So I've been watching a little 90210 lately.... okay not so much a little, but really quite a lot. Not the new version which in my opinion sucks, but the good ones... the vintage... the all-my-problems-will-be-solved-if-i-live-my-life-through-kelly-taylor ones. At first it was out of boredom or experimentation from the norm, and then it become something more. Before I knew it, I was hooked. Watching every day. Sometimes more than once. I tried to hide my habit for as long as possible, but it wasn't long before my family found out due to dinners not being put on the table, bathrooms not being cleaned and I would carefully place my finger on the "jump" button on the remote in case anyone came in, I could quickly pretend I was watching the Food Network. I was finally forced to face my demons and analyze how I ended up here. Addicted to something I hadn't done since my adolescent years. This was crazy, right? I'm a wife and mother afterall!
I realized several things about my connection to this show. First of all, I'd like to blame my lack of success during high school to the fact that guys did not dress like Steve Sanders, there was no DJ David Silver talking to us through the halls between classes and well, I certainly didn't grow up a rich kid in Beverly Hills.... however, since I was 16 and 3 months pregnant when the show aired, I guess I can't blame the show for showing me a false reality of life, huh? Perhaps while I was going through something abnormal for a teenager (well, at least 19 years ago it was abnormal), it was comforting to watch teenagers deal with "normal" teenage problems such as friends with drug problems, cheating boyfriends, broken homes and friend fights.... I was dealing with all of those AND a baby in my belly.
It was when I thought about why I probably loved the show 19 years ago that I realized why my present addiction came about. I am once again wanting a life that feels more "normal" than what I got going on right now. Yes, Kelly and Brenda and Donna are a lot less helpful these days than they were before... but nonetheless, they represent a norm I never had and always wanted. (It should also be said that I am a huge Desperate Housewives fan, which I do believe is a grown-up version of 90210 but perhaps I'm not ready to face the fact that my life is nowhere near as lovely as Gabby and Susan and Bree and Lynette have. Fair enough?)
So, with my life probably as messy as it felt those months 19 years ago, I resorted to my old habits of watching life through my friends in Beverly Hills. I could have chosen a much worse avenue to vent my frustration... but the time has come to deal with it, write about it and move on from it. I am sure the detox process is similar to that of heroin or vicodin... I'll have to get back to you on that, as I just wrapped up my last "fix".... Dylan is deciding whether to date Brenda or Kelly and Brandon and Steve were about to confront a street racer that they think is the mystery hit and run driver that left Andrea for dead... ahhh the good ol' days of normal problems.
Here I am now.... about to turn 36... jobless after 18 years of non-stop working my ass off due to a series of bad decisions in the last few months... more relationship problems than my poor little self can handle... am a mother to teenagers (nothing more needed to say there, huh?)... bills piling up... stress piling up... no health insurance... But enough about that! As those feisty kids in that famous zip code, I still have my friends and at the end of the day (or the 60 minute episode), they get us through it all!
Here's what it all comes down to: life is not much different now than it was in high school and the problems don't change as much as we think they do. Bad grades are now bad credit scores, cheating boyfriends are now cheating husbands, having the right clothes is now having the right house, having parents that don't embarass us is now having children we can be proud of, looking forward to college is now looking forward to a promotion or job change and friends that become back stabbing, two-faced bitches are now... well, they're still back stabbing, two-faced bitches.
What do we do about it? What happens to those of us that did adolescence so badly and feel as though we are doomed to repeat the mistakes? How do we achieve the seemingly simple and complete lives of Gabby or Kelly? I realize the obvious answer is to realize that these are characters in well-written comedy-dramas. I realize that comparing real life to TV is probably a clear sign that I'm losing my mind. And most importantly, I realize that life's problems will never be solved in an hour. But is it wrong to think that if TV people's problems can be solved in an hour, then perhaps mine can be solved in a day? a week? a month? Not sure.... but I gotta go. I think Dylan is about to make his decision and while I know what it is... It's fun to live it again :)