I’ve heard it said (on VH1’s Celebrity Rehab, I should probably disclose) that the first step in the addiction recovery process is to admit you have problem. In my case at least, this seems to be a whole lot of bubkus. I have two addictions raging simultaneously these days, and admitting to either isn’t doing me a lick of good.
Addiction number one is technology. Lately, I cannot seem to peel my eyes from the multitude of electronic gadgets that have taken over my life. Phone, laptop, iPad, TV, anything that glows and transmits (mostly useless) information must be in front of my face, and on, at all times. Do you know how you can stick a one-year-old in front of a screen and he’ll stare at it for hours? Well, that’s me. Every day, I picture my brain cells running full speed off of the edge of cliff and catapulting to their final resting place below.
Trust me, it’s gotten bad, and I don’t think I’ve hit rock bottom. Last week, hubby and I played a game of Scrabble on the iPad. When it was his turn, I simultaneously perused Facebook status updates on my phone and watched Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives on TV. In the mornings, I check my email before I pee, say hello to my family, or brush my teeth. What the heck is wrong with me?
Since I’m not yet in step one of the recovery process, I have no problem putting all of the blame for my second addiction, celebrity gossip, onto Bravo’s biggest wheeler and dealer, Andy Cohen. Actually, I can't say it’s all Andy Cohen's fault, although he is a major player. I know I'm ultimately responsible for my Bravo TV obsession.
Last summer, I made a vow to never watch a Real Housewives episode ever again. And I kept it up for about six months. But all it took was Tamra and Gretchen sharing some love or a Ramona/Countess Luann spat and I was sucked right back in. Now I know all of the pathetic Bravo Housewives (most of whom work and some of whom don’t have kids), the sorry single ladies who can't follow their own instructions on Miss Advised, every salon and shop Tabatha has taken over, and more. Think of all of the productive things I could be doing with my time if I wasn't watching this garbage. I’m pretty sure that picking my toenails would be more useful to society.
In addition to blaming Andy Cohen, there is one duo who is largely responsible for my backslide into the vapid world of Us Magazine, People and, yes, I’m ashamed to admit, TMZ. Darn you, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. If you’ve managed to scorn every juicy and salacious detail of this couple’s divorce drama, I hate you. I'm sorry, that was the addiction talking. I don’t hate you, but I’m so darn jealous that you’re not spending your time reading about people who don’t know or care about you.
So, please, tell me – how do I break away? How do I get myself out of a spiral of technology/entertainment hell that includes picture after picture of Jessica Simpson post-baby? Here's one thing I know for sure: when you know more about Jessica's weight struggles than you do about the health care bill, it’s time to get a life. I’m sickened by the way the media has exploited her weight gain, yet I do nothing but click, click, and click away. It's not right, and I have to stop!
There is a silver lining to this, however, a sign that it’s not too late to get back on track. Despite following trashy stories about TomKat, Princess Kate, Alec Baldwin, Angelia Jolie, Jessica Biel and the like, I haven’t read anything, and I mean anything, about the Kardashians. No Kim and Kanye, no Scott and Kourtney – no one with the initials KK. I just can’t bring myself to follow the antics of a family who wants nothing other than to be rich and famous and who understands that all is takes is a sex tape or quckie marriage to launch what we all loosely refer to as a career. So take that, Ryan Seacrest. Maybe, just maybe, there’s hope for me after all.
~By Wendy Widom, Families in the Loop