Pros: Baby kisses, songs from Gary who’s a man alone with his thoughts, Tyler and Caitlynn are okay, and Maci’s Mom.
Cons: 90 minutes of Teen Mom twice in a row.
It’s Sophia’s 2nd birthday, and for the record, she’s my favorite of the babies right now. Well, they’re all my favorite, but Sophia is so quiet and so self-contained. She’s just darling, and her facial expressions crack me up every week. Farrah’s trying to surprise Sophia so she bitches loudly when Michael announces that she’s walked in. Nice. I hate it when things kick off with drive-by Farrah bitch noise. Farrah and Debra are trying to decorate a cookie cake; well, Farrah’s decorating it, and Debra is telling her that she’s gonna be out of room to write, “Sophia.” Le sigh.
They finally surprise Baby Goo and they all sit down for presents and cookie cake. Debra rehashes birth; about how stressful is was for everyone and how much pain Farrah was in. Michael says he remembers and Debra snaps at him that he wasn’t even there – it was her, Farrah, and Sophia. Debra is intense and kind of weird, but I have to respect how much she loves her daughters and Sophia. I think she’s just one of those mothers whose intentions are so great, but she’s so determined for her children to grow up to be a certain type of adult, that she can’t relax and let her child really be who she is.
You shouldn’t let your left boob get so high in front of your kid.
Farrah has gotten tons of toys for Sophia, and naturally Sophia is darling showing them off. Debra comments that Farrah did a really good job for Baby, and she goes on to say how proud she is of Farrah. She’s proud that Farrah finished high school, and an Associates, and is doing so well with Sophia. Farrah has really pushed herself in the last two years to grow and to achieve some levels of success. Like any well-meaning, high achieving parent, Debra says to Farrah that to really be as successful as Farrah wants to be, Farrah is going to have to push herself even more.
Big dreams, big hair.
Farrah’s getting awfully fragile with this conversation, and she starts to get emotional. She feels like she’s still in a breakup, and that she’s depressed. Debra wants Farrah to get out there, to go to Florida and work on herself so that she can be a happy, full person which will allow her to be an even better mother for Sophia. Debra reiterates that she doesn’t want to break Farrah’s relationship with Sophia, and things get a little muddy. There’s more here than we know. But what we do know is that for as odd and difficult as Debra seems to be toward Farrah, justifiably or not, Debra loves the hell out of that girl. Debra seems to have worked hard to give her daughters the opportunity to be educated and successful in their own rite. She also understands that she loves Farrah as much as Farrah loves Sophia. She goes on to say that she knows how much it means for your baby to hug you, and that no matter how old your baby is, you need her to hug you. I’m sort of lost intellectually, but emotionally, I want to hug my mom really bad right now. Farrah doesn’t move to hug her mom, but I think Farrah is just a little over-whelmed with the decision that she has to make, and with the emotions that she’s experiencing relative to her depression and grief.
Farrah meets a friend at an empty restaurant, and well… okay. They catch up, and it seems like this is someone with whom Farrah maybe used to be close? I dunno. This scene feels weird. I wish she was hanging out with Ashley and Ashley’s friends. I like that Ashley speaks so loudly and excitedly. She’s funny. But this isn’t Ashley, and this homegirl is doing the college thing, going to Europe which is exciting. Farrah confesses that she’s moving and that she’s got this major decision to make about Sophia joining her in Florida. Sophia is running around the place, in some shiny baby leggings. Baby Goo is ready to party. Since this is a bar, I can’t help but think there needs to be a picture of the baby passed out, surrounded by empties. Which is yet another reason why I do have children. As my best friend used to say in the party times ’90s, “I can’t even be trusted to return videos on time, why would I have a baby??” Farrah has a baby though, and she admits that she gets tons of help from her family. She doesn’t know if she could have Sophia 24/7 and have things be as good for the baby as they are now. Farrah’s really sad, though, and things like getting out into the world and finishing her BA are the kinds of things that might be healthiest for her to do right now.
You have a baby! …..In a bar!
Later, she sits and plays with Sophia, making a list on a Magna Doodle. Pros: “Mom and Michael and Grandma.” Cons: “Can’t kiss each other.” Awwwww…. here’s the moment for Farrah when MTV reminds us that she’s a kid, too. She’s really talking this out with Sophia and regardless of whether or not Sophia understands, I love this little scene. What a tough decision. Sure, Farrah should head to Chicago or someplace closer to get her Siddhartha on, but she wants to go to Florida. She believes that’s where she can do what she needs to do. She may be right; she may be wrong. There is no doubt that she needs to grow some wings and that it won’t happen around her family. She needs to miss them and appreciate them on a deeper level; she needs to be able to look over her shoulder and not see them there then understand how much she needs them there whether it ends up being literal and physical, or just emotionally.
Farrah makes a decision though, and she breaks it to Debra during a shopping trip for a dress for Sophia. She has decided that Sophia can stay with Debra and Michael while Farrah goes to school. Farrah confesses that she knows she’s depressed and that she knows this is the right thing for the baby and for her. Debra is relieved, but no more so than she is safe for Farrah and supportive toward her. Debra knows that this is really, very hard. She wants Farrah to be whole and healthy, and Farrah wants that too. All Farrah’s really doing here is admitting that she needs some help, and Debra is agreeing and offering to give Farrah this unconditional gift. I know others will caution that Debra wants custody or that Debra is being too controlling, but reading these scenes, I truly am thinking that Farrah has been out of it and depressed for a long time. What good mother wouldn’t try to do anything she can, within her reason, to help her child find a way out of that? Farrah has been through a lot and clearly has some issues with depression, anger, and immaturity. But Farrah is trying. And as long as Farrah is trying, I truly think that Debra will be fair toward her. It’s too bad Farrah thinks she has to go so far away to learn to take better care of herself, but sometimes, that’s really how it goes, y’all.
Farrah later takes Sophia on a tour of spots that meant a lot to her and Derek, and she does it in her cool BMW Mini-Cooper. MTV has given up the ghost on trying to make these Teen Moms look like they have a normal teen mom (no caps) income. First they drive by the convention center where Farrah and Derek met at a basketball game. I could do without that one, since it’s the very same convention center where I got kicked in the chest during a game. I can confirm beyond a shadow of a doubt that Nebraska girls are indeed corn-fed. That chick is like 7 feet tall, 273 in my memory and left a bone bruise that made me look like someone installed a pacemaker poorly, and on the wrong side of my chest. Then they go over to a scenic look-out where she and Derek used to stare into each others’ eyes and talk about their parents; possibly, Sophia was conceived right there but probably not in a Mini-Cooper. On the way back home, they drive by Farrah and Derek’s high school, and she says they shared a locker and held hands. It’s romanticized, yes, but I’ve said it before about Farrah. Even if the relationship with Derek would never have lasted and even if she was a total jerk about him, he died while she was pregnant. She was a very young kid, and her high school boyfriend died. That doesn’t happen every day. There is no doubt in my mind that she’s mythologized things a bit, but I also don’t have any particular complaint about that. She’s a kid. We have to remember that about her, especially when it comes to stuff about Derek and the tragedy that she’s going to have to live with, and walk her daughter through, for the rest of their lives.
Your dad was almost elected President of the United States.
Maci knows that fighting with Ryan in front of Bentley is bad for our little luxury automobile baby, and bad for her relationship with Kyle. What she fails to recognize is that she starts these fights and if she’d allow some patience into her life regarding her ex, she might find everyone to be more relaxed and better able to get along. She and Kyle are talking marriage, but Kyle doesn’t want to deal with Ryan for the rest of his life. Bad news for our un-enunciating Bobby Hill doppelganger though, because dealing with Maci means dealing with Ryan. She has a brilliant plan that she will never interact with Ryan again, and this way, Kyle won’t have to worry about Ryan anymore, and she won’t be fighting in front of Bentley. She calls her mom to see if from now on, her parents can take over the hand-off. Every single time Ryan is supposed to pick up Bentley, Maci will take him to her parents’ house and Ryan can get him there. So mature, this one. Maci’s mom agrees, but as we soon discover, she means that she will make this arrangement work…. when it’s convenient for her to do so. Maci doesn’t register this part just yet.
Maci not registering.
She and Kyle have some dinner and I notice when she hands Kyle his plate, it looks like she cut up his spaghetti for him. I am not even kidding. She texts Jen, Ryan’s mom, to see if Jen and Ryan’s dad Larry will meet her for dinner to talk about something. Jen hasn’t responded and Kyle asks what Maci thinks the reaction will be. Maci thinks that Jen will cry and Kyle says, “Life’s tough get a helmet.” Jerk face. Ryan calls and twice Maci ignores it but she soon calls him back. He wants to know what she needs from his mom, fair enough, right? Jen’s sitting there the whole time and Maci doesn’t really give a straight answer. Ryan hangs up and Jen points out what everyone is probably saying all the time to these two, “You have many years during which this has to work, so you better figure out how to talk to each other.” I’m glad Jen isn’t taking the bait here, and that she’s also making Ryan and Maci deal with one another. It’s not for the parents to handle, and they probably know that if Maci’s parents and Ryan’s parents did handle this for the kids, there would eventually be hurt feelings and resentments.
The next day or so, Maci has to come get Bentley from Ryan’s house. It’s dusk in Tennessee, like it’s dusk in Ryan’s and Maci’s hearts for one another. Remember, Maci hasn’t told anyone outside of her family that her new awesome plan is to not speak to Ryan anymore, even though they are co-parenting a cute baby. Ryan’s hangin’ with his boys in his man cave/garage when Maci and Kyle pull up. Maci takes Ryan aside and tell him that she doesn’t think they need to be interacting with each other because they fight in front of Bentley and it’s upsetting to him. Ryan, to his credit tries to start a dialogue with her but she is totally shut down. He tries to talk to her about how she started the last fight, but Maci knows everything and nothing Ryan has to say is valid because he’s just a stupid boy who hurt her feelings. Honey…. if I had a dollar for every stupid boy who hurt my feelings, I’d be jet-setting with Adrienne Maloof. Get used to it. Life’s tough. Get a helmet. She informs him curtly that he can now pick up Bentley from her parents and she will only get him from Jen and Larry. Then she turns to go into the house and pick up Bentley. Ryan loses it, unleashing a verbal mess than made me blush and made his parents shush him. I have to say that I love how much Ryan’s family hangs out together. His dad was chilling in the garage with him, and it always seems like they are super close, even though Ryan is a pretty lazy dude. That ‘pretty’ is double-entendre, of course. Ryan calls Kyle names and he strongly suspects that he’s not allowed to see Maci anymore because it upsets her boyfriend. I haven’t really seen the evidence of this; but, then again…. going back to that dinner date, as soon as Kyle named Ryan as a reason that he’s not ready to put a ring on it, her response was immediate that she’d cut communication with Ryan. The scene ends with Maci driving off and Ryan asking his mom for a hug.
This is so bothersome to me. Does Maci really think that getting married as soon as possible is going to get her squared away in life? She keeps saying that until she got pregnant, she never wanted to get married and never wanted kids. She was what? 15 when she got pregnant? And since this is Maci, who loves her own mythology, I take it with a grain of salt. I just feel like if she was for serious about always wanting to be independent and on her own before the baby, she’d still be that person. When that’s innate to a personality, it seems like you figure it out regardless of your circumstances. More likely, she had Bentley and was unable t0 experience a paradigm shift. She grew up with parents who were young but who made it work. She expects out of life that she can make a family work even though she’s very young.
When she gets home, she has the gall to voice-over that she’s glad Ryan is out of the way. Yes. Words recorded for all time. She and Kyle are hanging out and she makes it sound like Ryan’s just an annoying chore she had to take care of before she could get back to normal life. “Whew. I’m glad getting my dishwasher fixed is out of the way!” She’s glad she’s done with Ryan so she can focus on her relationship with Kyle. And that, my friends is how black her heart is. My hope for Maci is that when she really is 35, she looks back on her youth and realized that she was such an asshole. I totally believe that Maci has the capacity to grow up and to eventually be insightful for herself but right now, the arrogance of her youth is just insufferable. I love it that her parents finally figured out how to handle this one. Tell her what she wants to hear and then let her figure out how ridiculously impossible her way is on her own.
Yes. A million times yes. Glad we had this talk.
She has Bentley sleeping on her lap, and she reminds us that it’s Maci’s World and everyone just lives in it. She says her job is to keep her little boy happy, which is true. But. Keeping him happy apparently means undermining and marginalizing his relationship with Ryan, even though he and Ryan are delighted by one another and love each other so much. I wonder how many people reading this would give an arm and a leg for their kids to have what Bentley has – two loving families who want to spend tons of time with him and who want him to have the very best life they can give to him. But Maci is too arrogant and narrow to see it. All she sees is what’s in front of her and how badly she wants an Instant Family with Kyle, who is in no way ready to give her that… Ryan or no Ryan. Kyle says she needs a plan of action for when she does have to interact with Ryan, for when she inevitably has to answer to his reasonable disagreement with the plan only she agreed to. Maci really wants Ryan to be this guy that he’s not, and she needs to make like Kim and come to peace with who Ryan is. Ryan is not a bad guy. He’s lazy and spoiled, but he loves Bentley and he wants to make things work for what Maci wants in her life. Instead of making peace, and working with Ryan to make things work for both of them o Bentley can grow up as healthy and grounded as Tyler is, Maci wants to cut ties and potentially cost Bentley thousands of dollars in therapy. Or more likely, cause him to hit 12 or 14 and decide he’s gonna go live with his dad.
Later in the week, it’s time for another hand-off and Maci’s first chance to enact Operation No Ryan. She calls her mom to see if she can bring Bentley over, but her mom’s at work. “What about Daddy?” “He’s at work too.” She doesn’t push it and figures out that Operation No Ryan is never going to work. I do a cheer for her parents. Love them, really. She calls Ryan to see if he can meet her at school, and right after the wordless chilly hand-off, MTV gives us a shot of the Humanities building. As in, “Maci, get some humanity, gurl.”
She talks to her friend Jessica, describing the chilly mood and AGAIN not taking responsibility for the tone that she created. She wants no contact, no Ryan. So yeah, hon, it’s gonna be a little weird. She is pissed, and there’s just no reason for her to act like this at all except that she’s a teenager and we all have to reach way back to remember what it was like to be young, dumb, and yet somehow always right. But Maci calls Ryan a moron, because in her personal mythology, Ryan is a dumb boy who is ruining her relationship and being an absentee father to hid kid. The camera don’t lie, sugarplum, and Ryan clearly does plenty of care-giving to Bentley. I’m not sure why MTV turned so hard on Maci, unless it’s just that things went through the rabbit hole and it became impossible to highlight that she’s a loving mother and natural care-giver over her idiot kamikaze mission to destroy Ryan’s relationship with Bentley in the hopes that she can give Bentley the two-parent home she believes he deserves.
Meanwhile, Larry and Ryan and shootin’ it outside the garage and Larry suggests Ryan go back to school to pick up another trade.
They laugh about Ryan being lazy, and even though he would drive me crazy if he was my kid sitting around all the time, this family likes each other. They have chemistry that translates on TV. Larry asks what happened with Maci, and he’s driving a little further here than just what happened recently. He wants to know if Ryan has ever apologized. I think there’s more to this, and I hope that it’s Larry trying to show that Maci is really immature. If Larry maybe sold it to Ryan that he’s got to be the bigger person and stick to the high road, then Larry is totally right. And smart. He asks Ryan if they will ever be friends and when Ryan fiddles with his shades to shrug out an “I don’t know,” Larry reminds him yet again that they have a long way to go, so they need to learn how to ride together.
Over at Maci’s, a text dings in from Ryan, apologizing for the fussin’ and the fightin’. She can’t leave it there though and turns it into, “He agrees with me.” No Rookie, he apologized to you for hurting your feelings. That’s all. She texts a thanks to Ryan, and Kyle puts down his Mountain Dew long enough to say, “next week he’ll be asking you to marry him.” I think that’s what he said anyway. He may have said, “I heard it’s supposed to snow one more time this year.” He’s so hard to understand sometimes, or maybe it’s just that all the rock and roll in my ears has finally caught up.
Maci meets Ryan at a diner for a hand-off and for some talking time. This conversation is a little stilted, but only in the sense that I think we missed a lot of it. She’s dialed it down quite a bit and is being nice, but I can’t imagine she walked in without her dukes up. They know they have to figure out how to work together, and he says that it’s better they figure it out than have to go through Court. She asks him if he thought about that and he’s honest with her. When she asks why he didn’t do it, he says he realized he didn’t want a Judge telling him what was fair. Instead of taking it in relative to Ryan, Maci turns it into being about her and says, “See, you trust me more than a Judge.” That’s the point at which Ryan hopefully decided to press forth with legal custody arrangements, but he probably doesn’t because for as pretty as he is, that kid is lazy. She does ask what he needs from her and he tells her she’s got to relax. She doesn’t want Bentley to hit school age and be aware that when he goes to bed, his dad goes out. This is a little weak-sauce to me. I feel like Ryan is young and if his parents are down to watch Bentley, Ryan can go out. As Bentley gets older, so does Ryan. Ryan will settle down, and she has got to trust Ryan just a bit that Ryan loves his relationship with Bentley and wants Bentley to see him as a good father. She says she doesn’t necessarily trust him, but that he has all the potential in the world. She also asks him to stop calling her names, which is super valid. I approve.
The scene ends with Maci telling Ryan he needs to meet someone, and that can’t be a set-up, but Ryan does have a new hot girlfriend, and I totally maintain that he met this chick around now in show-time. Maci was so irrationally upset about Ryan going out, and now here she is trying to cull info from him about his involvements with The Ladies. It’s time to go, and Maci asks Bentley if he wants to go with Mommy or with Daddy. Bentley says, “Daddy!” He says he wants to go to Mimi’s house, and Maci says to Ryan, “See it’s not you – he wants to go to Mimi’s house.” I have a Grandma Mimi, too and she is AWESOME. I can relate, B-Boy. I always wanted to go to Mimi’s house, too and in fact, I could use a trip to Mimi’s house right now. They laugh on out to their cars and things are copacetic for now with them.
Maci goes home and talks to Kyle some more about getting married. She admits that they aren’t really ready right this second to get married, but she needs to know if he is willing to go there with her down the line. He is, but he can’t really give her an end-date. She’s really pushing and he asks her how old she is. Before he can remind her that she’s only 19, she says she’s 35. She says she has to be 35 because she has a baby, so she has to be extra-adult but what she totally fails to realize is that at 35, people know how to give and take, how to work with one another, and how to not push your current steady into getting married even if he isn’t ready. He reminds her that if he’s not worth waiting for, she should giddyup on out of there, but she just starts crying about how she will wait, even though she doesn’t want to. He really can’t say for sure yet that this is where he wants to hitch his wagon, and she kind of melts it all down for us. She feels bad that she can’t give Bentley a two-parent family that she has to make all these compromises and do things differently than she ever knew how to do them. And this, my friends, is why I think that Maci will indeed grow up to be a cool person…. but not anytime soon.
Maybe at 35.
Butch and April still have a non-contact order, but Butch is heading out of the half-way house and needs a place to live while he finishes up the last three months of his parole. He’s been in and out of jail since he was 17 years old, and I’m thinking that if there was an episode of Hard Time that featured Butch, we would all understand this so much better. He lives The Life, and it’s really sad because we can all see that Butch isn’t a scumbag, so much as he is a constant series of incredibly bad decisions and disappointments. He wants to stay with Caitlynn and Tyler, which they discuss at length. Wow. The chintz from the Bed and Breakfast must have followed Caitlynn home, because she is wearing this flowered shirt, with a yellow gauzy scarf, and a flower in her hair. Clinton and Stacy would you hook this sister up already???? I have so many cross-over shows in my mind. Starting Over, Hard Time, What Not to Wear, Intervention, and for kicks, let’s have Kyle host That Metal Show but then let’s have Sharon Osborne drop by and tell Kyle that he’s harder to understand than the Prince of Darkness himself, Ozzy.
Caitlynn and Tyler make a pros and cons list, and the major pro is giving Butch a clean, safe place. They also come up with a list of house rules that includes no drugs, no illegal actions, and he is to be respectful of their house. The consequences are that he’ll be kicked out if he doesn’t follow the rules. They’re not gonna take it if he goes out and does drugs, and Candy Finnegan would be proud because these two will stick to their bottom line, no doubt about it. They’re a little weirded out by the idea of living with Butch for three months, and by the idea that they are the kids and they have to lay out the rules for him. But then again, these kids have had to figure out the rules on their own for a long time and now they just get to do it out in the open and with some authority.
Butch arrives in his chili-pepper Joey Buttafuoco-style pants with his dog and sits down to talk about house rules and his future. This is heart-breaking, because the minute he is sitting in the light of the kitchen, you can see that the guy isn’t clean and isn’t at his strongest or happiest right now. He’s ashen and twitchy and gaunt. Tyler pulls out the house rules he and Caitlynn wrote up, and Butch remarks that he needs his Sexy Specs to read them. Glasses on, he gets serious but he doesn’t make a lot of eye contact, so you know that this is likely not going to last. He does let them know that he is voluntarily going to an outpatient rehab program, but he says it a few times like he’s trying to convince himself that he can complete a program. The kids are hopeful though; and this is where Caitlynn and Tyler excel as human beings. You know the story about the old lady and the snake? An old lady is walking in the woods one day and she sees a snake that is sick and dying. The snake begs her for help, so she brings him home. She makes a bed for him by the fireplace and feeds him the mice that her kitty catches for him. One day, he’s feeling much better and as she reaches to feed him a fresh mouse, he bites her hard. She squeals in surprise and pain, exclaiming, “Why did you do that? I saved your life! I took care of you! I let you share my home!” The snake replies, “Why are you surprised? You knew I was a snake when you brought me home.” They know who Butch is. They love him, they take care of him, and they hope that he will make good choices the next time, whenever the next time may be. But they know he’s a Butch. They don’t expect that he will do things differently, and yet they have the capacity to still love him and care for him.
Later on, he’s making a delicious treat of V-8 and hot sauce while Tyler watches in disgust. Don’t judge Tyler. That stuff is awesome. I swear, I lost like 30 pounds when I added V-8 to my life and with a little hot sauce in it…. MMMMM’hmmmm! Yes, please! Talk turns to Carly and they tell him they invited Carly’s family to graduation. Butch can’t compute. “What will she call me?” “Butch. Like Kim is Kim, and Caitlynn’s Caitlynn and I’m Tyler…” “But I’m her grandpa!” “Yes, you are but she has a Grandpa, so you’re Butch.” “What if I want to grab her and hug her?” Which, whatever Butch. That would be freaky for anyone, not just a kid you don’t know. “She’s my blood, she’s got my blood.” Um, okay. Buuuuuut, she’s adopted to Brandon and Theresa’s family. We are the birth family. He just can’t get it and ends the conversation with a snarky comment that they shouldn’t have placed her for adoption. Faceplant for Tyler.
Caitlynn and Tyler are realizing that their family would be really, seriously over-whelming for Carly, for Brandon and Theresa. She is understanding that they aren’t going to be able to make it work to have their parents and their daughter’s family at graduation at the same time. Caitlynn calls her dad for some advice. She also invites him, and he’s excited to be there, which really warms my heart. I wish we’d gotten more of Caitlynn and her dad’s relationship all along. She tells him that she has considered not inviting April but her dad wants her to think about whether or not it would be worth it for Caitlynn and Tyler to ask their immediate family to skip the ceremony and the celebration of this achievement in favor of having Carly there for something she won’t even remember. He tells her that it’s her day, though, and she’s going to have to invite the people she wants to be there.
Caitlynn and Tyler have a serious discussion, because they have a real choice to make here. They can’t have the baby there and have Kim, Butch and April. Their parents just don’t understand the delicate nature of the relationship that they have to have with Brandon, Theresa, and Carly. Tyler really feels like it’s not fair to Kim to not invite her since this means the world to her. She is so proud of him and she was the one who really pushed him to stay in school, to move forward into adulthood. Their decision is making itself for them, but Caitlynn asks if Tyler is really okay with it. He was the one that was super stoked to have Carly there, after-all. He’s good with things, with saving the next visit for another time. Parenthood is about sacrifices sometimes, and this is one of those times where without producer interference, they show us that being Carly’s birth parents still creates sacrifices for them to make; in other words, they are still parents even though they are not raising their baby. They email Brandon and Theresa to rescind their invitation, and they feel that they did make the right choice.
This? Still a terrible choice.
Who didn’t make the right choice? Shocker, I know, but Butch has not been making good choices. He didn’t come home and they’re worried about him. April comes by to break it to them that she’s learned Butch is back in jail. Tyler assumes he dropped dirty, and given how twitchy he was during this episode, Tyler’s probably dead-on there. April is really upset, and has Nick with her. She Ambers out and flops herself on the couch in tears, disregarding her baby who asks her if she’s okay. April is my age. That blows my mind. The last time I was at the airport, the TSA guy asked me if I was an unaccompanied minor. No lie. I have people to corroborate my story. April looks like she’s 47, and it doesn’t escape me that it looks like she’s got a beer next to her. Caitlynn is more upset than Tyler at first, and Tyler claims to be upset for April since it reminds him of what his own mom used to go through with Butch. The tears come for him, too and I think it’s more because he’s truly an adult now and he truly realizes that this will never change with Butch. He hoped it would, and he wasn’t especially surprised when the bite happened, but he’s crying because now he has to grieve that this is the rest of his father’s life. He knows who his father is on the inside and the reality is hitting him that he is already and always going to be, for all intents and purposes, a better man. That’s deep.
Amber and Gary were supposed to go to court today to get their no-contact order lifted, but there is a terrible ice storm and everything, including court, is closed. Gary’s mom is picking up Leah to bring her to Amber, and she asks Gary what’s the fist big thing that Gary will do once he can hang out with Amber again. “I’ll hug her.” In my head, he sounds like the Abominable Snow Rabbit “And I will hug her and squeeze her and love her!” She reminds Gary to tell Amber how much he’s missed her and that he wants to fix things.
Amber’s still wearing her enormously distracting false lashes, and she’s hoping that court is open too. She’s a lot less romantic about being able to be in contact with Gary again. She’s excited, but she’s more hung up on the practical aspects of how raising a child with someone is far easier if you’re allowed to make eye contact with that person. Maci? Tune in, girl. Leah and Amber sit by the window and watch the weather, and I love this scene. It reminds me of when Amber was really young and Leah was still an infant. She was stuck at home all day with her baby and no gas money, struggling to study for the GED but not really knowing how to make that work. She was a pretty good mama back then, and I must say that this scene brought a little tear to my eye for how genuine it was and for how much it reminded me of the good old days with the OG Teen Moms.
My eyes hurt.
Court’s cancelled again the next day, but Amber’s friend Jessica braves the ice to come over and chill with Amber, Leah, and Amber’s lashes. They talk about Gary and Amber is saying that Gary has to change too. She knows that hitting him was really wrong but she goes on to say that it wasn’t unprovoked. She says she has never known any different, that all the women in her family react with a hot violent temper. She has been going to counseling and really trying to get hold of herself, because she does not want Leah to grow up with the same inclinations that she has. She wants to break the cycle so that Leah understands that hitting and reacting with fast, hot anger is not the healthiest way to live her life. Amber says she can’t go around bitch-slapping people 24/7, after all and my smile at this sense of humor is genuine.
Meanwhile at Club Gary, there’s a meeting of the Anderson Metro Single Dad’s Club, but because of the ice storm, only the charter members Gary and Evan make it out. My derby wife’s boyfriend has this friend that we all call Sexy Paul. Evan is like Sexy Paul. He’s that good-lookin’ guy who is super genuine and takes his good looks in stride. Evan is probably getting so laid right now that his head is spinning. I hope he takes some condoms from Gary’s stash though, because as cool as Sexy Evan seems to be, we don’t need no mo’ gol-dang babies up in here! It’s been a month and a week of the no-contact order, and Gary is really starting to climb the walls. He is, you know, The Overweight Lover Heavy G, and as such he’s met a ton of girls. Girlz, the girlz, they love Gary. He’s met all these girls and he doesn’t feel anything for them the way he feels for Amber. He’s also known Amber for most of her teenage life, and there’s a comfort zone there. Gary has a good 15 years before he understands how to differentiate between comfort zone and twu wuv. He says to Evan, “She completes me.” Oh no he di’nt. Oh yes, he did. That happened. GROSS. Can you imagine Gary trying to hit on you in a club? Think about it. There’s no amount of free booze that would get me to not laugh at Gary’s clichés. Dr. Phil would love Gary, and Gary would eat it up like it’s a Wendy’s Baconator with extra cheese. Evan just tells our heaviest hero to write a song for Amber, because she’s probably feeling the same way. This just gets better and better, yeah?
The next day, court’s finally open so Gary’s mom takes Leah, while Amber and her mom head over to the courthouse. The judge ends up revising the order, to the point that Gary and Amber can have contact with one another but they can’t both be around Leah at the same time just yet. He’s really happy and excited, but she says she wants him to fix the stuff in his head before she can get involved with him again. Her mom reminds her that she’s got to stay focused, and Amber has a little Farrah Moment of “Don’t you think I know that, Ga-uh-d-uh.” Amber’s mom’s just psychic, and she can sense that in Gary’s head, a relationship is right around the bend. Amber reiterates, though, that she’s not ready to get back in the car with Gary.
She’s glad that the order was changed, because it does make caring for Leah easier, but she’s really not sure what she’s feeling with Gary. He’s sure about how he feels for her though, and he’s working out a jam for her to prove it. Evan stops by, and Gary’s all high on “New me, new her, new relationship!” Evan asks him what he’s gonna do if it doesn’t work out, and Gary sidesteps by saying that he would be crushed if she got with another guy. Gary is really acting like this is a slam-dunk, like he can pull his usual charms, offer Amber some meatloaf, and have her hitting him in the head again in no time.
Amber is hanging out with Leah and we see a flash of Current Amber, when she’s sitting on the couch and realizes Leah got into some make-up. “Leeee-Yuh! No. Do you know what this is?” Queue baby looking confused and worried, with a make-up mustache on her face. “EXPENSIVE.” Oh my. She scolds Leah for playing with mommy’s makeup without permission but on so many levels, Amber is wrong here. You left the makeup where she could get it, you play makeup with her all the time, and now you’re scolding her based on the price? Huh?
Gary calls Amber and with a close up of her phone, we also get to see that she has a pierced hand. I’ve never seen that, and I don’t immediately hate it, but it seems awfully inconvenient. How does she do the dishes? Does it get pulled on when she washes her hair? How did it heal – it seems like your hands would be prone to infections? So many questions, so little time at 7,000 words and counting, here. Gary sings his Song For Amber, and he doesn’t have a bad voice, I’ll give him that. He’s a man alone with his thoughts, but his thoughts can carry a tune. She makes oh shit faces, and tells him that she doesn’t want to jump in. He doesn’t get it though, and jumps to frustration in a very controlling move that likely used to work on her when she was younger. “Well, I won’t wait for you, Amber.” Bullcrap, honey. She needs him to understand that they are not healthy together right now, and that she is really working on things. She needs him to be patient and to love her the way that she loves him. She wants to make the right choices; she wants to learn about herself and how to manage herself, how to make Leah’s life better than she feels that hers was. But she doesn’t have the tools and the intuition to do that on her own just yet, so she needs more time to do more work.
Instead of hearing her and supporting her, Gary hangs up on her. He is such a jerk. He texts her that he won’t get hurt again, and she calls him back to talk it out. As he ignores her call, we see that he has stored her number in his phone as “Plain Old Amber.” Gary proves that just because one person has a little more controlled temper than his partner doesn’t make him any less of a jerk face.
So, that’s that on the OG Teen Moms! Sad endings, well, maybe not so much sad as they are not happy story-book endings. I hear that there’s one more season for the OGs, and I’m cool with that. It’s gotten to be too much with the BMW and the weaves and the sweet sound-systems and the ski trips. I love these girls, and I heart the babies a lot, but I am ready for Jenelle!!!