J.R. Reed chronicles his struggles with anxiety, and explains how watching terrible Reality TV his helping him feel better about himself.
I don’t have cable TV. Why did I tell you that? I don’t know. Probably a disclaimer as to why I watch so much crappy reality TV. To me it’s like free weekly therapy, a standing appointment if you will. I sit down for an hour or two and get a birds-eye view of how insane others are and I instantly feel better about myself.
Tuesday night I came across a show I’ve never heard of. It’s called Master Chef and the first selling point was that Gordon Ramsay is on it. I particularly love watching Gordo because the way he yells at people reminds me that as bad as I think I have it sometimes, at least I don’t have his spittle on my cheek.
The show pits home “Chefs” against one another and at the end they apparently win something. The show isn’t the point of this; what I was reminded of is.
This week’s villain is a guy named Ryan who apparently is in a pretty serious bromance with some other guy on the show. I don’t remember the other guys name and frankly I don’t care enough to go look it up. Sorry.
Ryan won the first challenge and his reward was that he got to pick which half of his fourteen opponents got to cook with live Maryland crab and which half had to use canned crab. It was at this point in the show that my self-esteem skyrocketed.
“Time to back the bus up,” Ryan said as he made hand motions like he was driving what I believe was supposed to be a bus. Either that or one of those choppers with the handlebars that are about a yard over your head.
The winner then proceeded to say that he had to take care of his “boy” and gave him a live crab. Ryan gave canned crab to six of the seven strongest opponents and as he did he made fun of the person saying they couldn’t do anything with it.
I said that he gave canned crab to six of the strongest seven. The seventh is a woman named Christine. Christine is a grad student from Houston. And she’s blind. Seriously.
Christine has a helper who is her eyes but Christine actually does all the opening of cans, slicing, dicing, cooking and most amazing of all is amazing presentation. Christine rocks.
The villain, as expected, gave Christine a live crab. Ryan was all kinds of mean as he joked about how it would probably pinch her and how there’s no way she could make a winning dish with it.
He was right. Christine’s dish didn’t win but hers was just outside the top three.
At the end of the night three of the top four dishes were made with canned crab and the dumber half of Bill and Ted barely survived to see next week.
Besides being completely impressed with Christine and what she’s accomplished I was reminded of something very important.
As I deal with my anxiety and self-esteem issues, I will no doubt be thrown under the bus, get kicked, knocked down and have other distasteful things happen to me. Everyone does because that’s how life works. What I have to do is take what I’ve got and do the best I can with what I have.
Ryan went out of his way to make sure he made seven people’s life miserable, yet four of the seven overcame the obstacle. The overall winner used live crab, but two, three, four and probably five (Christine) used canned.
The crowning moment of the show was when Ramsey had Ryan come up and try the dish Christine made. Either that or watching the bro-friend barely escape packing his knives or whatever it is they do on this show.
When Ryan tried Christina’s dish he turned to her and told her how good it was. That was a classy move and replaced a little of the respect I lost for him. It didn’t restore my faith in humanity but it was a step in the right direction.
It’s funny how a summer fill in reality show reminded me of a life lesson I need at the moment. What’s the lesson? If I push through things and if I don’t pay attention to those who stand in my way I can accomplish my goals.
I want to make the best out of every situation and it’s time that I start remembering that when life gives you lemons, trade them in for limes, squeeze it in a bottle of Modelo (or Corona) and chillax.
P.S. When Ryan’s bro-friend brought his dish up it looked disgusting. Ramsay made some comment about it, concluding with “What were you smoking when you came up with this?”
Tali (I finally looked up his name) said, “Before brilliance comes madness.”
I’m not sure exactly how Gordon replied because I was laughing out loud. And because they made that beeping sound and blurred his mouth.