This week’s Teen Mom is titled, ‘As Long as We’re Together.’ Is this show smart enough to give us an ironic title? Because the whole show is about almost being together, but not really about any sense of relief in partnership, the way the title would imply. Maci wants to be together with Bentley and not miss a second of him, even though finishing school is the smart, mature choice. Amber is just… not even remotely together. Clinton, Gary, Leah, Krystal, a sister who died in infancy. There’s nothing about the word ‘together’ that can be applied to Amber in this episode. Farrah wants to move so badly to a far away, warm place that she’s gone Full Asshat on her parents for daring to even remotely try to tell her that they aren’t on board because they’ll miss her and Sophia so much. And Caitlynn’s dad visits, after four years of not seeing him, but then he leaves and goes home to Florida.
But incongruity aside, the babies are cuter than ever this week, and I’m not even kidding. Brace yourselves for lots of gratuitous baby shots, because the holiday baby moments were adorbs! But as far as who’s together in this mess, I’m stumped. Caitlynn and Tyler are together, I guess, and Amber is together with some unidentified substance that in a mirror spells ‘akdov.’
Gratuitous Baby Shot!
Also to note before diving in, I love y’all’s comments! I never get to respond as much as I want to, because of time restraints, but mad snaps, yo. One commenter posted a link to…. wait for it…. AMBER’S BROTHER’S BLOG. Shawn Portwood, aka The Chilli Man. It’s rich, too. It’s got a content warning on it, for adult content, and there aren’t many posts but it’s so worth the read. I would like to know why Shawn Portwood’s known as “The Chili Man,” and I would like to thank him for reminding me of this gem: “It’s Gary Time.” Chili Man hasn’t brought up “Have a picnic life,” but I’m so waiting for that tee-shirt!!! Mostly though, dude’s following the family formula of blaming everyone and anything but the actual protagonist of the drama. He’s pointing his chili finger at MTV Networks and saying, “All they care about is ratings and will destroy whomever life that they have to in order to get them. The same can be said for when they aired my sister hitting Gary in the face. There are some things that just do not need to be shown. They should have taken matters into their own hands and called the authorities, but they did not, they filmed it and played it. Sneaky sneaky MTV, I really do hope it was worth it but considering you are all spineless soulless individuals I am sure it was worth every dirty dime”
Good luck with that, Chili Man. Your sister signed up to be on a TV show, and then let it all hang out and smacked her boyfriend more than once. MTV has been criticized for Teen Mom in many, many ways and validly. It’s a really interesting discussion that I hope to explore more in the Fullcap, but bottom line? Amber and Gary went on a TV show. The show lead to a spin-off, and the spin-off was really captivating; so much so, that it’s now led to a level of popularity that it’s being discussed on National Public Radio shows and tabloid magazines. I’m pretty sure that at this point, Chili Man’s sister is making plenty of her own dirty dimes. If she isn’t, it’s 100% because of her own crappy choices that she made, which happened to be filmed…. because she signed up to be on a show.
It’s a white Christmas in Anderson, IN and Amber’s hanging up lights, and decorating with her new boyfriend. Clinton has a seriously lame Mohawk and his ability to eye-roll is second only to Farrah. They’re decorating the new place, and Gary sends some video of Leah to her. While they watch it, Amber wishes aloud that Leah could be there, but she doesn’t go get Leah or anything. She claims to have full, unrestricted custody of Leah, so why she doesn’t make plans to go pick Leah up for a bit is 100% of the problem with Amber. ’I wish she was here but I don’t do anything about it.’ GED, a job, getting her house put together, a new start, more time with Leah, for her mom to be more involved, on and on and on with her of what she wishes. I wish for a million dollars.
Doorbell! Sad face, it’s not a million dollars for me; it’s five dozen flowers for Amber, from a secret admirer. You cannot tell me Gary is that romantic. He’s up to no good, and I can prove it. Gary calls to see if she got a delivery, and he’s doing the cracking, boy victim voice. You know this one. It’s the one your sugarplum uses when he’s acting like a manipulative jerk. It’s cool that he sent video of the baby, but hold up son. Flowers for no reason? No reason except that your ex has a new boyfriend and you’re pretty sure you can still get her back? He also points out that Clinton could never afford flowers like that, which is so brilliantly trashy of him to say. Lemme break something down here about Amber and Gary. I am not a shrink, but I have some knowledge of the script on this one, and that’s not a cheap shot at reality TV. The scenes may be edited and produced, but the relationship here is all too real.
They are so knotted up together in abuse and actual love, in history and in desperation that I can see why he would want to try to prevent her from getting involved with anyone else. These two are not happy people; in fact, I’d say they both have a high level of self-loathing. When you hate yourself wholly and more than you could ever hate your mortal enemy, if you can turn to someone you’ve treated terribly as a result of how much you hate yourself; and then if that person still accepts you, still comforts you, still loves you then you at least feel like your feet are back under you.
If one of them feels that the other is slipping away, steps must be taken to nip it, or to remind the person, ‘Hey. Remember me? The one that loved you when you hit me on TV? Yeah, nobody will ever love you so much to take you back like I did. And I am telling you this, or sending you these flowers, because I need you more than I think you need me so I have to remind you.” It’s psycho when you break it down, and sad even if you don’t want to get analytical.
Amber probably could end this, could rise above the sadness and the self-abuse. Gary, I don’t think, is going to figure it out. The window is closing for Gary. He seems to plod along, but not forward. Amber, she might be able to do this, but it’s going to be hard work. Luckily, lots of that work will happen on a couch, granted a couch in a shrink’s office, but home girl loves her some couch time, so it may just work out for her after all. I genuinely hope that it does. Leah is so darling.
Back on track, apparently cage fighters are not as deft as WWE wrestlers picking up the ‘recreate a scene’ baton, because Clinton Yunkers is no Rock! Oh, how I wish this was a back-stage flashback though. But I do not wish to see Clinton in man panties, or manties as I like to call them.
Sorry girls, he’s taken!
Alternately to being a terrible actor, he’s high as hell on something that rhymes with ‘description hugs,’ and since his eyes only open when he rolls them, although I admit, his eye-rolling is epic. He’s even giving Farrah a run for her money. He finally takes the phone from Amber so he can tell Gary to eff off, and it has the desired effect. Namely, Amber goes all kissy-face with him, and I have to suppress the urge to barf.
We end with Amber making soft-voiced kissy faces at Clinton, but here’s my first Gurl, please moment of many. Amber was eating up the attention Gary was giving her, which he’s only doing because he’s a manipulative immature jerk himself. Clinton takes the phone trying to man up for his woman, and Amber ate that up, too because she’s high as hell and truly believes that she’s a pretty pretty princess. No lie, these two look like any given subject on Intervention. I’m literally checking the TV schedule because I’ve been forgetting what day is it all week. Like, maybe I accidentally thought it was Tuesday, but really it’s Monday and Candy Finnegan will show up any minute.
Meanwhile, Gary and Leah are hosting Single Dad Nite over at his place. Bros and babies, ftw! They’re decorating a tree, and hanging with their kids, talking about their exes and you, know, doin’ like two swingin’ single dads do. Gary talks about how he misses Amber and junk but really, he’s just afraid he’s going to be stuck with himself for ever and always, without the mirror Amber serves as and without the excuse of Amber being nasty to him. Which means that he’ll have to get his ish together and be a hero instead of a zero.
Single Dad Nite at Gar-Bear’s! BYOB&B (Bring Your Own Babies & Beer)
Speaking of Amber, Clinton taken off, and she hammers out a visitation schedule with Gary whereby he only has her for like, 20 minutes? I’m really lost on the custody thing with them, and I really think it’s intentionally vague. There’s more to this story, and I bet we can’t get the rest of it due to legalities and restrictions in place by the State of Indiana.
She tells us that she had a baby sister who died of SIDS when Amber was only about five, and this is her sister’s birthday. Ohhhhhhhhh…. that explains a bit about this family’s utter refusal to take responsibility for anything they do. A horrific, inexplicable tragedy like losing a baby to SIDS is so massively going to affect a family. It’s nobody’s fault that the baby died, and I can’t help but wonder if that became kind of a basic tenet, that awful things can happen and it is not your fault. Obviously, the loss of a baby will have grievous impact on a family. I can’t help but wonder if Amber’s mother didn’t give up, or if she never finished grieving.
I was very close with a family that lost a baby similarly, and the ability to function was just gone. Their grief was so consuming that they became unable to parent, unable to put the other two kids first, emotionally. Both of the surviving children ended up in drugs and strip clubs, and man nothing was those boys’ fault. 3rd DUI? The cops are targeting you. Rear end someone and you have no insurance? It never would have happened if it wasn’t raining. Stuff like that, very similar to Amber’s inability to quit playing around and start taking care of her life.
Amber calls her Kousin Krystal, because she is feeling really sad, and they go for a drive. Both the snow and the tears are falling, so Amber calls Gary. When she finds out that he’s decorating the tree with Leah and one of his boyz and she’s pissed! I know – Amber? Upset with Gary? I’m shocked, too. Where is her Christmas spirit???? Gary finally tells her she can come over if she wants to, so the Ladies de Portwood roll over to Gary town.
Super wtg for Amber, who got her Kousin Krystal to drive her around in a snowstorm ostensibly so Amber can clear her head.
They all finish decorating the tree together, and for freaking once, they act like parents and focus on Leah. That baby is so delighted by the tree. When they plug it in and the lights go on, Leah positively lights up in a way that we rarely get to see from her. I love, love, love the genuine moments on this show, and capturing Leah’s beaming self was well-played MTV!
Kousin Krystal puts the baby to bed, and Amber and Gary cuddle on the couch, to talk about Amber’s sadness. It doesn’t escape me that she turned to Gary, not Clinton. The familiarity, the relaxation that you can get around someone who has seen you at your very worst, but still loves you, is what’s going on here. They are very close. They always will be. But there has got to be some major changing, major internal shifting from both of them for this relationship to ever be a safe place for anyone. Amber says she misses her sister, which may be true, but I propose that what she’s really grieving here is her family the way it was before her sister died. She misses the sense of security that she had as a very young child, and she misses that which would have been for her and her family, had her sister not died so tragically. She knows her life would have been different had Candace lived. Now that is honesty. And it makes me think maybe Amber does have it in her to turn this all around. But she needs to not be together with Gary, or anyone, to do it.
Wow. I just realized that I wish MTV would hire Candy Finnegan and drop Dr. Drew. Dr. Drew is a fraud. There was a great article in Rolling Stone about him, maybe a couple of issues ago. It was titled, “Why the Sleaze Doesn’t Stick to Dr. Drew.” http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/news/why-the-sleaze-doesnt-stick-to-dr-drew-20110725 The article was relative to Celebrity Rehab, but essentially it says that Dr. Drew is a slimeball, and America has got to stop taking him seriously. With all of the topical conversation about Teen Mom, and all of the controversy about whether or not MTV is acting ethically by not stepping in when Amber hits Gary, or when she’s allegedly drugging pretty hard around the baby, the very best thing the network could do would be to dump Pinsky and at least hire someone who is for real. Candy Finnegan, I’m looking at you.
Maci’s scenes don’t read a recap this week. In the alternate, 1970s TV Show Universe, a detective with a wicked full mustache and a relatively tight light gray suit would draw his gun, and bust open the door to Maci’s scenes, only to find that it’s a reel-to-reel tape recorder instead of an actual person. And the recording is really bad, because everybody was on High Mumble Alert in Tennessee this past Christmas.
Maci’s a blonde now, so she must be trying to establish herself as an individual, separate from her wrestling star twin, Heath Slater. She’s probably tired of people getting them confused. Twins need their own identities, doncha know! Maci, Bentley, and Kyle are playing, of course. This kid sure does get a lot of playing time. I applaud Maci’s inability to do anything else but play with Bentley. Actually, it’s pretty cool. I love toys, too and if I ever have a child, part of the fun of it would be all the toys and the play time.
Ugh! I dyed my hair, but I can still hear my twin, Heath Slater’s, voice in my head!
Maci’s the same old situation this episode though: Should I quit school entirely? I don’t want to miss any of Bentley. I’ll go ask everyone I know what I should do and then do what I want to do anyway! What do I dooooooooooooooooo?
Ryan texts Maci that his work is looking for another employee, and she should let Kyle know that he may be able to get a job there. They both balk at this, and yeah it’s weird… sort of. I guess. I don’t find anything really oh em gee about it, to be honest. Ryan isn’t the least bit threatened by Kyle. He wanted Maci to be honest with him, and he wanted to meet the dude, but that was because he cares about knowing who is in Bentley’s life. Not because he feels protective of Maci or has lingering feelings for her. I think this was just an honest fact: Ryan’s employer is hiring. Kyle needs a job. Boom chickie boom. Kyle and Maci don’t even spend that much time on it, so why should we?
Ryan’s mom picks up Bentley, so Maci and Kyle head over to her mother’s, seeking ever-more advice on the burning question: “To go to school, or to not go to school.” Sweet Valley High, gurl! Who cares!!! I do not, that’s for sure.
They talk about Ryan’s text about a job, and they tell Mama Maci that Ryan also sent a Facebook request to Kyle. Maci’s mom didn’t accept Ryan’s Facebook request, but Kyle did. This is riveting entertainment. Honestly, Show, it’s Christmas, and this is the best you can give us for Maci? Facebook friendings? My disappointment is great. I want to see Ryan looking hot, and Maci saying, “Rahhhhhhhhhan, yew wan it to wor’ork?”
They also talk about school and Maci remembers that her mother felt terrible when she’d leave Maci to go to class, and her mother admits that it was really hard, then uses the conversation as a chance to get a shot in about things like this being why it’s better to wait to have children. Maci’s mom also points out that Maci never minded when her mom went off to school, and Maci says that may be true, but she’s not worried about Bentley, she’s worried about herself. Her mom reminds her that she has to look at school as something she has to do, not something she wants to do. She needs to look at it as a goal to check off the list. Too bad Maci’s list is more like: Smoke cigs, play with Bentley, flirt with Ryan sometimes, get tattoos, ask opinions, cook for Kyle, dye hair often, and have more babies.
You want advice? Real Talk: Ya never shoulda gotten pregnant in the first place, but you did so now deal with it Ms. I Know Everything. That’s what. Bored with this conversation. Next.
Not satisfied that still nobody has told her to quit school and be a full-time, unemployed and uneducated mother who lives with her unemployed boyfriend, Maci goes out for some ice cream with a friend. In a waffle cone, she still doesn’t get the advice she wants to hear.
This is bullcrap! She’s really wanting me to have this conversation AGAIN with her! What about me?? Justin dumped me and she never even asked me about it! WHY do we always talk about Maci Maci Maci wanting to quit school! I have a 6.23 GPA at Vandy! Gawd, I can’t wait for Winter Break to be over!
Later on, she’s making dinner and calls her advisor at school. Since nobody will tell her what she wants to hear just yet, Maci calls her advisor to ask about taking a semester off. He can’t get on board with that, because her academic record is not strong at all right now. He also tells her that she needs to call him when she’s made a decision about registering for classes or disenrolling from school.
Well-played, MTV. Maci’s doing what she really wants to be doing (being a domestic engineer), while on the phone giving lip service to what she has to pretend she still wants to do. Subtle. I like it.
When she hangs up, Kyle asks for his dinner, and hilariously gets in a shot about how if school’s so hard now, imagine how much worse it would be with a second baby. What a keeper.
Farrah is dead to me. She’s so dead to me, that I considered not even including her in this recap.
It’s also Christmas-time in Iowa, and the whole family is making a gingerbread house. Sophia is beyond cute, in this scene. They’re all talking about Farrah’s plans to move far, far away, and I’m surprised that Michael and Debra aren’t offering to pay her moving expenses, and six months of rent on a condo sublet in sunny Singapore. You’d think they’d be stoked to have her go away but no, they’re sad she wants to leave. In fact, Debra comments that she (Debra) can’t move right now. This tells me how far Debra would go for this kid, and for Sophia. She would leave her home, her work, and her friends to move hundreds or thousands of miles away. And Farrah sees Debra as the bad guy? So mature.
Gratuitous Baby Shot!
She and Ashley from The Real Housewives of New Jersey seriously need to spend some time in the Starting Over house. They need to be turned loose on each other, and then given homework like, ‘sit in front of this mirror for 2 hours and reflect on what you see.’ I want these two to have to journal and I want their journals to be read by Beyonce. Then I want Beyonce to be like,, “Sure, we’ll totally go out on the yacht today,’ but she has her fingers crossed behind her, because what will really happen is that they’ll go get on a yacht, alright, a yacht with Jeff Probst and Oprah. Jeff will break them down, and Oprah will rebuild. Then Beyonce can take them back home, but not gifts. These two are spoiled jerks and have no need for parting gifts. Your gift is to be less of an asshole all the time. It’s priceless, so appreciate it ladies.
Anyways, no Beyonce OR Jeff Probst, and blessedly no Ashley, so back to the Farrah Famiglia kitchen. Michael and Debra were thinking Florida for Farrah, but since she knows she’d never make it on the actual West Coast, she’s dropped the ‘Coast’ part, and has her heart set on the West. Arizona particularly, and when she says it, Debra vaguely brings up that Arizona has a lot of nasty politics – gangs, high crime, and immigration issues to be specific. I’m still in it at this point, until Farrah says, “They’ve really cracked down on that.”
Farrah, the immigration expert.
Huh? This is not the 19 year old Iowan who has any idea about the complexities of immigration issues in a border state. With no personal politics applied, there is no simple solution, there is no black and white, and there sure as hell is no way that Farrah has any idea what she’s talking about. As soon as Farrah said she wants to move to Arizona, I knew that she wasn’t talking about moving here for the wide open spaces, the breath-taking landscapes, or the relaxing, easy lifestyle you get with 320 days of outdoor living. I knew she wanted a piece of celebrity skin scene in Phoenix. Phoenicians, let’s call a spade a spade. We know you want to give us back to Mexico, and you know we don’t care what kind of car you drive. We can still all get along, but for the record: Tucson Pride! U of A!!!!!!! Bear DOWN, Arizona! Woot!!
Debra and Michael used to live in Arizona, and since it’s probably 8 degrees in Iowa, the family decides to head out together for a winter break to Phabulous Phoenix. They all go to the airport together, and Farrah’s got the patience of a tse tse fly. She’s yelling at Debra from self-check in, she’s storming off to security. Man. Her parents are helping her explore moving thousands of miles away, which isn’t something that they are on board with. You’d think for the 12 minutes that it took them to work with the gate agent so Debra can have a middle or aisle seat, you would think that she could shut it, or at least stand in the background and roll her eyes where they can’t see her. From Minute One, this is a horribly uncomfortable thing to watch.
They were sick of each other all the way from Counsel Bluffs to the Omaha airport! Which is what? a 20 minute drive?
They finally get to Phoenix, and first they hit the train museum, to give Sophia a little break in the driving and looking around that’s largly what these kinds of scouting trips consist of. There is also a ton of Arizona landscape porn – big blue skies, cacti, sand-colored houses, and all of the things anyone thinks of when they think of Arizona except for Kokopellis, and the snowbirds in an RV, going 23 mph in the middle lane of your main surface street.
See all this sunshine? I hate it, I know it already, uh, don’t you think I’ve seen the sun before??? Gawd!
They get to the driving and looking part, and Debra is behind the wheel. Debra’s commenting that she would love to be hiking, and Farrah lays into her about how it’s not her vacation, she’s there to help Farrah and omg, if I was Debra, I’d have reached over and smacked her like in Farrah’s 16 & Pregnant episode. Does this girl ever, ever stop?? She was doing so well, for so long. Granted, she is patient and loving with Sophia, but honestly, she needs a massive wake-up call, and I cannot for the life of me understand why her parents aren’t shoving her out of the car and telling her to figure it the eff out on her own.
Farrah snots out that she will only live in the Camelback area or Scottsdale, and Tucsonans everywhere breathe a huge sigh of relief. And have a good laugh, because honey, you’re a brunette. Good luck in Scottsdale. I used to date this big Viking/Caveman film-maker who lived there. At times in certain Scottsdale bars, I was literally the only brunette and the only person who weighed over 117 pounds. Besides the bouncers. It’s probably mellowed a tiny bit; this was at the very height of everyone being Paltrow blonde and at the very height of the real estate boom. Now everyone’s in foreclosure and can only afford foils, instead of a double process. But Farrah still has no idea what she’s signing up for. She’s used to being a hot potato in Council Bluffs and Omaha. The West Coast Standard of Beauty is very real, and very much applies to Phoenix, but hey, if she moves there and starts partyin’, we can look forward to thedirty.com having a field day with her.
Debra’s driving and takes the family on a little tour of some really nice parts of town. Farrah’s seething at this point, and if she would apply the teeniest bit of patience, she might freaking understand that her parents are showing her… a nice part of town. She’s offended because, and this is so logical (not), they’re wasting time driving around gated homes she can’t afford. They spy some townhouses in the pretty part of town, and point out how nice they are, but Farrah’s “uh! never-uh living there-us! Gawd! ME! We’re wasting time looking at what YOU want to see but what about MEEEEEEEEEE! Gawd!”
She really unraveled. It’s dunzo for this trip. At this point, it will not be salvaged. Michael and Debra are helping her out, she’s determined not to live in an apartment, I’m exhausted and full of rage. Sure, she had things she wanted to accomplish on this trip, but maaaaaybe if she didn’t act like such a 14 year old, her parents would listen to her and they could have worked out an agenda all together. Spitting out stuff like, “It’s MY trip,” won’t get you as far as saying, “Hey, so Day 1, we’ll go to Scottsdale in the morning, and plan a hike in the afternoon. Day 2. We’ll take Sophia to something kid-sensitive then see some properties. Day 3. We’ll hike in the morning, and hit any areas we missed before our flight at 5.” Boom. Everybody wins. It’s hard to be heard when the only way you express yourself is in snotty comments, and tense eye-rolls.
Farrah’s beyond impatient and rude. She wants to move away, and her parents aren’t going to approve of this. They want Sophia nearby. But just because it’s not what they want, does not mean that they don’t support her decision. Hello? they didn’t want you to have a baby when you were 16, but they supported you when it happened. I think Farrah has an approval trip, and she’s not understanding that she doesn’t need their approval. Instead of letting it go, she’s going to act out because they don’t approve. She does not get it at all that because they love and support her, they are going to ask her questions, and express an opinion on her decisions. She seems to want them to give a gold seal of approval and move out of the way, but they are her parents, they’re a close family, and that’s not how it works.
They’re not going to approve of Farrah doing whatever the hell she wants to do, but they will approve of her decisions once she shows they that she’s not just running around with half-cooked plans and higher expectations than what life is prepared to hand her at the moment. Farrah’s pretty naive. I bet her parents know this, and I bet they’re always acting out of love, out of trying to let her learn while also trying to keep her from continuing to get scammed on Craigslist and junk. She can do whatever she wants or needs to do, and they will support and love her. But they do not have to agree with her, and she does not have to agree with them for everyone to get along. Instead, they’re doing the parental thing and asking her to be accountable, which Farrah’s insufferable immaturity lately causes her to read as, “You want control of me.”
For now, suffice it to say that Farrah is dick soup in this episode, treating her parents like she’s 14 years old. She does make an appointment to look at a place, and it’s not in the greatest part of town. I don’t know Phoenix that well, but in Tucson, parts of town are almost laughable. You go from mansion to barrio in a block, and that’s mostly true in any part of town.
She makes an appointment to see a house and it doesn’t look like it’s in a terrific part of town. MTV gives us some graffitied walls and some other shots to tell us that this is less than ideal, and hey teens? If you have a baby at age 16, this is where you will live. Barbed wire + graffiti. You want that? No? then keep it in your pants.
A horrifying house, in a crappy neighborhood.
Debra’s got lots of comments including, but not limited to, “your car will get striped here and you’ll get shot at.” The place seems okay, but Debra is horrified by the lack of grass and the carpet. At this point in the episode, I am pulling for a rabid pack of javelina to crash through the sliding door, and do their own version of a drive-by. Or maybe just a nest of rattlesnakes to fall out of a closet and scare them both back to Iowa.
They get back in the car and they’re bickering so much, that Michael actually asserts himself and tells them to knock it off. Hilariously, they’re bickering so much that Debra manages to get them a little lost, at which point Farrah did a full body eye roll which sadly did not launch her out of the moving vehicle.
They go to dinner, and if you thought Farrah was being a jerk before, now she reaches a whole new level of assholery. She literally cannot express an opinion without a bitchy tone and an eye roll. “Do you prefer sparkling water, or flat?” “Uh, sparkling, duh Michael; I’ve drunken water before, gawd!” She says it’s because she doesn’t think they hear her if she doesn’t say things like a brat but I think what she means is that they ask her the same questions any caring parents would ask, and expect her to have answers to those question. I know! So insulting. Michael clinks the ice in his empty drink, and in another well-timed comedy break says to the waitress, “I need another one of these.” Drink up, Buttercup!
How did my life get here? I was cool. I was in a band, I was a bassist… but now… I think I might need to cry. My mother never liked Debra. Why didn’t I listen??? Ma, if you can hear me…. you were right… she wrecked me. No, she spawned THIS and they wrecked me, Ma, I’m a broken man.
They point out that they do everything they can for her, and they don’t know what else to do. Farrah thinks they wanted a vacation, and therefore sabotaged her plans and wasted her time. There may be some water there, but I maintain that had Farrah set a schedule for the trip and taken her parents into account like an adult, they would have treated her as an adult. Instead, things weren’t made clear and her impatience has escalated to the point where she tells them she ’can’t handle this!” Debra responds in kind, and this is the moment that Farrah became dead to me. She goes, “Well if you can’t handle this, you shouldn’t have had this!”
That’s possibly the stupidest argument to ever throw at parents. It’s dumb and illogical at 13, but it’s laughable at 19. ‘You shouldn’t have had me?’ At this moment, everyone watching this show is all, “Amen! We wish they hadn’t had you too!”
Debra has to walk away, and I applaud her doing so. She knows that for as far as everyone got developmentally, they’ve got so far to go with this one. They debrief in the hotel all together; well, Debra plays with Sophia and Michael reads Arizona Highways, wishing he was on one himself riding a beautiful magical motorcycle far, far from Debra and Farrah.
Farrah suggests that they need to return to counseling and work on communication better with one another, and I guarantee you that Michael and Debra are like, “YOU need to return to counseling. WE need to not communicate with you.” Michael and Debra have come a long way from 16 & Pregnant. Farrah? Not so much. Michael agrees to the counseling, and Debra sort of does, as Farrah waxes on like a 14 year old about independence and being respected and crap which does not currently pertain to her since she acts like a very petulant child all the time lately. Finally Debra quietly asks her why she feels like she has to move so far away to establish her independence.
Farrah has no answer. She doesn’t know, because she doesn’t have the insight to understand that there are other options. She’s kind of naive, which has the effect of allowing a person to only see the gigantic, sparkly choices. Having a job, buying your own house, and hiring your own babysitter are legit options to establish independence. Moving far away is a gigantic sparkly option. But really, why they want her to stick around is beyond me. Farrah will move away for 3-4 months, to Vegas or Scottsdale, and then she’ll come home humbled and homesick. They should be throwing her off the back of a pickup truck on to the I-10 so she can fail hard and then get her ish together
Caitlynn and Tyler found a less expensive yet bigger apartment, so they’re moving. TMZ said they were evicted, but surprisingly, I don’t go by the gossip tabs so I won’t call it like that just yet. It takes a lot to get legally evicted, so I’m guessing that’s not what happened but maybe there was some short rents or something and they broke the lease to go somewhere more affordable or something. Conjecture, but at the end of the day, it’s all conjecture. By the way, that includes anything I ever say about Amber and you-know-what, which rhymes with ‘description hugs.’ I do not know for sure, but I have to guess for this gig, and I think she’s a first-rate addict, who is so messed up in show-time, that she’s high as hell most of the time and it’s caused her to lose her mind and, consequently, her child. Conjecture on Caitlynn and Tyler? They found a killer deal on a double-wide and moved. That place is nice. If it’s not a trailer, it’s a lie that it’s less expensive then their old place.
Tyler’s in college now, so get ready to move a lot! College and moving are like peanut better and jelly!
The big news for Caitlynn is that her dad is visiting! He’s been in Florida and she’s not seen him in four years but they talk a lot and have a good relationship. He’s got a job interview in Michigan, so he’ll take care of that and stay with Caitlynn. He’s never met Tyler, so this is super exciting for everyone!
Their friends come over to see the new place, and they all get to talking. Everyone’s excited for Tyler’s college classes, which is pretty cool. He wants to be a counselor and social worker, and work with foster kids. He truly seems to have an avocation, and he’s going to be great at it! he may have taken the long way to get to the starting point of where he wants to end up, but it seems so innate to him to do this work in the future. I hope he doesn’t get disenchanted when he has to walk through all the bs of school. He’s lived so much already, it might be hard for him to step back and let things get academic but then again, he’s got an avocation and that shit usually works out for people.
I was convinced from the previews that this would turn out differently, that her dad was showing up out of the blue and they weren’t close but see? What do I know? If I read TMZ or US Weekly, I guess I’d know I was gonna be wrong.
Papa Lowell arrives in wintery Michigan, and he’s got a very interesting vibe to him. He’s been in Florida for many years, and again my mind goes to Intervention. I get the feeling that this dude has clearly been in treatment, or in a half-way house for all this time.
It’s a little uncomfortable at first, because he’s staying at their house and after all, he and Caitlynn haven’t seen each other in four years. That’s a long time, but they do seem to have a natural bond. I’m assuming that they actually do talk to one another quite a bit. He reiterates that she can always call him when she needs to talk. This is so good for her. Whether he has a criminal or addictive past, it’s so good for her that he wants her to need her dad. April turns her away a lot. April never lets Caitlynn just talk. There’s always some angle with April, some defensive argument is brewing in her head during every conversation. It’s nice to see Caitlynn’s father just listening to her, and trusting the way that she’s living her life right now.
He alludes to his mistakes from the past, and he’s got a way with words and with processing the things going on in Caitlynn’s life that seems to be rooted in the language of recovery. I’m not judging here, just commenting by the way. I liked the guy, and it seems like he’s doing what Tyler tried to get Butch to do a few episodes ago, that is to say that he’s taking things seriously and walking carefully through life so that he doesn’t fall back into old bad habits or make mistakes that have major, lasting consequences on himself or his loved ones.
They go out to dinner and things get a little weird, when he’s saying once again how Caitlynn can always talk to him, and how he wishes he had been there for her through all of the April hardships, and especially regarding Carly. Tyler kind of forces the issue a bit, saying that he tried to get in touch with the guy, but the phone number was bad. He wanted to ask permission to marry Caitlynn, but had to ask April instead. Tyler’s such a soft-faced little kid on TV, that I just imagine this guy is like, “Son? Have you met our family? Ask Caitlynn your damn self. She’s been emotionally on her own since she was 4 years old.” Pray that Leah goes the way of Caitlynn, and turns out with a decent head on her shoulders and at minimum, a boyfriend who looks out for her in her earliest of adulthood.
Dude’s as warm as a glacier, and I cannot for the life of me figure out how this dude and April created Caitlynn, who is warm and seems to be kind of responsible or at least within the bell curve of girls her age. It’s remarkable to me that Caitlynn isn’t a total head trip.
Later, back at the ranch, they do some Carly-talk, over the photo album, and Dave gets a little choked up. It’s cool, actually. I really was prepared to call it that her dad is only around now because of the show, and I’m not ruling it out. But he really truly seems to fee emotional that he missed a lot of what hasn’t been the easiest life for Caitlynn. He’s a little over-whelmed by all of it, and I’d wager that it’s a combination of guilt, love, being proud of Caitlynn, relief that she turned out to be okay. He also really understands why Butch, April, and Kim would have a hard time processing the adoption. He’s able to be empathetic to them, but also to think bigger , and to understand at a much more gut-level why Carly’s adoption was not only the best thing for her, but also for Caitlynn and Tyler. It’s so great to see Caitlynn have a parental bond with someone who genuinely likes her and who is able to put her first, emotionally.
This place is less spendy than their old place like I’m a natural beachy blonde.
He heads back to Florida, and I wonder when MTV will break it to me that I’m all wrong here. I’m positive that an upcoming episode will feature Dave showing up, boozed up with guns a’blazin, demanding six grand and the keys to the Chrysler because he’s on the run from the law.
Catch ya next time, Gasmii, and enjoy the long weekend! Labor Day’s the best – the holiday for the workin’ man! We’ll meet again for the Minicap on Wednesday….