Am I Really Begging Hollywood to Show a Real Family Morning?

Who are these people? Are they Dutch?

Who are these people? Are they Dutch?

Sunlight filters in through a window over a kitchen sink. Smiling and well-groomed faces sit around a clean and beautifully laid out breakfast bar. Fresh fruit, a decanter of orange juice, whole grain toast, and cloth napkins adorn the table. A father enjoys his mug of coffee while reading the newspaper. A mother, wearing a pressed shirt and slacks, lip gloss, and neatly combed hair, flips another round of fluffy pancakes onto a plate. As she places the stack onto the table for her bright-eyed children she announces is a cheery voice, “Okay kids, almost time for school. We don’t want to be late.”

This scene makes me wonder: Who the hell are these people?

I have yet to have a morning so awake, so put together, so relaxed. I am pretty sure most parents out there will agree. It is tiresome to watch movies and television shows portray the above ridiculously off the mark family morning. The sun does not shine at 5:45 in the a.m. people. Why pretend that it does? Is it to save on lighting?

In order to be of some service to the motion picture industry, I thought I would depict a more realistic picture of what a school/work day morning looks like:

6:15a.m. – The alarm goes off. I smack it like a dirty fly. Thank God for the snooze button.

6:38a.m. – I jump out of bed. Crap! I snoozed too long. I am probably confused and think it is 11:30 p.m. because it’s still dark outside. What a bullsh*t trick.

6:43a.m. – I wash my face and brush my teeth. I do this with cold water so I wake up. Actually, the hot water has not had time to heat up yet, so I really don’t have a choice.  There is absolutely no make-up involved. Nor a brush. I do rustle up an old sweater and throw it on over my pjs.

6:48a.m. – Still dark. I nudge our old dog to go outside and do her business. She looks at me clearly confused by the dark morning. She lies down and falls asleep on the patio. She does not pee.

This lady looks ten times better than me in the morning.

This lady looks ten times better than I do in the morning.

6:49a.m. – I pre-set the coffee maker (thank you Jesus), so I guzzle as much coffee, water, and juice as I can while watching the news. House fire, police chase, rain. Extremely uplifting. I make breakfast and lunch for my child. I drink more coffee. I am now ready to wake the beast.

6:55a.m. – I tip toe into my daughter’s room, turn off the night light, give her a kiss, and say, “It’s time to wake up.” She ignores me. I try again to wake her. Success! She welcomes the day with a, “No! Leave me alone!” I open the binds, which does nothing since it is all black outside. I turn on the bathroom light and try to coax her out of bed with, “It’s library day.” This also does nothing.

7:04 a.m. – A disgruntled seven year old sits at the table in her Hello Kitty pjs. Her hair looks as if she attended a Grateful Dead concert…in a tornado. As she licks the Nutella off her toast she glares at me and lets me know that I have ruined her day because I interrupted her sleep. Awesome. I drink more coffee, fill the dog bowls with food and water, empty the dishwasher, and turn up the volume on the TV to drown out her moaning. Oh good, it’s Matt Lauer on the Today Show. He is talking about a car bombing and a mall shooting. Also, it is still dark outside.

7:22 a.m. – I clean up the kitchen and cattle prod my child into her room to get ready. I go to the bathroom and quickly throw on some clothes. Again, there is absolutely no hair brushing involved.

7:35 a.m. – It is time to leave for school. I find my daughter in her room wearing only a shirt and underpants.  Apparently she has been busy reading a book while dressing her pink bear in a purple sundress. I say in a calm voice to my child, “What are you doing? We are going to be late!!!! We are leaving in one minute!” My yelling wakes the neighbor’s dog.

Our dog sleeps peacefully outside. In the dark.

7:42 a.m. – We let in our dog and head out to the car. Dawn has finally broken, so we do not need flashlights to see where we are going.

7:44 a.m. – My husband is still asleep in bed.

The only people I know who have on pressed clothing and make up at that time of day are the working parents and teachers. I’m pretty sure even they would not brush their teeth if they did not have to.

So Dear Hollywood: I am begging you, for once show a frantic parent losing their sh*t in the a.m. because their kids are refusing to put on socks.

I don't even know what's happening here. Someone is going to spill that coffee.

I don’t even know what’s happening here. Someone is going to spill that coffee.

I know, it is not as sexy as a fake mom making French toast for her clean kids, but at least it’s real.

All the early morning un-caffeinated parents will thank you.

Am I Really Turning into Statler and Waldorf from The Muppets?

I like to read. A lot. I tend to choose fiction, with the occasional OK! Magazine; which is basically the same thing as fiction. When a book is good, it is goo-oood. When it is bad, it’s like a five day-old scone: crusty and dry, leaving you with a bad taste in your mouth and slight indigestion.

Now, I am all for books taking the reader to a magical land, far, far from reality.  However, the books of late make me snort and say things like, “What? A thirty-four hundred dollar bottle of champagne just ‘cuz it’s Tuesday, and you are only twenty-four years old?? That’s some BS.” I am an optimist/romantic, but come on people – a helicopter ride on the second date? Gag.

My hat truly tips off to all novelists. That is A LOT of work to write three hundred plus pages, and if you are lucky, get it published.  The amount of re-writing done to create characters the reader roots for, or wants to slap, or wants to hug, or wants to twirl around on the beach with then make sweet sweet lov- oh nevermind, TMI – anyway, it’s a lot of blood, sweat, and Starbuck’s runs.

But I’m getting old and cynical.  So when the actions of a character seem ridiculous, I go into Statler mode and say things like, “Of course she left you! There has been no mention of you showering since the beginning of the book, and I’m on chapter thirty-two! Baaa haa haaa.”

To illustrate where I’m coming from, below is a comparison of the enchanted world of fiction, versus the, “Oh crap, where did that zit come from?” reality. This is based upon books I have recently read (no names mentioned):

Unrealistic Situation #1

Guy meets girl for the first time and says (I’m paraphrasing here), “We obviously have an intense sexual connection, but I don’t date. So, how do we do this?” And it works. Really?

What Happens to Real People

Guy hangs with bros at dive bar. He is sweaty from all the ingested Jaeger shots and Your Ass is on Fire flavored chicken wings. He sees/beer goggles girl across the bar. Does another shot. Stumbles over to girl and says, “He I zzzlluuou, you, shhhhouuuuld, cccuommmm overrrrr and hhhhanng ouuut.” Luckily girl is from the Netherlands, so it works.

Unrealistic Situation #2

Woman’s husband “disappears” after five years of marriage. She goes on the hunt after she learns he took all her money, has a different name, stole someone else’s identity, and killed a bunch of mobster people with his fists of fury.

What Happens to Real People

After five years of marriage you roll over one morning and say to your spouse, “Oh, you’re still here.” Then get out of bed before he passes wind…again.

Unrealistic Situation #3

Guy lives as loner in the woods. Oddly enough, he is super hot even though he has not shaved or cut his hair in years. He kidnaps the female reporter (also smokin’) who destroyed his career, in order to save her life because some seedy characters want her dead. Cabin man and ornery reporter have a lot of boom boom in the woods, they expose the bad guys, and cabin man get his job back. Oh, and shaves.

What Happens to Real People

At work, you screw up an Excel budget spread sheet. Your boss yells at you. You go and cry in the bathroom. You wish you could run away to the woods. There is no boom boom involved.

Even though I poke fun at the above books, I couldn’t put them down. They were all well written and fun to read. Yet even with the best books my eye-rolling Muppet tries to argue with the optimist in me.  Usually the optimist wins out.

I guess that’s why we read. To be transported away from the real, to believe in the un-real, and to stay up until 2:00 a.m. doing so.  Let’s face it, wouldn’t you rather read about running away with some mysterious stranger than fix your child’s pencil sharpener?

Especially if you can get some boom boom in the woods.