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.”
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
“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.