In the past few weeks, I’ve been contacted by two different media companies regarding two opportunities. To put this in perspective, I’m guessing I’m one of a million who received an email.
These were initial queries, and naturally, we all find it lovely to be “asked to the dance” or even considered for being asked to the dance. For that matter (more realistically), being told “Yo! There’s a dance! You don’t have a snowball’s chance in Hell of going, but maybe you know someone who knows someone who knows someone that we might like.”
Cue my consternation.
In case you want another variation of this theme, do read this tale at Chloe of the Mountain where our intrepid heroine recounts her recent brush with fame.
Returning to the inquiries under my mini-microscope, one had to do with a dating reality show, while the other was a makeover series. What irked me is this: There’s an age limit.
Apparently I’m too old for reality. Reality TV, that is.
One was explicit. The other, well… The description led me to believe that they weren’t after “my” demographic.
Yes, yes, I know. We have Housewives Galore who are approaching the half century mark, at the half century mark, or several years past. (Naturally, we aren’t concerned with the age of their hubbies.) And let’s get (ahem) “real.” The women in question were younger when they started, though I dare say “reality” has aged them.
I am now channeling a conversation that took place in my deepest, darkest past – as in five or six years ago, still slogging through the “Oh-my-god-I-won’t-survive-two-teenagers” years. I remember one of my sons saying to me: “Mom, you watch those shows. You ought to be in one. Your real life is more interesting, especially with all your strange online dates.”
And trust me. My boys never knew the half of it.
I also recall a single mom friend joking with me about the fact that our “realities” were a little too gnarly for the kind of foolishness they wanted to see on TV. (Hey, they don’t call it the Boob Tube for nothing, and I’m sure we can all think of at least a pair of reasons.)
I did, however, titter at the thought. Quite an amusing prospect – the real single mother’s dating life in all its unadulterated comic glory. If reality television actually resembled reality – not so airbrushed – my kiddos would have been right. During those years I was dating on two continents, in two languages, and often in two frames of mind – hopeful and miserable. (The makings of a poignant series, no doubt replicated tens of thousands of times across this country?)
Have you dropped by PBS lately? Have you caught a few episodes of Last Tango in Halifax?
We have a couple well into their 70s who fall in love, kiss on camera, share a bed and even occasionally talk about sex! Neither the woman nor the man appear to have been near a vial of Botox. They are a breath of fresh air in a wonderful ensemble show.
Apparently I’m too old for reality, for American reality, that is, though one of the messages mentioned that if the subjects “looked younger” they might be considered.
Right. Because we wouldn’t want to show someone with a lined face getting a makeover or style update in order to embark on a new venture. (Hello? Demographers in the house? And the 74 million Baby Boomers, aged 50 to 68?)
Jeez. I guess we’re all too old for reality – at least for dates and makeovers as we plunge into our “Chapter 2” or “Chapter 3” when it comes to relationships and careers.
Good thing I didn’t buy into it when I went on a blind date three years ago. (Lovely man. We’re still together.) Good thing I didn’t buy into it when I reinvented my working life several times since divorce. (All systems still a Go.) Good thing I didn’t buy into it when I was slipping into my hot heels for an evening out (or in), and not allowing pop culture to label me as Ready-To-Be-Put-Out-To-Pasture, at least – not just yet.
Nobody puts Baby in the corner… right?
And brava to the Brits who provide entertainment that captures a broader slice of “reality” – which makes for very fine fare.
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