Reality Blows


It’s disturbing to reflect upon how much a life time of television and Hollywood films shapes our expectations. This sets us up for a constant string of disappointments, some crushing. It’s like Pantene’s tantalizing promise “it won’t happen over night but will happen”. Unfortunately Ms Pantene often it  simply doesn’t happen and we  have to suck up our bad hair lives and get on with it.

Unrealistic expectations develop at a very early stage. For example recently when I went to collect the girls from daycare I found P1 playing with 2 little girlfriends. “Whatcha girls up to?” I inquired casually. “We’re playing Jedi mind tricks!” announced P1’s super sassy friend Miss A. She gave me a withering look as I fought the urge to collapse with laughter on the rubber ground cover.  “Oh honey” I thought to myself  “if only we could play Jedi mind tricks but so often in life “the force” is not with us”. Wouldn’t you love to be able hypnotize your partner with your gaze whilst mono-tonally suggesting ” You will venture in to the city. You will enter Tiffanys. You will bring me back a pair of diamond earrings in a little blue box”. If that’s pushing things a little too far something along the lines of  “You will put down the remote. You will move towards the sink. You will wash the dishes” would satisfy most of us. Jedi mind tricks? If freakin’ only!

Who’s going to tell him the Jedi mind tricks aint working?

My inability to control Dadabulous’ behaviour via the power of my mind is just one small let down. Here are some of the ways I’ve discovered that reality blows.

I am inevitably disappointed every time I walk past a Fire Station. It is not filled with shirtless hunks gyrating around the pole. Damn. In fact I’m yet to spot a semi-naked spunk rat in a Fire Station. I tell you, reality blows!

What brigade you belong to babe?

Similarly passing by the local Cop Shop is a big let down. I’m yet to encounter a bunch stud muffins wearing aviator sunglasses and shiny peaked hats (but oddly without shirts) gesticulating wildly with their batons. What is up with that?

While we’re on of this theme, remember that Diet Coke advertisement where a group of office dollies salivate over an impossibly buffed window cleaner? That ad set up corporate chicks Australia wide for crushing disappointment. I worked in high rise offices for around 15 years and have never once admired a hunk o’licious window cleaner. On the other hand the “window candy” probably took on the job expecting pleasing vistas of lingerie clad babes. It must be devastatingly disappointing for them to have to peer at sterile banking back offices day after day.

The world of work is another area where reality falls far below our expectations. I can speak with experience about the finance industry. The movie Wall Street has a lot to answer for.  So many young bucks and buckettes enter the sector believing it to be a hive of non stop adrenaline pumping action. They anticipate dancing in the milling throng of the trading floor, waving tickets about and screaming “buy, buy, buy, sell, sell, sell”.  In reality the last Australian trading floor closed in 1997.  Everything is done electronically and the dealing rooms can be discouragingly quiet as young desk jockeys key orders into their PCs. More importantly no one wears suspenders or slicked back hair a la Gordon Gecko unless they are attending an 80s theme party.

The cinematic misrepresentation of the IT industry is even worse. Nerds might huddle in basement flats surrounded by gadgets and gizmos but they can’t hack into just about any institution with a couple of mouse clicks. Unlike Hugh Jackman in the movie Swordfish, most “code monkeys” can’t achieve feats of hard core hack-tivism whilst Halle Berry gives them a seeing to under the desk. I would say that 99.999% of them never receive such an opportunity.  The code itself is not at all glamorous. It does not consist of cascading streams of luminous green exotic characters as per the Matrix films. Sadly.

TV’s The IT Crowd – the most realistic depiction of the IT industry to date.

Nowhere in life is the chasm between Hollywood and real life so enormous than in the love and romance department. As a girl did you often imagine your own engagement proposal? Was it an epic production involving sky writing and fireworks? Perhaps you fantasized about being taken out to the fanciest restaurant in town and returning from the ladies powder room to find a hunk of ice of the very expensive kind in your champagne glass? Reality rarely measures up.  I was proposed to on a camping trip. I was wearing tracksuit pants and the event was witnessed by a kangaroo. At least there was enough mobile phone coverage for me to immediately ring my parents.

Its never as big as you’d hoped for.

In what ways have you discovered that reality blows?



photo credit: Amarand Agasi via photopin cc

photo credit: Coleen Danger via photopin cc

photo credit: bfolberth via photopin cc

photo credit: straightedge217 via photopin cc


29 thoughts on “Reality Blows

  1. For me it’s the way every character has an amazing and seemingly endless wardrobe. I envy that more than topless firemen and impossible romance!

    • Right on Naomi! When Carrie Bradshaw recycled her “newspaper” dress it made headlines. I pretty much wear the same cut off jeans and ballet flats every god damned day. You may have just inspired a followup post.

  2. LOL! I love how in the rom coms where at the end either the boy or the girl makes a heartfelt speech in front of thousands of strangers, professing undying love, the other person finally caves in, has a bit of a cry and also confesses that, “You’re such a goose, but I love you too.”
    When does that EVER happen in real life???
    But dang, it makes good mindless DVD watching…

  3. Clean houses. Everyone has clean houses even though they’re never home cos they’re out having wacky and/or heart moving adventures. The only dirty houses are in zany comedies about completely dysfunctional families. Either way, I’m not feeling good about my own abode.

  4. Just about to go to bed when I read this. Thanks for ending my weekend with a smile xx

  5. You can always trust Hollywood to stretch the truth for totally unbelievable story lines and scenarios. Makes for interesting watching and the opportunity to live vicariously through the movies. A tantalising cop or fireman 2013 calendar may be on the shopping list for you for xmas.

  6. The reality of going back to work today after almost 18 months at home … That blows …

  7. I get slightly disappointed every time John Maclaine isn’t in an elevator….but I guess that’s a blessing too.

  8. haha so funny!!

    Right, the messy house! Yes! No sitcom house is ever a complete mess.

  9. I agree with everyone’s expectations. Personally, I’m also upset that I don’t have a soundtrack playing when I go through my day (other than myself singing kids songs to Squirm), that my craft never looks like the things on pinterest and that the White House isn’t really like the West Wing

  10. hehe very funny!! but so so true!! It Crowd.. was spot on! 🙂

  11. So true regarding the perfect proposal! Parenting is a bit of a let down too – I never look clean and glamerous ever anymore. #team IBOT

  12. I loved the IT crowd! I’m going to have to join in with the ‘clean house’ comments too, although perhaps that’s because my reality is so atrocious!

  13. Boatman proposed by putting the ring on the kitchen bench and covering it all with flowers, and a note saying ‘Marry Me?’
    I walked in the house and went straight past it! :/
    And yes, how I wish the force was real. *sigh*

  14. I remember when I first got engaged being a little embarrassed to tell the story because it in no way resembled a Hollywood movie, or even z-grade tv show proposal what so ever! We decided that we’d like to get married on our anniversary so as not to have another date to celebrate, so we used the calendar on my phone, found the next year that our anniversary would fall on a Saturday (it was two years in the future) and decided that would be the day. A few days later I decided that it might be nice to make it kind of official ( I wanted to tell my friends!) so we went shopping for a ring, then had a nice dinner at Centrepoint (Sydney) Tower where Dave unceremoniously handed me the ring box, I put the ring one, then we left the restaurant and called our parents and caught the train home again. After a few years though I started to realise that real-life proposals are most often more like my own then the big shebang you see in movies and tv shows and I’m quite proud now to tell people the story of how we got engaged.

  15. Villainous types can be found with just a quick Google name search and a few clicks in order to uncover their evil plot for world domination.

    When people brush their teeth, nobody every spits toothpaste all over the mirror.

    • Reading the comments for this post has been a blast for me. You are dead right Jayne. Super villains but be super smart but their people haven’t mastered online encryption. Funny you should mention toothpaste on mirrors. I’m just off to clean the kid’s bathroom.

  16. Oh “The Force”, if only lol. My sides are splitting, what a great post. My Hubby proposed to me with a ring he’d given me a few years before so I’m definitely still wanting that little blue box lol 🙂

  17. Pingback: A Decent Proposal | mumabulous

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