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Tacitly Yours

A skewed view of reality

Okay, it's now been a month since we cut the cord and have resorted to having just five television stations. At first I wasn't sure what kind of effect this would have on my life.

But I am here to say that after four weeks, quite a bit has changed.

Instead of rushing home from work to turn on the television, both my husband and I have found that we are spending more time fixing up the house and working on those little things that never seem to get done. I have gotten to the point that I don't click on the TV until well into the night, and even then there are nights that it's on mostly for background noise as I putt around the house.

But one thing has definitely not changed. I still can't get enough reality television. Even though my channel selection has narrowed I have still managed to find more than my fair share of what I think are interesting reality shows, a sentiment with which my husband might just disagree.

I have already watched as the Average Joes finally won out in "Average Joe: The Joes Strike Back." I have been keeping a close eye on the competition between those vying to live like a Hilton, and I have been cheering along to "Rock Star: INXS."

I think of my obsession with reality television as one of those guilty pleasures. I was embarrassed to admit to a close friend that I actually watch "I Want to be a Hilton," which features people from a variety of working class backgrounds competing to live like a Hilton.

I explained my knowledge of the show by stating that it's summer, which is a perfect time for watching trashy, AKA reality, television. My friend just laughed at me, telling me she could not believe I was tuning in every week.

The funny part was that an hour later, just as the offending show was ending, my friend called me back to let me know that she had tuned in and was now hooked. We spent the next few minutes talking about what had just taken place on the show before we both hung up the phone.

For me, reality television started long before the first Survivor show ever hit the small screen. I am a child of the "Real World."

My mother, who is now addicted to the series, and I were just talking about how many of the "Real World" series we have watched over the years. I remember tuning in for Boston, Seattle, Hawaii, New Orleans and parts of the season shot in Las Vegas.

There is something to be said for taking time out of your busy schedule to watch the lives of others. If anything it has helped me realize just how normal my life really is. It's not like I've been in a race around the world for $1 million, created a marketing plan for a major corporation to fight for a job with an American billionaire or sang my lungs out on stage for the shot at being the lead singer of a new band. (If you can name the television shows I'm talking about, I'm sorry to say that you too are a reality show addict.)

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