Something Great

I watched WWE as a kid & still dig the camp factor. My daughters love it though, are very invested in the storylines & I’ll have to keep my two eldest in neutral corners as their faves AJ Lee & Paige compete for the Divas title tonight @ the Summerslam PPV event (yes, they are well aware it isn’t real, it’s all scripted & they’re all friends in real life, but you can get hurt if you try it. My middle daughter will tell you this is the best cartoon on TV & Daniel Bryan is everything).

However, I often complain at the lack of proper representation for their female characters. The Divas (until recently) were one note characters, either kind of trashy or innocent ingenue & their only storylines were bad girl wants good girl’s Divas title or is jealous of good girl. The only exceptions were the long & storied feud of Trish Stratus & Lita & the mean girls style antics of Laycool (Michelle McCool & Layla El). As a parent of daughters , it bugged me that there were no characters they could really get behind or rally around. Well, it’s as if Stephanie McMahon (the company’s principal owner & mom of three daughters) heard every mom’s concerns & did something about it.

The women have complex characters now. Divas Champion AJ Lee went from one note man eater jealous of the girls from the reality show Total Divas (on the E! Network) to complicated heroine struggling to keep her composure after an onslaught of machinations created by her “friend”. Newcomer Paige is a sweet young girl…or a master manipulator. The Bella Twins went from wooden bad girls to heroines protecting each other & their family (namely Brie’s real life & legitimately injured husband Daniel Bryan) from the aforementioned McMahon. Nikki put up with unfair advantage week after week believing that she could overcome & Brie, having had enough, challenged McMahon to stand up for her family & Brie vs. Stephanie is going to headline tonight’s PPV.


That’s right: the main event is two women! Something unheard of in the sexist & misongynistic world of wrestling. Women are normally relegated to less than 10 minutes & put in the spot known as the “death slot,” so you can get nachos before John Cena appears. My daughters were heartbroken @ Wrestlemania XXX when they waited all night for the first Divas title match in the history of the event, only to see there were no entrances (save for AJ Lee) & their match was shorter than the time it took for the Undertaker to walk to the ring. The Divas disappear from TV for weeks while little girls sadly hope for a glimpse of Brie or Nikki & last year, a Divas t-shirt was a mythological thing. If little girls wanted something to represent their idols, they had to make it themselves.

But not anymore.

Seven women have merch for little girls to buy. There are two women’s matches a night. TWO. The women have actual storylines & Brie Bella, who’s match was famously pulled off a PPV to make room for Machine Gun Kelly to play John Cena to the ring is considered more important than the men. My daughters pleaded for their Bella shirts & I relented (& got one too) & they are excited for tonight like it’s Super Bowl Sunday with their Fearless Nikki & Brie Mode shirts. They’ve counted down the days for Bellaslam as they call it & tonight, they all get to stay up late to see if their beloved Brie can defeat the evil Stephanie McMahon.


While to those who don’t watch, it doesn’t seem like a big deal; it’s just a campy, stupid TV show designed for rednecks & children, but to every girl who was told that they only watched wrestling for the hot guys or for the soap opera like atmosphere, this is our moment. For once, the girls we cheered for aren’t being marginalized in a dumbed down storyline that makes women look like shrews or like they only care about pleasing men or like women secretly hate each other & it’s all about jealousy. This is the equivalent of A Disney Princess grabbing the sword from Prince Charming & saving herself, or the Cubs going to the World Series. Fans waited so long & gave up hope that the day would ever come. Suddenly, for every little girl who aspires to be a Diva (including my 13 year old daughter), the main event, the star of the show, is an option. It’s attainable & kudos to WWE for realizing that girls can kick ass, girls do have feelings, & girls can star the show & people WILL care about them. Between this & the successful reality show Total Divas, it’s like WWE finally gets what they seemed to have forgotten since Trish Stratus & Lita retired; women are people; strong, resilient, confident, brave & emotional people & not just objects for men to ogle.

Now, I’m well aware that WWE will likely screw this up & break up the Bella Twins or something & turn this into a one note jealous sister storyline & remind me why they are sexist & can’t write for women, but right now I’m feeling very girl power for them & for my own kids, who get to ask to stay up without saying “if they don’t get cut” or “it’ll only be five more minutes,” because for the first time ever, the Divas are the star of the show.


Day 23: My Thoughts on Television & How It Affects Our Lives

Confession time: I am an entertainment reporter who rarely watches TV.

I have had some friends recommend Dr. Who for me, as well as Supernatural and Reign. I’ve given the latter a try and haven’t been able to get into them. Even Law & Order: SVU is hit or miss for me without Stabler. I’m just not a big TV person, I get too bored or annoyed and quit watching. The only show I almost watched to the end was Dawson’s Creek and even then, I gave up after season six.


I pretty much only watch TV two days a week, which is Monday and Thursdays, when I watch Monday Night Raw with my daughters and The Vampire Diaries with the sometimes angry Tween.


I used to love WWE as a kid and as a grown up it became my favourite soap opera. All of the camp of real soap operas, but much better looking men! However, the storylines are getting lame (or I’m growing up) and the only thing that interests me are the Divas, who get very little love from the WWE writers. However, watching my children laugh and get invested in their campy characters (the overlord has long joined Daniel Bryan’s Yes Movement and the angriest tween of course idolizes AJ Lee) and get happy or angry with it, knowing it’s fake all the while.

courtesy the CW
courtesy the CW

The Vampire Diaries was my favourite book series as a tween. I remember sitting on my couch sobbing as (SPOILER ALERT) Elena died @ the end of the Fury (and later was resurrected in Dark Reunion). However, the show (which was a staple for seasons 1-3) has strayed so far from the novels that I loved as a young girl that I can’t seem to get into it anymore. But I must admit that the chemistry between Paul Wesley’s Stefan and Nina Dobrev’s Elena sucks me back in periodically. I sometimes wish I could enjoy the show again, as I used to love it so much and there is still one scene in the season three opener that gets me every time.

I think I struggle with this show because season four & five have Elena spurning her compassionate & gentle suitor Stefan in favour of “taming the bad boy” in brother Damon. Sometimes, the angry tween will tell me that love can fix the broody bad boy, BUT IN THE REAL WORLD, IT DOESN’T. I’ve learned after my last few relationships, all with broody, emotionally stunted bad boys & want to be players, love does not turn a bad boy good. A bad boy has to want to be a good man & he has to want to do it for himself. Too often, a TV shows teach girls that love tames the bad boy. Carrie converted Mr. Big. We all swooned over Jordan Catalano (I still do. Jared Leto. Sigh) & Joey Potter abandoned nice guy Dawson Leary to reform Pacey Witter. Maybe the reason we women spend so much time crying into our Ben & Jerry’s is because we’re conditioned through these love stories that we can love a man into wanting to grow up & be a good husband & father. In reality, it’s up to him to look @ the people he claims to love, look @ his children & look in the mirror & if he wouldn’t want his son to be just like him or his daughter to date someone like him, he needs to become that person. But he has to love himself first. A man will never love a woman enough to better himself for her; he has to love himself enough to be the good man that lives in every bad boy.

Women need to stop being so simpering (especially me) & realize that the bad boys aren’t good for us. We need to find the Stefan, not the Damon that will chew us up & spit us out, strangle the life from us & leave us for dead the minute it gets too hard. We need to marry the Aidan, not Mr. Big. It may not be as thrilling, but at least we won’t be abused & neglected & crying in our ice cream or driving our friends nuts wondering why we weren’t enough to tame the bad boy. Because TV is TV & reality is much uglier. We are good enough. We are all good enough to be loved by the right person. But we’ve got to also recognize that love isn’t enough to make someone want to treat you better. You’ve got to love yourself enough to sit back & wait for the right person & not let the fact that the bad boy didn’t see the good in you ruin that. This is a lesson every woman learns the hard way at least once.

So ladies (& guys), let’s stop letting the romance novels & TV shows sway us into believing that we were put on this Earth to reform a bad boy & our love is powerful enough to make him a good man. It’s not. Instead, let’s accept that our self love is enough to make us good people & the rest will be better than any passionate & stormy TV romance on Earth.

Far Away

I have a love/hate relationship with social media.

I have enough of it; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Tumblr (the last mainly exists for my 12yo to re-blog various photos from her fave shows). Most are controlled, with advanced privacy settings, except for Twitter, because apparently as a writer I need a social media footprint or something.

Then, my mom joined Twitter.

After that, I would have conversations with my mom about my various tweets:

Mom: “are you mad @ me? You tweeted that you’re mad.”
Me: No mother.
Mom: “Why did you tweet about pancakes?”
Me: Because I really like them mother.
Mom: “Why did you re-tweet that sappy thing & what’s a retweet & should I be doing it?”
Me: because I was bored on a bus & it sounded pretty & it’s…no, no you shouldn’t.

(Also, let’s all wave to my mother, who is now a huge fan of this blog. No, I’m not mad @ you. Enjoy Twitter)

But it does annoy me that we have regressed to the point where we think we understand someone’s life from 140 characters or who they follow on Twitter. WWE websites were abuzz when former Diva Maryse Ouellet unfollowed the shared account of current WWE Divas Brie & Nikki Bella. Gasp! What does this mean? That Ouellet is passive aggressive? That the Bella Twins & Ouellet had a falling out? Why is this news? Miley Cyrus unfollowed former fiancé Liam Hemsworth as reports of his serial adultery surfaced. Again, why is Twitter news?

I am not passive aggressive by any stretch of the imagination. I may not be confrontational, but if I’m mad, YOU WILL KNOW. If I want something, you’ll know, because I’ll get it (just ask the good people @ various record labels who told me I couldn’t talk to their artists. I’m like a pitbull. PS with the exception of two, I got every single artist I asked for. My current boss learned this when I said in my interview I was not leaving without that job), and if I have something to say, I’ll tell you. I hate when someone says “Oh hey, I saw on FB that you like pancakes!” (I’ll assume you’re new), because I miss conversations & I hate that social media is sort of replacing it. As a writer, I’m conflicted. I need to have a social media footprint to encourage readers, but I’m also tired of my friends & family using it to learn about me in lieu of talking to me. Not to mention the weird habit of creeping people, etc. Yuck.

Because it annoys me so , I decided to reject all forms of indirect communication. Passive aggressive Facebook statuses (if you do it, you’re unfriended. The end), subtweets, and third party message delivery service. No mas. I’m going to bring back the lost art of conversation if it kills me. Like I told the angry tween, if someone wants to talk to me , I am easily found. My address hasn’t changed (yet), my number either (yet) & thanks to Facebook, generally people know where I am when I’m out socially, which is almost never. Short of me boasting a neon sign that says “MH IS HERE” with an arrow pointing down, I am most definitely not Waldo. I also do not tolerate third party conversations that can get lost in translation. As my coworkers have learned, I won’t even discuss things over text, because they can be misconstrued. If someone wants to talk to me, be around me, be in my life, etc. then talk to me, be around me, etc. I firmly believe in direct contact, not playing telephone or leaving messages with a friend or whatever. I believe that if someone wants to be around me, no matter what’s happened , they will summon every ounce of courage in their body, swallow their pride & come find me, much like Gigi did a year ago. But I will not chase anyone. If you left my life for any reason, it’s up to you to walk back in. Much like Gigi learned, I’m not really a grudge holder & there is one person in this life that I will forgive absolutely everything. If you want to be around me, then it’s up to you to make that step, & if you choose to make that step, I’m pretty easy to find. Just ask…or appear. I’ll be found.

I must seem a titch hypocritical, writing about my annoyance with social media, which I will then blast over social media for you to read, but I don’t hate social media. I hate the misuse of it & when it replaces real human interaction. It’s like my thing with television; as an entertainment reporter, I obviously need it to makes my living, but I do not need to be a slave to it, which is why the girls & I lock up the phones, turn off the computer & TV twice a week & have technology free days where we go outside & play with toys & such. So, let’s stop using our social media accounts as our sole way to interact with people & actually talk to them. You’re likely missing all the important stuff that you can’t find in a status update or 140 characters.