Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Real Horsewives of Kalamazoo

So, I haven't posted in what feels like forever. Not because nothing was happening, but because a ton was happening. I traveled for work last week to Denver, then to Atlanta to visit my little sister. I got back on Monday this week and work has been relentless ever since. So, needless to say, my horse time and workout time have decrease in direct proportion to the amount of crappy food I have been eating. Blah. I did get to the barn for a very brief ride tonight - it was AWESOME! We are learning spur stop, and my baby is just so stinkin' smart it blows my mind. Love her :)

Sweet Girl
My sister introduced me to the epic saga of the Real Housewives on Thanksgiving holiday some years ago. After the initial confusion/disgust wore off, I was as addicted as the millions of other viewers who only admit being addicts in the tree of trust, when they know they are among other addicts. I have followed each jab, backstab, jealous sneer, manipulative gesture, tearful confession, and what I hope are sincere moments with a forensic approach over the years of viewing this interesting period of documenting human culture. As a former Anthropology major, I shudder to think what future Archaeologists will have to say about this period of our lives... yikes.

Any whoodle, people (my husband and most strait men) wonder what in the hell makes us fans cling to every word that falls from such polished lips. What makes us DVR and then rewatch episodes, dissecting every nuance of body language until we have extracted the very essence of some stranger's being? Well, it became clear to me while I was visiting my sister this past weekend. It has been a while since we watched RHOWherever together, and even longer (never) since we really connected as two adult, married, 30-something women who really just want to have a clue what this whole thing called life means. In our younger years, we knew exactly what it was all about (ha). Now, I think we are both seeking answers to questions that somehow become more pressing as time gets crunched together and speeds past. Tearful topics like having kids or not and doing that thousands of miles apart or who was the favorite of which parent or wishing for more memories of loved ones that passed on far too soon or what song your dad wants played at his funeral (I am SO not ready to talk about that, but he picked a really awesome one, because he's awesome. Also, I think he is just a planner and there's no real need to worry beyond the normal who-knows-if-today-is-our-last menlancholy stuff.) Man, gonna need the tissues again....

I think that what this particular brand of reality television offers, along with the good ole' Kardashians and their myriad of shows, is an opportunity to compare our lives to other people's, take notes, and tweak the parts we don't like - sort of like looking in a mirror. Yes, on the surface it is a superficial mirror, and I don't see much of my material life reflected in my TV screen when I look at them. But when I look deeper I see women who, at their core, want to be loved, accepted, liked, and have a sense of purpose in this crazy world, misguided as they may be. Yes, they are petty, self-centered, manipulative, etc.  and I always wonder how many people would like me if I had to live my life in public like that (probably zero). And when I look at ugly interactions between people that are, to an extent, real, I can place myself there and say, wow, I would hope that I could handle that better, with more patience, love, and compassion. "Hope" being the operative word. I have a bit of a temper.

The most recent episode of Real Housewives of New Jersey found our castaways at a ranch where they were getting some horse therapy. I watched the episode, and the horse played a really small part, but the impact on people seemed to be huge. Even though these situations are staged for the camera, you can't fake a visceral reaction of fear to a 1,000 pound animal, or the glow of self confidence that comes with conquering a fear.

The Horse Screamer

What does this all have to do with anything? Who really knows, but I found a lot of comfort sitting with my little sis on a couch in our PJs, comparing our inherited  mom-isms (would you like me to make you an egg?), judging other people, finding the good and bad in them, and hoping that we find our way without quite so much drama. A little drama just means you care, right? Introspection aside, time with family is invaluable, irreplaceable, and something that I hope to God I have much more of in the years to come. And when I reach my saturation point, I always have my therapist to turn to.

Abbey, Horse Therapist

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