Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Sympathy or Practicality?

Last night as I was waiting for my favourite news programme to come on tv I saw the last 10 minutes of a show that made me wonder if we might as well just torch the continent, throw ourselves into the sea and give up on western civilization as we know it.  I am guessing there are any number of North American tv programmes that would make me feel this way but I have managed to avoid seeing most of them.

This particular "reality" show ended with a sobbing woman in her mid 20's.  She had apparently been rejected from the dating pool of some overly hunky, abs obsessed young man.  As she wept into the camera she told the viewers she had also appeared on a related programme and been rejected by similar male types, forcing her to leave the large mansion all these young people were staying in together and return to the real world alone.

If we suspend our knowledge that reality tv dating shows are hokey and carefully crafted by the producers to portray a certain series of events and assume this dear little gal was completely serious and honest, then I fear for all young people everywhere on this continent.

So a group of about 12 to 20 overamped sexually wanton  young men have not chosen her, for whatever reason, over and above the 12 to 20 overamped sexually wanton young women on the shows....so what?  In all of North America the rejection of a small group of wannabe tv star guys is enough to bring this beautiful and accomplished young woman to her knees with devastating grief???  There are no other opportunities to ever meet less amped up, less sexually over achieving young men anywhere in the entire USA where this show is filmed? Come ooooooon................... I do admit though that if this young woman herself was indeed merely acting  she should be snatched up immediately by an agent somewhere and given leading roles on screen.

The trouble with this kind of nonsense is that gullible, naive young women who are desperately seeking Mr. Right are getting a terrible idea of how to go about it.  As an older adult I am able easily to assume that most of the young people appearing on these programmes are hoping to be "discovered" as actors or singers and become full time entertainers.  Young viewers may not understand that and be taken in by the idea that spending a couple of months filming a dating show is going to actually put them in line to meet the person of their dreams and live one of those "happy ever after" lives.  Practically speaking the whole concept is ridiculous and I don't know whether to laugh at the believers in the audience or seek them out for a good practical talking to about life's realities.

What kind of influences have made the young people appearing on these programmes so selfish, so self absorbed, sometimes apparently so nasty toward their fellow human beings, so willing to flaunt everything they have for all to see?

What kind of influences have made other young people looking on so naive about what these shows are really about?  They are the new soap operas for youth.

Personally I would  like to take all of them, "stars" and viewers into a big hall, sit them all down and explain a few facts to them about life and odds and naivety vs knowing too much about some things for their own good.

If the girl I saw last night is even half as wounded in reality by the rejection of a handful of Mr. Muscles as she appeared to be I would like to get her into some kind of situation where she realizes she has no need of such a person as a life companion.  

"Getting a man" is still being touted as THE thing to do in life for a woman.  All the time and energy spent by past generations helping young women realize they can stand on their own 2 feet...at least until such time as a worthy man comes along to join them....is apparently for naught.

Reality dating shows seem to be produced and written by men who are desperate to maintain the old notion that they are the centre and focus of every woman's world.  Young women seem to still believe that as well.  Sigh..........what else can be done to change this appalling scenario?

Yes it is great to find a life partner, wonderful when it happens, and I am all for it.  But we need to assist our younger generations in getting a grip about what that means, what finding such a partner entails, how not to be discouraged if it takes longer than wanted and how to cope happily with a good life if no partner ever appears on the scene.  Somewhere in the past few decades the ability to find and maintain relationships has come off the rails.  Somewhere we have turned ourselves into whining needy individuals who assume that not having a life partner indicates some sort of failure on our part, some kind of assumed unworthiness and it causes tremendous and unnecessary emotional pain.  It isn't just women who experience this, young men have fallen for the same lies.

To be alone can be disappointing for many of us.  Is it a tragedy?  No, it doesn't have to be.  Even people in marriages can be lonely and trapped in a nightmare life.  Somehow we have to learn that life partners or children or successful careers are not absolute rights.  We have to stop berating ourselves constantly when the idealized life situation doesn't occur for us.  I have struggled with it as well in a couple of areas of my life and it has taken a long time to separate ideals from reality, wishes from facts.

Be brave young reality show gal!  Continue to live your productive life, enjoy every happiness that comes your way and perhaps one of those things will end up being a life partner....but if not, enjoy your every gift in life, every skill you possess, every friend you find.  Enjoy your family and your career and what they bring to your life every day.

Even in the midst of great joys and successes, sometimes life is disappointing and unfair........and THAT is the reality we no longer seem able to cope with.

1 comment:

Ron Baker said...

Sue, great thoughts on singleness, dating and being a person! I think we have lost the exciting love of God, the proper love of self and the gracious love of another in our society.