’s sake…”

“But it’s love.”

“It always is.”




… I have found myself sitting through these formulatic movies for weeks now- because I CAN NOT TURN AWAY.

They inevitably have the same script:

(I’ll write it in the feminine)


A young (always) beautiful (always) woman has a deep seeded commitment to a course of professional development that is obvious to the audience, shallow and unfulfilling. In addition, she is already involved with the ‘wrong’ guy. He’s never ‘mean’ just not attentive.


Thus is the ‘set-up’ for ‘THE RIGHTING OF FATE’.


It can go a couple of ways:


While rushing to meet Shallow Guy she accidentally bumps into Nice Guy who offers to help her with whatever is the result of the ‘bump’: tossed groceries, broken shoe heel, missed appointment, broken life- and it’s kismet.




A family crisis requires she return home to a either help her widowed father save his business, or out of guilt that she hasn’t returned home to visit her widowed mother in years. Either way she meets the guy who’s been ‘helping out’ while she’s been off trying to find herself.




She has been tasked to access the value of someones business/property so that it can become yet another feather in a conglomerate of resort destinations, only to find emotional value in it staying unchanged.



No one is ever sick, all wrongs are righted, the ‘bad guys’ are always deflated and children are not shot in their classrooms.

Through the course of an additional 40 minutes, our ‘girl’ slowly discovers that what she wanted all along wasn’t what she wanted at all- she has her Epiphany and love conquers all. The entire universe is Righted.




To say that this Bullshit is downright addicting certainly says something about the times we live in.

It also, may suggest I make a great babysitter.

Or not.


But maybe…


Babysitting Your SoulPINIMAGE

Babysitting Your Soul




  • Janie Emaus - I’m addicted, too! There are only a few plots and you know from the first scene who is going to fall in love, who is going to leave who for the guy pretending to be her boyfriend, who is going to become a princess or is one and didn’t know it. So predictable. But exactly what I need right now. I even excited for a new one which I haven’t seen!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - I’m with ya sister. ’tis the season of bullshit.ReplyCancel

  • bonnie aldinger - ha, I don’t have a TV but I bet if I did I would be eating these up too, and considering it my guiltiest secret!


    • Cheryl - You seem like a very nice person ( you are HERE after all) but I need to confess something: we have 9 televisions, so you know where my head is at! HA!ReplyCancel

  • Carolann - You are so right! They are all so predictable. I always get annoyed when I’m watching a show where I know exactly what’s going to happen. Maybe, that’s why we like them so much. We can’t predict our own drama so there must be satisfaction in doing so for others.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - That’s it! I know the ending and can always count on it. Very comforting.ReplyCancel

  • Carollynn - We all need a little feel good fantasy in our lives, and a made for Hallmark TV movie is the perfect form of escapism for the world we live in today. Isn’t that what entertainment ultimately is meant to be – a form of escape from our everyday lives? Yes, we need to suspend our disbelief and live in the “it could happen…” world for a just a short time.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - I’m so bipolar I’m either watching Hallmark or The Walking Dead. How’s that for a mind spasm?ReplyCancel

  • Lynda@fitnessmomwinecountry - Cheryl, the husband and I got sucked into the Lifetime Movie Network this past week. What? Why? Same concept only with bat shit crazy people. Stalkers, lovers, murder, sex, suspense. Right?
    We checked out of the “world” also LOL, until today, back at it. OR I just put on my Pandora channel Christmas music and leave that on the t.v. all day. Babysitting the merry way 🙂ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - I forgot to mention the constant Xmas music I play this time of year- in the house, in the courtyard, in the car. And don’t get me started on the Lifetime Network and all of it’s awesome predictable domestic intrigue wrapped in sex with greed at the center among beautiful people movies. Ben and wil binge watch those after the first of the year!ReplyCancel

  • Sheryl - TV watching can certainly be a great escape from the dire news. Unless, of course, you’re watching something like Homeland, which is a case of life imitating art…ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - I lean towards Downton Abby and drool that I wasn’t born a century earlier. Maybe next life?ReplyCancel

  • Stacia Friedman - I have my own TV addictions. For perverse reasons, I love watching Dateline and 48 Hours, reality TV shows that document how seemingly “nice” spouses murder one another. Perhaps I’ve aged out of the Princess dramas or get vicarious pleasure out of knowing that, as a single woman of a certain age, I am unlikely to be the subject of a Prime Time mystery!ReplyCancel

  • Chloe Jeffreys - You always make me laugh. I love your scathing commentary on all that’s fucked up with the world. And so much is.

    I’ve gotten myself addicted to Quantico. Quantico is full of the most beautiful, buff FBI agents in the history of ever. And I think all of them might be terrorists. Doesn’t the FBI vet these people?? Anyway, if this is any indication of the caliber of people the FBI is recruiting these days we’re all screwed. But still. They are awfully pretty to watch.ReplyCancel

  • Lee Gaitan - True confession–I’m mad about the two months of Christmas movies on both Hallmark channels because I accidentally (by way of post-menopausal insomnia) got addictied to watching reruns of…wait for it…don’t laugh and/or gag…Hart to Hart. After a few weeks of nocturnal viewings, I even started watching it on my iPad during the daytime hours! We all need to escape sometimes and pretend life is easy, fair, glamorous and happy. Now, if I could just become one of those self-made millionaires like Jonathan Hart!ReplyCancel

  • Carol Cassara - I’m with you sister. I taped at least 8 of these the past week and watched one with a girlfriend yesterday and one the day before. Also see the movie Brooklyn. Sweet sweet sweet escape!ReplyCancel

  • Helene Cohen Bludman - You are so funny and so spot on. I hate to admit that my secret indulgence is The Bachelor/ Bachelorette. Whether I’m a romantic or a voyeur or both, I’m not sure, but I’m addicted.ReplyCancel

  • Mari Collier - I find those shows (and books like that) annoying. I know, I know, people really do watch them and they are really popular at Christmas time. Are people regretting they didn’t do that?ReplyCancel

  • Estelle Sobel Erasmus - You are hilarious, and need to be cast pronto in Housewives of New Orleans (I love anything Bravo).ReplyCancel

  • Kimberly Montgomery - And THAT is exactly why I don’t have TV. I’d end up grown into my couch with the remote clutched in my boney fingers, piles of used tissues creating a fire hazard . . .
    Kimberly XOReplyCancel

  • Sue Pekarek - You’re hysterical and this is so, so true Cheryl. How did you know I’ve recently been watching Hallmark again as a survival tool.ReplyCancel

  • Diane Tolley - + Carol Said it: Sweet Escape! We need a little bit of it in today’s world . . .ReplyCancel

  • Tammy Bleck - I belive in fairy tales….sometimes. But I believe in you all the time. Nicely done. And thank you for the giggles!ReplyCancel

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