I was ready.
I had the house to myself. I had made sure all the doors were locked, even the one out to the garage, which I almost never dead bolt. I then dug deep into the freezer to unearth my emergency sleeve of Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies that I keep hidden beneath an industrial size bag of Costco peas. I then grabbed my favorite electronic device and settled in on the couch for some secret shame.
Right when things were getting good, really good, my husband made a surprise appearance via the front door, which, as a general rule, no family member ever uses.
He caught me red-handed doing the deed. I was so busted.
If disgust could be converted to a liquid form, it would have been dripping off of him in gooey rivulets, like if you had taken a partially melted Sheridan’s custard and dumped it on his head. My husband looked at what I was doing and sneered, “What is that?”
I had no choice but to confess my sins. I had to tell him the embarrassing truth: I was watching “True Tori” on Lifetime.
For those of who with much loftier TV viewing standards, “True Tori” is the latest reality TV installment of the life and times of poor little used-to-be-rich girl Tori Spelling. Daughter of TV guru Aaron Spelling (“Love Boat,” “Charlie’s Angels,” “Beverly Hills 90210”) and a sort of celebrity who has deplorable taste in men and has something that could best be termed as a fetish for sharing every uncomfortable emotional moment of her life with an audience.
After I professed my sin, my husband rolled his eyes, dropped his brief case, sighed and said, “I hope that junk isn’t on our DVR.”
Now, it was my turn for the eye roll. This is what happens when you are married to someone who was worked in public broadcasting for 20 years: They become DVR purists. God forbid our DVR be marred with any reality television.
I’ve asked my husband, many times, if he’s planning on a run for public office and is afraid his opponent might get a hold of his DVR history. Nothing else will explain his ongoing quest for cultivating only the most highbrow of shows to record.
I assured Mr. PBS I was not contaminating his precious DVR and reminded him that, “Hey, it can’t all be ‘Downton Abbey.’”
Wrong thing to say to the man who has the KCPT program guide memorized and goes into a five-minute lecture about how right now I could be watching a “Frontline” about the NSA. Hmm, the NSA or Tori in therapy session with her cheating husband who wears Man Spanx and has very questionable grooming habits? Yeah, that’s right. Tori — every time.
Besides that “Frontline” program will be on our DVR.
Now before you start sending me emails saying I’m what’s wrong with America, based on my TV taste, let me assure you I did not mean for this happen. I always imagined myself a little too good for the likes of “True Tori.” I don’t even watch those “Real Housewives” shows. Okay, I will admit if I happen to be sitting down and channel changing I might pause at one of those shows for a little bit, but I don’t consider them destination viewing. And I take great pride in the fact that I can’t name any of the Beverly Hills housewives.
I know I should be ashamed of watching “True Tori” or at least mildly chagrined, but I am not. Yes, I was hiding it from my family, but now I’m going loud and proud about my less than erudite viewing habits. In fact, I think having a varied TV appetite makes you a more fascinating person.
Case in point, have you ever encountered a smug unplugged? You know those goobers you meet at parties, who usually need to police their ear hair, who love to tell anyone within a 5-foot radius that they don’t e-v-e-r watch television or even own a TV? Are they the most boring people ever? Yes.
Now imagine that person if they had experienced just a smidgen of “True Tori.” Sure, their soul and brain cortex would be soiled from the experience. But I bet they would be, if not more interesting, a little more fun to be around. Because let me tell you something, if I was talking to someone about “True Tori,” I would be so engrossed in the conversation there is no way I would even notice if they had a crop of ear hair so lush that it resembled a wheat farm in Western Kansas.
I think that’s bad TV’s way of giving back.
Freelancer Sherry Kuehl of Leawood writes Snarky in the Suburbs in 913 each week. You can follow her on Facebook at Snarky in the Suburbs, twitter @snarkynsuburbs and read her blog at snarkyinthesuburbs.com. She's also written a book Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School.