The lessons that can be learned from watching crappy T.V.

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Anyone who still doubts the fact that men and women are wired very differently has clearly never seen an episode of Classmates, that “reality” show which allows people to reunite with former and currently unsuspecting school/college/military friends (or bullies, or enemies, or old flames) after several years.

Now, you may be wondering why on earth I’m watching such tripe to begin with. Or you may very well not be wondering at all. Either way, you know that I’m going to tell you why!

Ever since I’ve had this blog – oh, so for the past 18 days or so – I’ve very nobly been subjecting myself to things I otherwise never might’ve indulged in suffered through.

All in the name of blogger’s research.

This means I have taken up a soapie (or two… Research, people, research!) and shows like Classmates.

Now, scoff all you like and tell me what a big waste of time it is, but I’m telling you, I’m learning a LOT.

Like that some women rival elephants in the memory department. And I’ve learned that some men forget faster than the time it would take you to ask them: “Remember me?”

But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.

So okay. Cue to the woman, our heroine for the next few minutes. She’s a little past her 20th high school reunion. Or her tenth. (And of course she hasn’t attended the reunion. If she had she probably wouldn’t have had to enlist the help of the show in the first place, right?) Or she’s barely out of college. Point is some years have passed since her high school days.

We see her now where she is standing in clouds of ozone-destroying hairspray and face powder, reminiscing over how her teenage years were the "best years of my life" whilst primping for her big moment (this probably being the only time that she'll ever make it onto a television show).

She is telling the camera how the guy tracked down by Classmates on her behalf glanced at her twice in the cafeteria or in English Lit class twenty years ago and how that was a crystal clear indication that he obviously wanted to marry her.

So all these years and failed marriages later, she’s never forgotten him and those (what has now in her mind evolved into) romantic gazes over the wilted lettuce and Shakespeare study guides.

Cue to the man at this point (oh, only after showing several dorky high school yearbook photographs of them both). He looks perplexed, unnerved but also somewhat flattered that someone from high school “when I was cool and before I grew myself this nice beer gut” wishes to track him down after all these years.

Then they make him guess who it could possibly be. He leafs through the yearbooks to refresh his memory and points out a few candidates – almost always his best guy buddies from school. “But I do wish that maybe it’s some hot chick that I had a crush on.”

And when the producers urge him to point out a few pictures of girls he used to be sweet on, our heroine is sadly not among them.

Speaking of which, let’s cut back to where she is now all hairsprayed, made-up, dressed up and getting into her car to drive to the school where the object of her long-running affection has now been barricaded in the cafeteria or the English Lit classroom. He sits there, wringing his hands, and we notice that he is looking considerably more nervous than the last time we saw him, because just before he left his house, a wise-cracking relative had suggested that it might be an old girlfriend who has come to tell him that he has a 20-year old son and that he owes them a gazillion dollars in child support and college fees.

They drag this out for a few more minutes, allowing the poor guy to get all worked up, and then, finally, our heroine enters.

He sees her, looks confused, smiles nervously and when she falls into his arms, he awards her with an awkward and half-hearted hug. And all the while, we can almost see how he is wracking his brain.

Yes, dear viewers, he has no clue who this woman is.

And of course, for the first few minutes she is utterly oblivious to his complete amnesia. She just continues to gush and touch him and tell him how she’s never gotten over him because he had looked at her that one time and she’s known since that moment and for all these years that they are soul mates and can they please go to David’s Bridal and pick a dress and can she maybe first get a hug and then a kiss and what does he think about naming their kids Bobby and Linda.

So she looks at him expectantly.

And he says: “Um… who are you exactly?”

One would think that his memory loss would deter her a bit, but noooo… she sees it as just another teensy little obstacle in their way to eternal togetherness. Fuelled by the challenge, she quickly reminds him.

“You know… I’m Sally? I was sitting right here with my friends on October 9 1984 at twelve past twelve and you walked past and gave me that “I want to marry you” look. Now do you remember?”

“Um… no,” he mumbles, and quickly adds, “Sorry.” It is almost sincere.

She looks hurt for about five seconds but brightens up again soon enough. “Well, not to worry because the past is the past and we have now and it’s a gift which is why they call it the present and so now we can finally make out and be together forever.”

“Um… I can’t really do that,” he says, “because I’m married.” And he shakes his ring finger under her nose for emphasis.

“?” Her turn to look shocked.

And for the next few seconds we see all the stages of grief flicker across her face. Finally she shrugs it off, pastes her smile back on and says: “Okay, well let’s go and eat lettuce in the cafeteria just like in the old days.”

To the camera she later says that she can’t BELIEVE how he didn’t even REMEMBER her after that passionate GLANCE, but that she thinks she can now finally move on after twenty years of pining for him, because this time he's promised that they can stay in touch forever.

And the guy says: “Um, well, that was quite a surprise and no, I’ll probably never see her again.”

And cut.

(And Sarah better return from her hiatus soon, because nobody blogs reality T.V. better than she does.)

10 Comments

Sarah said:

Never heard of the show. Sounds interesting enough though. As for returning? Doesn't look likely.

kellen said:

i'm more interested in what soaps you've taken up. :) i watch days of our lives at the gym, and currently shawn is being held captive in a cage in loopy jan's bedroom. honestly, what reality tv show can beat that?

emily said:

I crack up every time I watch that show. Um, and yes, I've watched it. You forgot the bit about how they both sit up really straight and suck in their guts. I love that part.

Gretchen said:

Bwahahahahaha. That is just way too funny.

Like Kellen, I wonder what soaps you are watching. I watch Days also...weird stuff right now. I also watch Passions, though it annoys me, because it comes on right after Days here.

Dude, I've totally watched that show! I saw this one where this chick a little older than me (so, like, mid-20s) was talking about this guy she dated in 1997 when they were both X popping raver freaks, and then how he left for the military and he like totally never returned her call before he left and he like totally had his roommate lie and say that he was coming back when he was like TOTALLY in boot camp! And she never got over him! And she keeps all of his stupid fucking mixed tapes of really bad house music in a shoebox she decorated with all these polaroid pictures of them! And he was her one true love even though she was like 17 years old and they only dated for like two-and-a-half months and she still keeps the 50 cent teddy bear he got her for their 3 week anniversary!

*gag*...but it is kind entertaining. Like, that people can be that totally frickin' vapid and still manage to somehow get through their daily lives.

James said:

A reality show that I haven't seen yet? Dammit!
*grabbing the t.v. guide*

Michelle said:

I love....I mean I like to research reality shows too! i haven't heard of Classmates. What channel is this thing on?

mice said:

But what about Cheaters? If you really want to sink to the depths, that's where you gotta go.

Nothin' like catching a guy in bed with his girlfriend's best friend. At the girlfriend's place. Yeah.

Casey said:

heheeee....thank god someone is doing the reality show rundown (I miss Sarah's brand of reality show snarkyness too).....I don't get to catch them cause I work the night shift.

Sarah said:

Oh my pants! Cheaters! I love Cheaters!!!!

(And thanks, Casey. *blush*)

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is a South African girl living in South Africa. That doesn't sound very original, we know, but you might find it remotely interesting when you learn that she has only recently returned to South Africa for the first time after a nine year, one month and two week (non-stop!) stint in the United States where she accidentally became an outlawed alien (also known, especially in immigration circles, as an 'illegal immigrant.' We prefer the term 'outlawed alien' ourselves). During her reversed exile from her homeland, she kept herself occupied by winning this website (but only after shamelessly bribing the judges) and thus being unleashed on the web where she slowly, leisurely became the World's Laziest Blogger; by being a nanny and by attending sci-fi conventions in search of other aliens. In the US, she also made her sailing debut, her international acting debut, tried and failed to learn the piano, and never learned to cook. She is hopelessly addicted to coffee, dogs (especially Labrador Retrievers), how-to books (with a particular fondness for her copy of the Time/Life A - Z Medical Encyclopedia), and she tends to grossly overuse parentheses (we're not kidding) during her attempts at writing, which you may - if you really have masochistic tendencies - subject yourself to by reading the words to the right of this column. If you REALLY and truly STILL want to know more, you can read her C.V. here.
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comments
  • Sarah : Oh my pants! Cheaters! I love Cheaters!!!! (And thanks, Casey. *blush*)... [go]
  • Casey : heheeee....thank god someone is doing the reality show rundown (I miss Sarah's brand of reality show... [go]
  • mice : But what about Cheaters? If you really want to sink to the depths, that's where you gotta go. Noth... [go]
  • Michelle : I love....I mean I like to research reality shows too! i haven't heard of Classmates. What channel... [go]
  • James : A reality show that I haven't seen yet? Dammit! *grabbing the t.v. guide*... [go]
  • Cleveland Natalie : Dude, I've totally watched that show! I saw this one where this chick a little older than me (so, l... [go]
  • Gretchen : Bwahahahahaha. That is just way too funny. Like Kellen, I wonder what soaps you are watching. I... [go]
  • emily : I crack up every time I watch that show. Um, and yes, I've watched it. You forgot the bit about ho... [go]
  • kellen : i'm more interested in what soaps you've taken up. :) i watch days of our lives at the gym, and cur... [go]
  • Sarah : Never heard of the show. Sounds interesting enough though. As for returning? Doesn't look likely.... [go]
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