Monday, September 1, 2008

Shameful Addiction

Confession time: I enjoy, among other non-educational, non-news shows, Jon and Kate Plus 8. It's about two sets of IUI multiples--twins and sextuplets--growing up somewhere in Eastern Pennsylvania. (And those of you who know me, please spare me the argument that this is the time in my life when I am thinking about kids because a) it's not and b) I've been obsessing about shows like this for a long, long time.) So, it's time to break down my reasons for hunkering down with my watermelon slices and staring at this clan for hours at a time.

1. The energy level required to keep up with these cats is amazing. There are 8 children, and they are so young and loud, loud, loud. I get exhausted watching them.

2. Those fantastic Pennsylvania accents! I get really nostalgic thinking about my family in PA and my classmates at college in Philly.

3. I have so many questions! How will you pay for college? Braces? Really, how much neighbor help do you get? Free family babysitting? Do your neighbors resent you, because I cannot imagine that you are in a position to reciprocate? Do you feel guilty as the world population is exploding? I could ask them directly (they have email addresses) but my questions are too obnoxious.

4. The husband-and-wife spats remind me of the sniping between the older generation of Mr. and Mrs. E. I really like to watch it with Mike, because his most exuberant guffaws are reserved for Jon's most blatant public-humiliation at the hands of Kate--so close to home? It's sad to watch Jon look defeated in the face of the yelling, but heartening when he bites back. Mostly, it makes me miss living with my parents. Sick, huh.

5. Like living in Park Slope with cranky yuppie mommies wealthy enough for the Ford Excursion of Strollers, but without enough love to treat their neighbors and coworkers like human beings, watching this show is great birth-control. A parent's life is so different from my sleep-in, late-night, bar-going, traveling, carefree life that I love so much, and it makes me realize that having even one child, let alone eight, changes Everything. Perhaps if I got to spend more time with parents who manage to maintain some of that fun--traveling, date-night more than once a year--I'd be more tempted.

6. All the cord-blood, life-alert (C. Everett Koop!) and fertility treatment commercials.


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