I’ve been watching reality shows since their infancy. I began by watching MTV’s The Real World in high school. This was followed by The Osbournes, The Anna Nicole Show, and Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica into my college years. At that time, most people didn’t even know what the term “reality show” meant. I know I didn’t.
How It Started
I’ve been watching the Real Housewives on Bravo since it began. For those of you who aren’t die-hard fans, let me just go right ahead and catch you up. The first series in the franchise was the Real Housewives of Orange County. It then branched out to spotlight women in other cities. Looking back, the early episodes seemed a bit more simplistic. Simplistic in the sense that the cameras followed around five women in their daily lives. Dealing with kids, in-laws, and health scares seemed normal–except doing it all in really nice cars and even bigger and better homes.
Right there I should have gotten a clue that this “reality” isn’t “real”. I mean there’s nothing wrong with having nice things, but that’s not necessarily real, or realistic, for many people. Everything about Orange County, California seemed glamorous. Especially for a college student who was on a strict budget in a small apartment and land-locked in the middle of the Arizona desert.
My husband has always joked around and given me a hard time about my love of “The Housewives.” I know it’s mindless TV, but I’ve never thought twice about it. Yes, the show has gotten away from the mundane beginnings of daily errands, lunches, and the typical sibling fights and now features table flipping and knock-down, drag-out fights with “friends”. Episodes soon seemed to have plots. It was getting to be a little much at times, but overall I didn’t really mind.
Until one day last summer when I was listening to a message presented by a pastor at my church. I don’t remember the exact wording, but he was talking about getting rid of things in your life that weren’t servicing you in a positive way. I’m not one to think every message I hear at church directly speaks to me. For whatever reason, this one did. As corny as it sounds, I immediately thought about my love for all things Real Housewives. I wanted to make a change. Watching it did nothing positive for me. It made me compare myself to others, which we all know is a complete joy-killer.
How It Ended
It’s kind of like a boyfriend you break up with. You know it’s not a great relationship, but you’re still hanging on. Nothing went terribly wrong, but things weren’t all that great either. You think in the back of your mind that you’ll likely end up getting back together. That’s what I thought my break-up with the Real Housewives was going to be like. It wasn’t.
At first, I honestly thought I’d be right back at it after a short hiatus. There’s always DVR and On-Demand, right? Taking a pause now would just mean binge-watching later. I was wrong. One week turned into one month. Close to a year later, I’ve never looked back.