Jon and Kate Plus 8 is one of my guilty pleasures. Along with Tori & Dean, Keeping Up with The Kardashians, and The Hills – But, in my eyes Jon and Kate were a break from the typical reality show.
Over the years, as I watched the show I would think that I was corny for being fascinated by this couple that was working together to raise 8 children. But how could you not be fascinated?? When this show first came on I was 26 – they were 22 with 8 kids!!! I couldn’t even fathom that. I would often dismiss my fascination as my answer to any part of my biological make up that thought that it was “time” for me to have kids…the site of 8 crying children definitely calmed me down. But if I really think about what fascinated me the most, I think I watched the show because I thought they were different. Maybe I thought they were the Cosbys of reality TV.
I wanted so badly for Jon and Kate to be different, but four years later it turns out that Jon and Kate’s reality is all too common. Unfortunately the pressures and pitfalls of a life lived in front of the camera got the best of them…I’m taking this hard.
In my heart I’m a hopeless romantic. I look at couples that have been together for years, and that seem to have worked together to build something strong, and when they break up it boggles my mind. I think to myself, what was so bad that they couldn’t make it work…why couldn’t they just try harder?? No one said that a relationship would be easy. I guess, as my grandfather would say, I need to keep livin.
DS Download: One of my favorite movies is The Way We Were (put it in your Netflix cue). No matter how many times I see that movie, I always want the end to be different…I always hope that maybe Katy (Barbra Streisand) and Hubbell (Robert Redford) will realize that their love for each other is more important than politics or trying to change the other person. But what if, individually, they decided that they loved each other enough to change without having to be asked? Setting aside their foolish pride and their certainty about how life should be lived to account for the other person – the person that they fell in love with.
In positive change, there are elements of compromise…and granted, I don’t know much about love but it seems to me that change and compromise are some of the ultimate acts of love.
I think it’s our unwillingness to change that makes us prone to sad endings. If you push back on what Jon and Kate were saying or not saying on last night’s show, doesn’t it all drill down to their unwillingness to change for each other? Kate’s unwillingness to go back to life without the cameras and the unending opportunities that her family now receives because of the show, and Jon’s unwillingness to accept that his life (in terms of anonymity and the family unit) as he knew it, as far as him being the breadwinner/provider etc. will never be the same again.
Perhaps each person is asking the other to much, perhaps they’ve outgrown each other, or perhaps they’ve just never paid attention to each other’s need for change.
I’ve seen relationships break a part that have literally shocked me, but I guess when it comes to matters of the heart there are often times no clear answers. I hope that TLC is at least asking both of them to attend counseling…do it for the children, do it for us.