Monday, March 30, 2009

pop culture

I finished a book last night that had themes of marriages ending, infidelity, and other happy, cheery topics often found in chick lit. One of my favorite light authors (Jane Green), I picked the book up for a release, and read parts with just a sick feeling in my stomach. And yet, despite consciously thinking I should stop reading, I kept plowing through.

In my experience, infidelity in popular culture bears not even a passing resemblance to real life. Maybe because TV or movie formats don't allow for subtlety - it's black and white people split up after infidelity, or the woman is a passive stand by your man kind of thing. There's rarely the gut wrenching day in day out of recovering and moving along.

I once, years ago, read a pop psychology book about marriages, and there was a section on infidelity. A wife was quoted as saying she cried every day for two years after discovering her husband's infidelity, but they did work it out and were still together. But the breach in trust was incredibly deep and long lasting. Crying every day for two years. That's stayed with me. I remember re-reading that one line, and concluding this wasn't exaggeration. This woman actually did cry every day for two years. So here I am. Not crying every day, but there are rough days. Odd reminders, twinges of bad feelings, words that trigger a memory. A book, a TV show, both for pure escapism, but not escaping at all from life.

Throwing things at the TV while watching Private Practice.

Is there anything in pop culture that hits too close to home for you? And yet you still watch, or read, or listen?


Lala said...

blonde women on tv make me want to scratch his eyes out. I wish I'd read that about crying for two years. I totally agree.

Wabi said...

My hot-button issue is abortion. Aside from ectopic pregnancy, medical termination of a pregnancy is just NOT part of the TV universe version of that subject. And since I've had a tx for medical reasons, the lack of acknowledgment of people like me, especially when the stories revolve around doctors and healthcare, always gets my knickers all atwist.

It's funny you mention Private Practice, because that show got me on my issue, too! Audra McDonald's character is prolife. In reality the idea that a feritlity specialist would never, EVER think abortion might be warranted for medical reasons is just ridiculous.

As for the story line that got you going ... OMG, it's so creepy. In real life if you talked to a coworker briefly 3 times and he started professing love and showing up at your house uninvited, it would be scary, not romantic. The fact that he also has a wife who is half dead trying to have his baby would just be stinky icing in the already nasty cake.

Amy, queen of the world. said...

I don't think this is necessarily the same thing, but a few years ago, my husband was looking at internet porn. I begged him to stop, but since had caught him 3 different times. It took me finally packing my stuff (while pregnant) and getting ready to leave for him to swear he wouldn't do it again. He hasn't looked in nearly 2 years, but I still check his history (he isn't smart enough to figure out how to erase ALL of his tracks) every now and then. When I see a website I've never heard of, my heart stops because I just KNOW it's going to be porn again. So far (for the last 2 years) it's always been some car parts website, and then I feel terrible for still doubting him after all this time....but the pain is still very much there.

Tash said...

House. Ever since seeing a gaggle of young attractive docs shooting the shit around a picture of my daughter's brain, I can't do the fiction anymore. I'm sure someday she'll turn up in an episode, and it will go completely unnoticed by me.

You know those stupid cartoon figures people put on the back windows of their cars to indicate their family structure? I've seen three of those in the last two weeks and they always turn my stomach. Part of me wants to put one up for us and then put an X through one of the kids.

I'd cry for years too. I really don't see how one can't.

Louise said...

For me it's the "Oh, she's infertile - but look, how easy, she's pregnant now!" storylines that have been out there. Even the one on LOST, which I KNOW is totally fictional and could never happen (although I would gladly battle the smoke monster if it would let me get pregnant).

Louise said...

I just came back and re-read and I need to clarify: I DO NOT WANT TO SMOKE MONSTER TO IMPREGNATE ME. I just want it to heal my ladygarden and make me capable of pregnancy! Because that's realistic!


Louise said...

duh. Too early in the morning. 1st TO = THE.

niobe said...

If something hits too close to home or even might possibly hit too close to home, I avoid it like the plague. Which means that there are lots of books I won't read and movies I won't see, but it's the way I deal.

Which Box said...

Niobe: why is this not surprising at all?

Louise: I knew what you meant. Smoke monsters don't have anything on real life battles, sometimes.