Posts Tagged ‘Break Ups’

Jon & Kate Plus 8 Becoming Jon Minus Kate Plus 8

GlockomaRocky road bars are delicious and easy to prepare. Rocky roadĀ marriages are bitter and hard to survive.

Who would know better than Katie and Jonathan Gosselin? Their relationship was broadcast for all the world’s critical eyes to see on what is now one of TLC’s hottest reality shows – Jon & Kate Plus 8. As if having eight children wasn’t enough stress!

You’d have to be living under a metamorphic rock to have not heard about the couple’s recent turbulent relationship. ET Canada, Access Hollywood, Us Weekly, and other gossip sources all planted the seed of suspicion in the air. Was Kate having an affair with her bodyguard? Who was that female Jon was seen leaving with after partying? The stories were unraveling like some cheap pants from a fly-by-night business.

I admit that prior to the reports of a crumbling marriage, I had never really watched more than a snippet of the show. But then like millions of other viewers, I fell prey to the hype beast and tuned in on May 25 to see the season premiere of Jon & Kate Plus 8.

Kate and Jon spoke openly about the rift in their relationship, and when asked what the future held, they both couldn’t say for certain except that they’d be there for their kids no matter what. A family torn apart. Now people were treating it like a Battle of the Sexes, and they began to pick sides.

The feminist in me noticed how quick the public immediately pointed the finger at Kate. They criticized her for being a diva because she was bossy and controlling. And some people said that she was a spotlight hog because it looked like she wanted the attention more than Jon. (If you watch any episode, you’ll notice how much more vocal she is compared to her husband, and therefore the camera is focused on her more often than Jon.)

A lot of people were quick to pounce on Kate with their claws extended. To me, she symbolizes the modern woman who’s able to fulfill the role of nurturing mother yet who still is independent and travels for her job.

Obviously what we see on Jon & Kate Plus 8 only accounts for edited moments when the cameras were rolling, so we can’t assume that we’re getting the total truth. Still, I have to say that from what I have seen, I think it’s refreshing to see a woman who’s undeniably in charge. Instead of the played-out traditional threat “Just wait until your father gets home!”, I imagine that at the Gosselin residence, it’s more like “Just wait until your mother gets home!”. That’s right – it’s the woman who lays down the law.

Sometimes she may come across as a cold and strict disciplinarian, but I believe that sometimes you have to have an iron fist. It’s not always about going to the spa and picking which colour to have your nails done. And hello, having eight kids? You have to exert tough love sometimes because if you’re a softie, they won’t just walk all over you, eight children will feel more like a stampede!

GlockomaKate has also come under another attack, which I’m going to defend. Some have said that she’s just hungry to be a TV star and doesn’t care about exploiting her kids for the sake of fame. Maybe she is the Very Hungry Caterpillar. But…maybe she was just really resourceful. Let me explain.

Imagine that you have eight children…going through hundreds of diapers, feeding those little mouths, and hearing all of them screaming and crying! Not only is it tons of work, but it costs elephant tons of money, too! I think that Kate was really resourceful when she pitched the idea for a TV show following the trials and tribulations of parents with multiples (as they call it).

I’m sure she knew what she was doing. If the crew has to film her at home, most likely they’d give her a “studio home” or spruce up her existing pad. And no doubt when a show’s successful, they’ll pay for a lot of things (e.g. transportation, food, trips, etc.). It was a very creative and clever way for Kate and Jon to be able to afford having so many kids. If not for TLC giving them so much, well, TLC, Kate and Jon’s bills would’ve taken a sledgehammer to more than just the Porcelain Piggy (i.e. the piggy bank).

Another point of interest is that Kate isn’t your typical woman portrayed on the Dick Tube (by the way, that’s what I say instead of Boob Tube). Okay, yes, she’s shown in the traditional role of a mother with a protective wing, but what’s different is that she’s not nearly as emotional as many women on TV who always seem to be crying or who are afraid about something. Kate usually has everything in check and can control her emotions.

And then there’s Jon. I’m intrigued by his quiet demeanor. Most men on TV are depicted as being loud, arrogant, obnoxious, and/or violent. But he doesn’t fall into any of those unfortunate categories. I like how he’s always calm and doesn’t look like the type who would blow up or instigate a yelling match.

Plus, I love the interesting twist of how Jon was the one who quit his day job to stay home with the kids so Kate could travel and still work to promote her book. Usually you hear more about stay-at-home moms than stay-at-home dads. It’s refreshing to see someone bringing attention to an important group that’s usually invisible in popular media (and on a hit TV show no less!).

The next time you watch Jon & Kate Plus 8, look for the things I’ve mentioned regarding their personalities. Even if the show was meant to only be candy floss for your curious mind, it surprisingly is a great longitudinal case study illustrating a strong woman and a softer man.

GlockomaWhat do you think?

Singled Out for Being Alone: The One Who Doesn’t Board Noah’s Ark

GlockomaTurn on the radio at any time, and listen to five songs. Chances are that at least one was a mushy love song.

And if you’ve followed Mariah Carey’s musical career (like I have), you’ve come to the conclusion that she just can’t sing about anything besides love. (Think Vision of Love, Always Be My Baby, Dreamlover, I Stay in Love, etc.)

(Watch The Raveonette’s music video, That Great Love Sound, for a different albeit morbid/psychotic twist. They’re one of my favourites, and I really like what they’ve done in the video because it’s not what you would expect if you just heard the lyrics.)

We live in a society where walking hand-in-hand to board Noah’s Ark is considered The Right Path in Life. The increasing popularity of online dating services speaks volumes of how prevalent the love ideal is. “Find your match today!”, they say. Or, “The only thing you have to lose is your loneliness.”

The same thing I say about computers holds true for relationships – they’re only good when they work. But probably my favourite personal quotation I’ve come up with is this: “A good boyfriend isĀ  like a good bra – supportive.”

Truth be told, love is wonderful, exciting, and all-consuming. Whenever I fall in love, I’m giddy 24/7, I can’t wipe the smile off my face, and I want to devote all my time helping that Special Someone.

But they don’t call it falling in love for nothing. Sometimes the fall is so hard and fast that we get emotional bruises – some of which we feel will never ever fade but that will just get bigger and more painful. And sometimes the scrapes leave behind scars that we pick at later on in life, only to have them bleed like brand-new injuries. (I think Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton convey this well in Crowd Surf off a Cliff. Sip some red wine with this one.)

Is One Really the Loneliest Number?

Glockoma

GlockomaLately I’ve been doing lots of thinking about the single life because I got out of a serious relationship a couple of days before Valentine’s Day this year and just in time to completely ruin my birthday celebration later that month. (But at least he didn’t dump me like a total dick such as the one Jon Lajoie parodies.)

He and I had been dating for over 2 years. And it was more fucking intense than being married because not only did we live together, but we worked together, too. We were practically like Siamese twins doing everything together. And we felt invincible against the glaring statistics telling us that couples who live together have lower chances of getting married.

Reality crashes down like a hailstorm of serrated daggers sometimes. Now we both live separately and alone, but we still work together (although that will change). We’re trying to salvage a friendship because we want to build bridges instead of walls, but the task is probably more overwhelming than either of us imagined.

I thought he was my soulmate. (Who else would find my insecurities charming?) But to keep my sanity, I have to retrain my brain into thinking of him as only a friend.

As a feminist, I believe that women don’t require men to be happy, but I find myself floundering in depression without the one man I truly loved, trusted, and admired. This dissonance concerns and confuses me. What should I do? How can I move on? What if I never find The One? Can I be happy as a single female?

The Balancing Act

GlockomaBeing single has also forced me to notice how differently single women are perceived compared to single men. And it’s not fair. But life’s not fair, and the sooner we all accept that, the sooner we can suck it up, and become stronger, smarter individuals.

Unfortunately, these are the common descriptions associated with single females versus single males:

Single Female

  • Lonely
  • Sad
  • Shy
  • Physically Unattractive

Single Male

  • Independent
  • Strong
  • Powerful
  • Confident

Why does the man come out on top? I believe that all 8 descriptions can apply to both genders. But in lots of research I’ve read while studying psychology in university, they seem to suggest that the woman often is perceived more negatively.

Married to the Mob

GlockomaGlockomaAs I’m in my late 20’s, I find myself thinking more and more about marriage. Yes, I pictured it all – I was going to wear a black-and-crimson dress, the reception decor would have a glam Old-Hollywood/gothic theme, the guest list would be very intimate, and the DJ would spin records on a vintage phonograph. There wouldn’t be white anywhere, except for maybe the walls or plates.

But now it’s back to the drawing board. Win, Lose, or Draw…

I jumped right into a serious relationship after I ended my previous one, so it has been a long time since I’ve experienced singledom.

My heart still stings. And my eyes still get fucking flooded with tears at the drop of a hat despite me trying to keep them at bay. Is this weakness? Is this cathartic? It’s been months since the break-up, yet my emotions are as strong as Day One.

The Sweet Hereafter

GlockomaNow that everything’s still raw, I’m confronting these issues:

  • Source of Happiness: Why do I rely so much on other people to make me happy?
  • Self-Exploration: What can I learn about myself now that I can’t ‘lean on’ someone?
  • Fighting Loneliness: What can I do to keep myself busy & foster positive thinking?
  • Future Relationships: How will I ever be able to trust someone again?
  • Time to Say Goodbye: If he cuts me completely out of his life, will I be able to cope?
  • Exciting Opportunities: How can I make the most of this time?

Here’s what I’ll be actively doing to get my life back on track:

  • Hanging out with friends more & making new ones
  • Working on my humourous office-politics book & eventually attempting to have it published
  • Hitting the gym to work off some steam
  • Pursing new hobbies to keep myself entertained & happy
  • Reducing my intake of booze – I am a hardcore tequila enthusiast, but I can’t continue to feed the flame & make my liver suffer

Hopefully if I make all these changes, in a few months’ time, I will start feeling happy and good about myself again.

Have you been through a bad break-up? How did you deal with it? Did you stoop really low before rising up? I’d love for you to share your stories with me.

Until next time, glock ’til you drop!

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