Some people don't realize that we get American TV in Japan. We also have USPS mail service, and we can buy a limited selection of American books and magazines just around the corner on the base. Since Husband works for the U.S. government, we receive some pretty cool benefits that aren't available to other expats.
But of course, selection is limited. And our TV shows are interrupted not by commercials, but by informative and thus often-annoying public service announcements produced by the U.S. military. It doesn't take long to learn them all by heart, so my kids are well-versed in "just saying no" to sexual harassment, never shaking a baby, and not disclosing too much personal information which could come back to bite some military operation on the bum.
But the kids and I have been in Texas for almost a month, visiting family and friends as we have done around this time every year since 2004. And this means "real" TV.
When I say "real," I mean loads of Disney for the kids, and waaaaay too much reality TV for me. What with trying to keep up with the Kardashians, shaking my head in wonder at Rock of Love 2, taking the occasional peek inside Kat's tattoo world, and analyzing whether Scott Baio will ever make a decent father, I really have time for little else. Sure, I'm reading before bed, but my eyes flit from book to Britney constantly.
I get ensnared every year. It's all pretty fun for a while--I'd say two to three weeks--until you realize that in order to live your own reality, it's necessary at some point to hit the "off" button. Thankfully, when my head starts to spin (or when we're back in Japan with less reality-junkie variety), I can turn to ever-reliable, ever-hilarious The Soup for a condensed, much-saner reality fix. I do love The Soup.
But speaking of reality, I can't say I've just been plopped in my twin bed at my mother-in-law's all day, every day. No--I have indeed been stewing in my own reality, which currently involves much talking and working with my parents to figure out how to deal with my quickly-aging grandmother. The kids and I have swooped in and feverishly tried to do as much as possible to be helpful in some way while we're here.
It reminds me of why many people like reality TV--it's indeed a diversion from our own reality. Well, and it can be pretty darned funny, too.