Not So Deep Thoughts

Part V: Just Like Starting Over

Kate Gosselin

Posted by jkhutchins on May 26, 2010

I was watching Dancing with the Stars last night.  Yes, yes.  I’ve become a recent convert.  Despite all the cheesiness, I do like reality shows where people DO something.  Project Runway.  Shear Genius (yes, I know it’s just not the same without Jacklyn Smith, but I still like it).  Top Chef.  BBCA used to air this FANTASTIC show called Faking It.  It was marvelous; people had to learn some skill or persona in a month.   So, really, DwtS is in my regular range.  So hush you.

Ok.  I was watching DwtS last night.  It was the season finale when all of the earlier contestants come back and they do a ton of retrospective of the season (and declare a winner).  I found myself in an unexpected position; I was actually feeling sorry for Kate Gosselin.  She was so very pathetic.  Now, generally I hate her for a) exploiting her children for her own fame; b) her endless quest for fame; c) having a litter of children; and d) just not being very likeable generally.  We wouldn’t get on even if she was a normal person instead of a fame junkie.

But last night, I just felt sorry for her.  In the harsh lens of high def, she looked awful.  She looked so terribly ordinary in the midst of celebrities, particularly in the opening dance.  Her hair continues to be mediocre, her clothes ill-fitting – she was clearly out of her social strata.  And her figure looked especially average compared to finalist Nicole with her ludicrously perfect body.  Nobody should look that good without photoshop.  Kate also was clearly missing a work ethic that the rest of them had.  Kate is a fame junkie, but she just wasn’t driven to dance.  She wasn’t willing to make the effort the show required.   Kate looked as bad as Buzz Aldrin, who at least had the excuse of being a senior citizen.   Her dancing was lumpen and stiff.  Her solo piece wasn’t much better, and the producers had to put her on a lift to keep her dance as short as possible.  It was more sad than laughable.

I can sympathize with this.  Much as I despise her exploiting her motherhood (I suspect, without any actual proof, that she had 8 babies with the intent of getting a reality show), I can understand her lack of effort.  I don’t respect her for it (hey, I didn’t sign up to be on a reality show, much less DwtS) but it’s not unrelatable.  I’m not driven either.  I could be a lot more successful, but I have yet to make the sacrifices involved.

I’ve been working on losing weight for the last year.  I have made great progress when it was relatively easy, less when I have to make hard choices.  It’s easy to control calories when you are by yourself and can exercise because you have all day to do it.  It gets harder when you share meals and have to start making choices about how to spend more limited time.  I haven’t passed the bar because I’ve been unwilling to dedicate the time it takes over two months to cram all day and forgo social contact.

I make excuses, but really it’s all about not caring enough.

I think part of the reason athletes do so well on DwtS is because they are willing to dedicate themselves to the kind of practice and discouragement it takes to succeed.  Compared to getting to the Olympics as a figure skater, a dancing competition is easy.  No cakewalk, but the ability to work is there.  I have yet to find something like the Olympics.  That’s my failure, really.  I probably have given up all kinds of opportunities I’m not even aware of because I’ve been unwilling to give up free time and my precious, precious time with people.  The only person I haven’t given enough time to is my boy, although I’m trying to do better with that.  And maybe my cats. (I am so so sorry, Booboo.  I really, really loved you.)

I tell myself my priorities are just different.  I just want a job and a family life.  But in fact, I don’t want just a job.  I want a job with a little bit (just a little) prestige and a decent paycheck.  That might require a little more drive than I’ve been putting into it.

Part of my problem is I’ve always been afraid to try.  There was no point in trying for the Olympics, the odds were too high.  I was never going to be a movie star or a successful musician, so there was no point in putting the time in.  The fact is that a lot of persistence is what it took for those at the top to succeed.  Even the gifted lawyers in my class spent a lot of time studying.  I didn’t think I could be a lawyer so I stopped trying.  Once I realized it was going to take a lot of persistence and rejection, with dwindling odds, I stopped trying to be a librarian.

I was never going to be a popular blogger, so I would just try to be interesting to my small audience and not make any efforts to reach a larger readership.

Right now, I am still thinking about retaking the bar.  I don’t want to waste the money if I can’t pass, especially since that money isn’t mine.  I don’t know if I get a job if I would keep the studying going.  As it is, I should have been mostly through with the first book by now.  I’m on the fourth chapter.  But, after I get the headlight changed, I am going to drag myself away from frittering the day away on the computer and at least get some done.  I have gotten better about doing my exercise.  Hopefully I can exercise my willpower more as well.

So, I feel sorry for Kate Gosselin because I see too much in her of me.

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