Thursday, December 22, 2011

Head in the Trees

I've been watching Men in Trees religiously for the past month or so. The last time I was so engrossed in a fantasy world, I was devouring the Twilight series. But this time, it's all about New York women meeting Alaskan men and romancing it up Elmo-style.

So what is it that's so addictive about daytime television? It's not that I'm in love with Jack (as strong and husky-voiced as he is). I think it's that I'm in love with the idea of Jack. The way he's always appearing out of nowhere to rescue Marin, the damsel in distress, be it from an arctic cyclone, a pack of wild wolves, a bear or from the sting of some poisonous plant she's mistaken for wild garlic. And it's that fantastical romance and passion that ensues without all the complications of real life. Who wouldn't want to immerse themselves in that for an hour?

Then I found myself obsessing during all hours of the day and night over Jack and Marin and whether Jack would ever figure out that Lynn wasn't for him, whether he'd take a job on the Bering Sea, and whether they'd ever figure out they were meant for each other. And I wondered what was it that was so dreamy about Jack? Why was he such a good catch for Marin? Why was I rooting for him?

Then one night, as I sat in bed next to my own real-life Jack, I realized that even if the t.v.-land Marin and Jack do find their way into each other's arms (and beds) and he sweeps her off her feet and maybe he even proposes and they live happily ever after...what then? Would that make a good t.v. show?

And I realize that even though the wild emotions of the first romantic gestures of a relationship are dizzying and fun, the living happiliy ever after is a lot more hard work than the good folks on Men in Trees let on.  And although Jack is burly and cute, I can't help but wonder if he can whip up a sausage and butternut squash lasagne like my man. Does he take the initiative and offer to change the seventeenth shitty diaper of the day just to give Marin a break? I know he'd step in front of a speeding bullet to protect her, but if there was only one cup of coffee left in the house, would he give it to her? Because when t.v. land romance ends and real married life begins, those are the types of questions that matter. And the more and more I thought about it, the more I realized that my real-life Jack is way better than anything that t.v. land Alaska has to offer.

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