My mother may need an intervention. A reality TV intervention. After reviewing the events of yesterday and discussing several of my mother’s allusions to prominent reality television personalities, Fangette and I have decided that Grandma may, in fact, have a serious addiction to shows like “Ice Loves Coco”, “Keeping Up With the Kardashians”, and, most frighteningly, something called “Doomsday Preppers”.
I think that my mother’s problem began innocently enough. First it was “Dancing With the Stars”, “American Idol”, “So, You Think You Can Dance?”, and other “competition” programming. Early in their runs she would call me with periodic updates about the competitors. I should have become suspicious when she told me that she was only watching “DWT” because she “had heard” that Donny Osmond was doing a bang-up job. And that “Sanjaya”? Who could have expected he would still be around so late in the contest? She once called me crying after an episode of “So, You Think You Can Dance?” to describe that she had just witnessed the “most beautiful” modern dance; choreographed, I was told, to symbolize someone’s mother’s battle with breast cancer. It’s as if she were channeling Jerome Robbins or Martha Graham. She became enamored of and really seemed to enjoy David Hasselhoff’s shenanigans on “The X-Factor”. I probably should have become concerned when she began referring to him as “The Hoff”. Who knew the modern-day equivalent of the 1970’s variety shows (she loved her some “Sonny and Cher” back in the day) were something of a gateway drug for dear old Mom?
All the warning signs that my mother was crossing the line, hittin’ the hard stuff— they were there. The fact that she could not only name, but identify, all eight of John and Kate’s progeny should have sent up a red flag. I admit to being a little worried when she began speaking of “The Girls Next Door” and I realized that she was not referring to actual neighbors, but to the couple of young blondes that were shacking up with Hugh Hefner. Still, I reasoned, where was the harm in a little escapism? How many tea cozies can one retired arthritic woman be expected to knit? How many bingo games could she afford to attend a week? Everyone’s entitled to a little down time, right?
I was unwilling to admit that, maybe, just maybe, my mother had a problem. Until yesterday. Yesterday, prior to sitting down to our Thanksgiving dinner, instead of asking my daughter about school, her job at the movie theater, or her friends, my mother began discussing the type of dogs Ice-T and Coco own. (“Ugly little things”, but Ice loves ’em!)She also wondered aloud if we didn’t all think that Ice might just be too old to be considering parenthood. (“But Coco’s young and she really wants a baby, so, I don’t know, I guess it could happen.”) My mother endorsed Coco’s bid for motherhood. We learned that “she [Coco] may not be the sharpest tack in the box, but she’s a real sweetheart.” My mother also pointed out that they live pretty close to here. For a minute I thought she might be suggesting we pack up the turkey and take a road trip. When I asked her if, in fact, that was where she was going with this information, her response was not (as I think it should have been) “Oh, my God. No! That would be crazy!”); it was, and I quote, “Don’t be silly. Even if we could find the house, I don’t think they’re home. They said something last week about going to California for the holidays.”
The subject of motherhood brought us to a discussion of the Kardashians. My mother has some pretty strong opinions on Kris Jenner’s mothering skills (“not good”). Mom is supportive of Kourtney, though. “Kris’ revelation that she had cheated on their father, well, that sent poor Kourtney into therapy, ya know. It’s no wonder she puts up with that Scott. She doesn’t want to put her children through what she went through as a child. You have to hand it to her. She’s really sticking it out!” As I have very little frame of reference in the world of the Kardashian/Jenners, I found it best to keep my mouth shut. I figured if no one responded, this conversation would just come to its natural end. That’s when my father piped in with: “Your mother is really looking forward to the day that Khloe and Lamar have a baby!” I realized, at that very moment, that my father was, what we like to call in recovery, an “enabler”.
After they left, Fangette and I decided that we may have to stage some sort of intervention. Or, at least cut the cable wire. I only hope that she has not, as she seemed to be threatening (over pumpkin pie, I might add), taken a page out of the “Doomsday Preppers” book and “stocked up on bullets and guns”!
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