Monday, December 11, 2006

"Reality" Romance

Since last night was the finale of The Amazing Race, I'm poking my head up from renovating my manuscript (envision me in safety goggles, hard hat and plaster dust) to talk about the reality shows I watch, and one I don't.

First up, the best of the bunch, IMHO: The Amazing Race. After a very exciting season, including clues that were clues and not just directions, the finale was a bit of a let-down. No real suspense, no tough tasks (although you'd never get me jumping out of a plane). And Rob? Could you please stop whining about the sky-diving? It's not like that was your one and only chance.

Next, Survivor. Again, this season has been an improvement over several previous ones. If only they could unite a strong theme like they had with the whole pirate thing, and such an interesting batch of contestants, it'd be even better. But I've certainly been on the edge of my seat this season!

America's Next Top Model and Project Runway: My daughter got me watching both of these. Believe me, anybody looking at me? Would know fashion is not uppermost in my mind.

So what's the appeal? For one thing, that's as close to office politics as I get. And wondering about people and their motivations is a huge part of my job, so it's kinda fun to watch people put in stressful situations and seeing how they react (even if it's an edited version). My daughter and I have had many a conversation about choices people made, and why.

And there's been another bonus with the Amazing Race. Now, if I'm trying to get somewhere, and I'm having problems? I tell myself, "It's just like the Amazing Race! It's just like the Amazing Race!" Doesn't always calm me down, but it helps.

There's one "reality" show I never watch, though, and that would be The Bachelor. I suppose this surprises some people, given what I write, but to me, that show, like Valentine's, celebrates what I call the "props" of romance, not love itself. It's all about the exotic locales, the fancy dates, the candles, the flowers, the jewelry. None of those things has anything to do with love, as far as I'm concerned. Love is not about what gift you get, or how many candles and rose petals are cluttering up your place. Those are just set decoration. Love is about trust and affection and laughter and being together through the tough times, not just the good times. It's no surprise to me that none of those "reality" relationships last, because you can't manufacture real, lasting love, no matter how hard you try, especially on such a shaky foundation.

Now, speaking of shaky foundations, I must go back to fixing my book....

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