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Confessions of a Reality Show Junkieby Beth Blakely -- 08/17/2002
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Late Thursday afternoon I popped over to BB3Updates.com for a quick fix of Big Brother satisfaction. I was so jazzed that BB3 was going to allow an evicted houseguest to return. "Please let it be Amy," I thought. "She's the only one that can help Dani and the gang defeat the evil Chiara."
I was so hyped up I could barely focus on my work. That fact alone had me a little worried about myself. I read the latest posts. Nothing much was happening in the house beyond the usual prep for the Wednesday night show.
I clicked over to read the chatter section. Willow, Voodoo, Furby, Mino, and Haterod were all there. Dineace, Zippity, and the rest of the regulars were conversing excitedly.
I'd been visiting the site regularly, but posting only occasionally under the handle PaperbackWriter. Still, I'd grown to love these folks through their animated rants and exchanges. And of course I'm very grateful for their updates. It's so different to watch the show when you know what's happening behind the (edited) scenes.
Anyway, I found myself so hopped up that I actually joined in the conversation. Nosy Neighbor asked if anyone else had this experience:
"I was explaining to my husband over dinner how important it was to get the kids off to bed before 8 tonight," she wrote. "Explained to him that Josh has threatened to cause a scene on his way out, that for the first time EVER a HG was going to return and the possible implications of that blah blah blah... Looked up and realized he was looking at me like I'd finally lost my *FOTH*ing marbles." [NOTE: FOTH is BB3 speak for "Front of the House" - where the cameras go when something is going on that they want to censor out. It's also the code for a curse word on the BB3Updates site.]
Amazing. At the exact moment I read her post I was on the phone with my husband trying to explain why he had to get the baby to sleep tonight because "it was just too pivotal a night!" "What?" he said. "I gotta cut the grass, honey."
"Cut the grass?" I thought. What? How could he think that I would be able to care for my child when such a crucial moment in BB history was taking place?
That thought brought me back to reality. Who was I, Tonya? I had to take care of my precious baby girl.
"Of course I'll get her to sleep tonight, honey," I said to him. But a second later I was already strategizing about how I could keep distractions to a minimum.
"I'll stop and get Chinese food, okay?" I asked helpfully. My husband agreed and asked for his standard order: medium chicken fried rice, four egg rolls, and a handful of hot mustard packets.
There were just a few minutes left in the workday, so I posted my final thought on the chatter board.
"Speaking of food," I wrote, "I have to go pick up Chinese food and get settled for the nite. Thanx to all the fun chatters. You guys rock! Hugs and Brotherly Love ;-)."
To my delight, the post was followed by 21 responses. The rest of the gang began talking about how they were handling the dinner situation for the night. A surprising number were also getting Chinese takeout. I felt like I'd found my people. Indeed there were others who changed their own lives based on what was happening in the lives of our beloved human "hamsters."
I managed to get my baby to sleep 10 minutes ahead of her usual 8 p.m. bedtime. I still had time to grab a diet A&W root beer, warm up my remaining rice, and settle into the couch before the show began.
I didn't stay settled long. The show was so exciting that I was on the edge of my seat. At the halfway point I was nearly breathless. I called my sister Tanya to get her thoughts and opinions. No answer.
"How could she be out at a time like this?" I wondered.
As the show continued I became more and more enthralled.
"Say you'll eat PB&J for the rest of your life, Amy!" I wanted to yell, but I didn't want to wake the baby.
When I saw Lisa hold up the red paddle signifying her vote for Amy to re-enter the house I jumped to my feet, raised my hands in the air and mimed a scream. It was at that moment that my husband came into the living room, having just completed his post grass-cutting shower. He took one look at me, smirked, and walked right back out of the room.
After the show I found him in front of the computer playing some Star Wars shoot-'em-up game.
"Can I get on and check the boards?" I asked sweetly. "Gimme ten minutes," he responded.
I stuck out my bottom lip in a faux pout and went to take a shower. When I was done, he called out that he was finished with his game. I put on my robe and walked directly to the computer. I sat down and with my hair dripping down my back I began to read the posts.
I was still sitting there at 11:30 p.m.
The first thing I thought about the next morning was if I had enough time to see what happened during the night before my daughter woke up.
Do you think I have a problem?
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