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Really, this was a kind of boring episode. It’s the holidays, and I want some holiday-style drama already. Give me drunken uncles, cousin fights, re-gifting, and babies playing with wrapping paper instead of toys already; but no, here I am stuck with Maci’s ovaries throwing a fit about wanting another baby, and Amber’s Mixed Martial Arts fighter/World of Warcraft enthusiast new boyfriend.
Leeroy Jenkins. I did some research with a friend of mine who is a super talented gamer, and all around smart dude. It’s from a video of people playing WoW, and there’s speculation that it’s fake. I actually like that speculation, because Teen Mom is a reality show where actual reality (the money these girls make) is starting to show in the cracks, making the analogy is even better!
You can Google Leeroy Jenkins, and the video is hilarious. Basically, Leeroy and his pals are planning out a battle strategy, and Leeroy steps away. When he returns to his computer a minute or so later, he doesn’t check with his buddies about the plan of action, and charges headlong into the battle with a very loud, very distinct ‘Leeeeeeeerooooy Jeeeeeeeekins!’ His fellow players freak out and are like, “g8d dammit, Leeroy,” because they are all getting killed. It could have been avoided had Leeroy not charged forth into battle, had he asked them what was going on instead of rolling the dice…. dice kissed with ignorance and arrogance. If you never saw the video, it’s worth the four minutes!
So Leeroy Jenkins? Kinda perfect here, at least in the limited context and if you step really far back to see the analogy. These girls check out while people in their circles make reasonable plans and have reasonable expectations for them, then they skip taking in any guidance to charge head-long into everything they want, causing life-long consequences for everyone around them. In other words, Leeroy Jenkins epitomizes impetuousness, and the arrogance of youth.
Maci confirmed that she dropped half her classes, but gurl, please. This one has zero interest in school. If you don’t want to go, don’t go. There is a huge problem with this show, and it’s that fact that these girls are making some bank. If Maci doesn’t want to go to school for now, she doesn’t need to. This is one of the intrinsic problems with reality television. After the first season, maaaybe the second, things change. The Jersey Shore kids are mobbed everywhere they go, and the crowds that watch them being filmed are literally blurred out by production (HOLY ISH JERSEY SHORE THIS WEEK! OMFG!!). Survivor went from being a novel concept, with interesting casting of Type A personalities, to being a show full of ‘models,’ who are called Pharmaceutical Sales Reps, and super fans that spent years studying the game to work out complicated strategies when really, all they need to do is make friends and win challenges.
The Hills at least acknowledged that there is something to think about regarding the reality of reality television. The series was a spin-off of Laguna Beach. If you’ve never watched those first two seasons of Laguna Beach, they are truly some of the best reality show episodes of all time. It’s really great, and the kids on that show remain, in my opinion, the most real reality stars of all time. I suppose this is in part because the kids on Laguna Beach started out in life as good-looking and well-adjusted friends, infinitely more healthy than 99% of other American teenagers, so putting them on TV maybe was less of a shock to their systems. But then came The Hills, and lots of speculation about how much of it is production, how much of it is acting, and how much money are these people making. I respect that The Hills all but gave up the ghost and acknowledged that, by then end of the series, maybe it wasn’t so real after all. The final episode showed us Brody and Kristin saying goodbye, and then the set coming down around them. It didn’t say for sure that everything was fake, but it treated us as intelligent viewers, and made us smile by letting us know that we’re all in on the joke together.
So here we are with the OG Teen Moms, and things are getting weird, because the show probably isn’t sure how this is going to be treated, and it’s really only this season that it’s becoming something that has to be addressed. Do we quit, like Laguna Beach, or do we go all in and break the fourth wall, like The Hills? Do we leave it alone and hope for the best like Jersey Shore? Or is there something for Teen Mom that MTV has planned for us, and we just need to be patient and trust the network that has given us some of the most ground-breaking reality programming we’ve got so far?
Maci, in particular is standing at the edge of The Reality Show Rabbit Hole. She doesn’t (need to) work, she doesn’t (need to) go to school, and she has the luxury of being 19 or 20 with nothing but time to kill. She can’t say that though, because the premise of her show is that she is a Teen Mom, and hey y’all, it’s hard out there for a Teen Mom. But for Maci, there’s nothing hard about her life, except for the fact that she has to share custody and she has to co-parent with Ryan. Which is why we struggle with Maci. Her actual reality is that, yeah, she could roll the dice with Kyle and have a second baby right now and in no way would it be remotely as difficult as it would be for anyone else in her position, who is not on a popular television show. Her show reality, though, is that this is a really dumb idea for a million reasons.
The Reality Show Rabbit Hole. I feel like there should be the MTV logo, dollar signs, and pieces of Jersey Shore kids’ weaves floating around in there, but my Photoshop skillz are weak, by which I mean non-existent.
So let’s get up and get down, yo. Bentley’s growing up. He’s a full-on toddler now, with vocabulary and jokes, and an interest in potty-training. Maci recognizes that it’s time to start Bentley in preschool, time to get him around other kids. She and Kyle bring him to his new school and like any normal kid, he has a monster separation anxiety attack when they go to leave. Maci leaves the room, and sends Kyle back in to sooth Bentley. Kyle is such a natural with parenthood, even stranger kids flock to him. He’s one of those people – I bet dogs love him, too. I have a team mate like this. She’s the most unexpected natural, because she’s effing scary, but babies get anywhere near her, and they beg for her to hold them. She signed a shirt for a fan’s three year old daughter, and the fan’s mom said that her daughter insists on sleeping in that shirt every single night. Some people just have baby mojo, and Kyle strikes me as one of them, even though it doesn’t really translate on tv. Someone said it in the comments – he needs to be subtitled. I agree. He is a mumbling mumbler of sound effects and grunts but babies love him, and Maci wants a baby! Leeroy Jenkins!!! Into battle she goes!!
So this is what a guy who wants kids and doesn’t know it looks like. Take note ladies!
Maci watches from a hallway window, and you can feel her heart swell as she watches Kyle play with Bentley. Later on, she and Kyle are playing with Bentley at home, and she asks him if he wants his own child. He does, but he wants to get married first and I’m betting he wants to wait until they’re old enough to have an open bar at the wedding. Kyle is gonna need to get good and drunk after legally committing to Maci making every decision for him, for the rest of his life. Shoot, she’d probably follow him around in the Afterlife, or work it so that if he’s reincarnated as a monkey, she’s reincarnated as a palm tree, so he forever and always is dependent on her for coconuts and shelter. Whatever you’re into on the subject of post-death, know that Maci is still going to be telling Kyle what he thinks, feels, and will eat in perpetuity.
For now, she just tells Kyle that he’s ready for his own baby, and he’s just scared. Kyle fails to thank her for telling him his thoughts and feelings on bringing children into the world, and she goes on to explain that Bentley doesn’t need her anymore. It’s totally natural for her to feel the tug of wanting another baby at this point. After two years of someone needing you, and after two years of having that intense, physical bond that a mother (biological or not) and an infant have to have for survival, sure, it’s hard to let go. Especially for a gal like Maci, who is into control and who’s extremely maternal. Maci is a Mother, she’s one of those personality types where mothering comes very naturally and enjoyably so let’s be fair here. With Bentley being where he is developmentally, Maci’s perception that she’s in a stable relationship, and with her recent decision to drop the façade of school, it makes perfect sense why she’d be wanting another baby so badly. She tells Kyle she wants a little girl, and that she wants a baby she doesn’t have to share. “I have to give this one away half the time.”
Kyle, you want a baby. No, seriously. Trust me. No? hmmm… Look into my eyes. You. Want. A. Baby. Rahhht. Nee-ow.
Tsk, tsk, tsk. The part that everyone else knows here, is that she and Kyle are super young, and their relationship is also very young. They may have known each other as kids and grown up together, but they aren’t kids. The MTV money will run out, and they have neither education nor employment. Until they get a little more time under their belts together, and a little more time to get a clearer picture of their individual futures, Maci needs to slow her baby-making roll. Kyle suggests that they get a baby puppy, but Maci says, ‘dogs stink.’ Kyle and I both exclaim back, “Babies stink!” only I do it at my TV, and Kyle does it on my TV. Maci says you can clean up a baby, but dogs are always gross. Well, you can clean up a baby, but for about 7-10 years, you are looking at a lot of vom whereas with a dog, they only yak when you forget to get dog food, so you feed them half of your breakfast burrito and they eat it too fast. The inability to always remember to go get dog food before the feed store closes is about 100% of the reason that I have a dog, and not a baby. Tracking, Kyle. I am tracking with you, homie.
Kyle goes to lunch with a buddy and they have what is possibly the most impossible-to-understand conversation, ever. At least, I think that’s what they said. That’s the gist of it, okay? Now, don’t get me wrong. I love their accents. Tennesseans have some of the most familiar and soothing drawls to me. I grew up around the Ozarks, and Tennessee has a deeper, slower version of that inflection. But these two are impossible to understand, and I think it’s the mumbling, not the accent. Kyle seems to be suddenly a little shy about all of this being on the show. Again, reality shows are real. This is his life. He is barely 20 and sitting in a Chattanooga diner, talking to one of his boys about how his girlfriend is pushing for marriage and more babies. But I can barely understand a word of it:
Kyle: “Maycuh wuna buuby an’ ta git murr’d.”
Friend: “Yoo wun tag it murr’d?”
Kyle: “Noaww I’an raiddy fer all ‘at.”
He’s talking, and I’m pretty sure he’s saying he’s not ready for kids, but for all I know, he could be saying he’s gonna have a cheeseburger for lunch.
While Kyle talks to his buddy about it, Maci begins her Campaign of Approval. First, she visits with her mom, and confesses that she wants another baby. Her mom takes this in stride, and understands that Maci wants more kids so it makes sense she’d want to not let too much time pass before ‘bringing another one into the mix.’ Maci’s mom is really great in this scene. She guides Maci to the water, and then tells her she’s waiting to hear what Maci really wants… and then Maci says it. She wants a family. Even though Maci is finally direct and honest with her mom, her mom wisely says she can’t say it’s a good idea to have a baby with Kyle right now.
Denied there, Maci moves on to her friends, to see if they will give her the approval she seems to want on this. Man. This Maci storyline would be so different if the origin of the show was ’36 and Pregnant.’ Maci’s mom would be locking her and Kyle in the bedroom until Grandchild #2 was achieved, and Maci’s friends would be telling her that it’s probably her last chance, and sticking their feet in their mouths by says, “I’m so glad I didn’t wait to have babies. I don’t know where I’d have the energy for an infant right now!” And there would be a LOT of Sheryl Crowe. This is a Jennifer Aniston movie, isn’t it? Sorry. I may have missed that one while I was busy not having babies with every boyfriend du jour at age 20.
The exact moment these ladies realize Maci is That Girl, who they will be consoling over a guy forever and always, except during the times she’s happy… and they will never see her during those times because she’ll be busy with her man.
Maci’s friends are nothing short of Kim-level bug-eyed over her saying that she wants a baby now and with Kyle. She tries to sell it that Kyle’s already Bentley’s half-dad, then she goes on to insist that Kyle is ready and wants a baby, but that he just doesn’t know it yet. Gurl, if he doesn’t know it yet, then he doesn’t want a baby! My logic is infallible! One of her friends cuts loose on her, and tells it to her like it is: 1. You’re still hurt about Ryan’s early lack of parenting Bentley; 2. Kyle has to want a baby now, not later, if she’s gonna have a baby now with him. Maci knows she’s not going to hear what she wants to hear, so she quietly insists he wants a baby and then cries. Le sigh. Maci needs to work on her game face.
Finally, we’re back home, and MTV has given us two lingering shots of the front of Maci’s place, and there’s a ‘For Sale’ sign in front, which is confusing to me. I wonder if she really bought the place, or if it’s for sale, and she’s just living there to film, because it’s a good location and has good light or something. I wonder about this, but I’m far too lazy to Google it. Inside, we see Maci trying one more time to talk Kyle into letting her give him the baby he doesn’t want yet, because he’s scerr’d, but totally will as soon as he sees it and shit. She asks Bentley again if he wants a baby, and Bentley says he wants a baby truck. Kyle leaves the room to call Chat State and try to get in on a promising study of male birth control. Hey, at least she has chicken!
I should save this one for last, because it’s always my favorite, but I go in order of how they show up on the TV and Amber is up next! Amber’s finally getting Leah back, after she’s been gone for a month. Amber’s segments have this very out-of-character, very forceful soundtrack that I’m not understanding at all. It seriously sounds like I imagine 36 & Pregnant would sound, if that was a show, and if it aired on VH1. It’s all happy, homey and it’s intentional. Amber’s place is ready and she does have it done up really cutely for Leah. It’s pink and princess-city. Amber’s friend Clinton is helping her move the final bits into the newest place she’s going to trash, and turn into a drug den.
So far, so good.
Clinton. I always want to say his name like the aliens on the Simpsons said ‘Clin-ton’ in one of the Treehouse of Horror episodes. They’re aliens, dressed up as Bill Clinton and Bob Dole, and they… well, never mind. I’m geeking out. Ya know what my friend Myna N. Possession would geek out over? Amber’s Clinton. Not because he’s clearly into World of Warcraft, but because he’s an MMA fighter! Impose your will, Clinton! I bet he’s one of those dudes though, who’s super dominant in real life, and all alpha and shit and then when he goes home, he wants an abusive woman to jerk him around. No? Well, that’s what he’s going to get with Amber, so I hope he chalks it up as An Experience and gets good stories from it.
I’m gonna lay it out though, that something’s rotten in the State of Denmark. Amber didn’t have custody of Leah for a month, ostensibly because she was busy getting her place ready. Now, I know nothing about custody or CPS, but I have a theory. Amber gets busted for the domestic abuse she leveled on Gary. The State steps in and imposes a mandatory no-contact for Amber and Gary, with Gary retaining temporary full custody of Leah. The clock runs out, the State checks on the situation, and Amber’s parental rights are restored in full, with home visits required. I’m not sure what the status of contact with Gary would be at that point, and this is admittedly a theory born of zero knowledge of Indiana law and zero experience of custody issues. A guy did call the cops once on me during a break-up, and I am a child of divorce, but that’s as much as I have for experience in these matters. However. The month-long time frame, and that we’re not really seeing Gary and Amber in scenes together is kind of curious. I guess she saw him at one hand-off at Leah’s birthday, but I have no doubt Amber would blow off the rules is she felt like there wasn’t another option. I have no doubt she was driving when the cameras weren’t around.
Gary and his mom are talking about Leah going back to joint custody, and they look exhausted. Have two more tired looking people ever been shown on this network of tan lines and shiny hard bodies? CPS let Gary know that it’s okay for Leah to go to Amber’s now, and Gary’s telling his mother that he thinks Amber’s learned her lesson. Oh, Honey, no. Oddly though, Gary’s mom seems to agree? All she says about it is that it’s too bad Amber had to learn it the hard way, which makes me think Gary’s mom started off a little rough around the parenting edges and/or it’s just not translating into the fifteen cumulative minutes of Amber that we see each week. It is possible that there was some A to B, here and that Amber won’t continue to run head-first into battle with the upshot being getting all of her guild members killed.
The CPS Caseworker brings Leah to Amber’s new place and again, I want to make my point about the soundtrack here. Leah doesn’t look super comfortable or excited, but the music is demanding that we feel some sense of reunion, and relief about it. Mostly, I want to take Xanax because I know what’s coming is going to be irritating at best, and abusive at worst. Amber’s all dressed up, in pajama pants, which is a terrific way to make the impression on a CPS case worker that you got your ish together.
Instead, Amber’s meds seem to be working today and the scenes we get are genuine. Amber and Leah are having fun playing together, and it’s a nice change of pace to see Amber interacting with her baby, rather than watching Leah play by herself while Amber lolls on the couch, or in bed. Amber, when Leah was a tiny baby, did spend a lot of time with her and played with her a lot. It’s like as soon as Amber thinned out (started doing drugs), which was about the same time Leah started walking and playing on her own, so Amber let it ride and just sort of… quit. Or got carried away with the show and the pace of her life. I believe she’s a small town girl who had some problems and got ahead of herself when she got on a hit show. Because she didn’t have the right tools in place before the show, she certainly doesn’t have them now that she perceives herself to be hot shit and self-important.
Leah’s so stinkin’ cute!
Even though Amber’s not had Leah for a month, Leah’s staying at Gary’s mother’s house for the weekend. I am really hoping it’s because the baby needs some stability, and needs to be sure to be transitioned slowly, not because Amber wanted to have her weekend free. At this point, it’s very sweet the way Amber and Leah are interacting, but it’s a lot like an aunt with her niece. There’s just that feeling that it’s not permanent, that Leah isn’t currently really folded into Amber’s life.
She’s only two, but she already knows Amber will choose Date Night with a beginner MMA fighter over spending time with her. Eff you, Amber.
Amber’s finally getting a break from the exhausting full-time work of being a great mother this weekend, so when Clinton calls her to ask her out, she agrees. She uses her special Flirty Soft Voice, and I think she’s into this cat. He’s Clinton Yunkers, an MMA fighter. I couldn’t find any real stats or anything about him, but he shares with Amber a propensity for violence and a toddler daughter, so it’s a match made in heaven!
Don’t judge. Everybody deserves love. Plus, he’s an MMA fighter, so he will crush you if you make fun of him. Lolololololololol!
They go to dinner, and Amber’s rockin’ her Indiana Chola look. Amber needs a make-over. She could be kind of cute if she’d quit being an example at bad execution of trendiness. There’s definitely something there, but Amber Portwood don’t give a shit. She likes her tight-jeans and her Britney Spears Curious and her jaunty berets. Sadly, she left the beret at home, much to my chagrin. I’m pretty sure they’re having a good date, but it’s hard to tell since they mumble almost as professionally as Kyle. What I do know is that he’s got his black shirt/red tie look, which he last wore at prom, and which he feels like would really impress Amber. He also has a 14 month old daughter, and they’re planning a play date for the tots. Hmmmm…. I wonder if he also JUST got his child back after a month-long domestic violence investigation by the State of Indiana. I also wonder, if he did just get his daughter back, did he also send his child to her other parent’s parents’ house for the weekend while he goes out with his latest soul mate? Because that would be so weird. They seal their future with a kiss, and Clinton? Leeroy Jenkins, son. Surely you can apply the lessons learned in WoW to your real life, right?
Like Bentley, Tyler’s also having some separation anxiety, since Caitlynn’s still at school every day, and he’s just working a little at Dan Good Pizza, killing time before his college classes start in the spring semester. It’s really exciting that Tyler’s heading to college and based on, well, Butch, I’m guessing Tyler may be one of the few people in his family to go collegiate which is why I bet he’s extra excited and antsy to get his higher education on!
This episode though, we’re mostly talking Carly. It’s time to meet with Dawn, the adoption counselor, and get the 6 month update from Brandon and Theresa, which includes new adorable pictures. They mention to Dawn that they are graduating in June, and that since it’s right around the 2 year mark, it’s right around the time that they would be planning an meet-up with Carly. They don’t want Brandon and Theresa to feel obligated to do the next visit at graduation, so they’re just not sure how to ask about it. Dawn suggests a quick paragraph to bring up the idea in the letter they’ll send with Carly’s Christmas gifts. That way, B & T have time to think about it, and it’s a little more casual – a door opening, instead of a specific request. How great are these two kids? They are not Leeroys; they think ahead, they ask advice, and they follow it.
The most well-adjusted teenagers in America.
Speaking of Christmas gifts, it’s shopping time! I’d like to note that they have a white Christmas tree in the a-p-t. It seems so fitting, and I so wish that they did their Christmas cards with them in front of the tree, and Tyler in his all-white Baltierra gear. I’d pay for a copy of that, I would.
As much fun as a big family shopping trip would be, Butch and April are still legally disallowed from hanging out together. Tyler takes Butch and Caitlynn takes April shopping. Butch and Tyler are in the toy section, and Butch has on about nine layers of camouflage, so in other words, he’s looking Tres Michigan Chic. Sadly, his epic rat tail is hidden under his jacket. Sad panda face.
Butch is looking for a present for Carly, and Tyler shows him a big stuffed dog, but he chooses a busy plane thing, at which he declares, “Yeah, she’d be straight with that.” He’s so gangsta, I love it! Then he has a really telling moment and kinda of goes, “Does she even know me? At least she can say Grandpa got me something one year…” It’s one of those times when you can see in a reality show exactly how real someone is. Butch’s reference points on children not being with their parents, on families that aren’t nuclear is one of assuming abandonment. It’s the way he said it that made me think this, and also, this is hard. An adoption arrangement is hard. It’s all new to both families, and there are a lot of working parts to consider. There are a lot of different perspectives that require some sensitivity. Tyler could hear that comment as a dig on the fact that Carly was adopted, but he also could hear it as Butch trying to figure out the whole arrangement and trying to understand it. Tyler kind of ignores the comment and Butch lets it go because, again, he’s trying. They’re all trying. They’re not Leeroy Jenkins type people, and that’s in part why we love them. They are so different from the impetuousness and self-involvement of the other teens on the show.
Pure Michigan Grandpa, I only wish he’d take off his jacket so we can see that award-winning rat tail. Okay, I made that up. But if it hasn’t won any awards yet, it sure as heck should!
April and Caitlynn go shopping, and they manage to get along the entire time. They seem to be a little easier with one another, or possibly April’s chilled on the morning brewskis. They come home with a ton of toys! I find it hard to believe those are all for Carly though; remember, Tyler has nieces and nephews, Caitlynn has at least her little brother. If all those toys are for Carly, I sincerely hope that they also arranged for Mayflower to come move everything from Michigan to the unidentified location in the Southeast where Carly lives!
I wish I had a better shot of it, but you get the drift. Now picture them with Caitlynn in a holiday kitten sweater, and Tyler in Baltierra white. Boom. Merry Christmas to me!
A little later, Caitlynn and Tyler are talking and she brings it up to him that she got a call from Dawn. Tyler’s mom Kim somehow got Brandon and Theresa’s number, and called them to ask about graduation. This freaked them out, of course. Their number was specifically only for Caitlynn and Tyler. In no way do I think there’s any kind of paranoia over Caitlynn and Tyler’s family on the part of Brandon and Theresa. I think that they are people who know that they’re a big part on a TV show, even when unseen, and they set boundaries to accommodate that fact. They know what they signed up for, but they’re going to stick to the rules they set for themselves to protect themselves and Carly from any unwanted attention. It allows them to participate in both the Orginal project, and in Caitlynn and Tyler’s lives but with the boundaries in place that they as parents of toddler see fit to have, in order to maintain what they feel is within the bell curve.
Kim comes over and they talk to her about the over-stepping of the boundaries. Tyler tell her that he added a piece in his Christmas letter, apologizing for Kim over-stepping. She’s defensive, and upset with herself, and this scene is very much why this show still works at times. She genuinely feels terrible, and isn’t sure what to say because in no way did she mean to cause any tensions or troubles in the relationship. She is Tyler’s mom though, and as such, she’s really proud of him and she’s really trying to do things for him that she thinks he’d like. Also as Tyler’s mother, she’s Carly’s grandmother. She’s having a hard time going through Caitlynn and Tyler, to go through Brandon and Theresa, to be able to express to Carly that her extended biological family loves her very much, too. She’s used to having her grandbabies a few minutes away, to seeing them often. I can imagine that again, there’s a curious place to suss out for Kim, as she too tries to make her experience, her familial reference points change so that they fit with the adoption arrangement.
I don’t understand how I freaked them out. Oh. Well.
They debrief with Dawn, and it’s reiterated that there is a sacred bond, that everyone is trying. My best friend has always said, and I love this, that we all always do our best. Mistakes get made, but you have to assume that people are doing their best every time. It may not be as good as your best next week, or next year, but it’s your best for here and now. Everyone in this family, from Butch to Brandon and beyond, is doing his or her best. They all see how luck Carly is, and they all want to learn and grow to make a complicated best even better. This is why we love them so, so much. They’re boring but they’re, in Butch’s paraphrased gansta voice, ‘straight with us.’
What can I say about Farrah this week, except that it’s all boring, all predictable, and as Leeroy Jenkins as Maci’s wanting to have Kyle’s baby even though he can’t enunciate and neither of them have jobs. Same thing here, only Farrah doesn’t want to have Kyle’s baby. She wants to move to California, or maybe Arizona. Michael takes her to lunch with Sophia and she breaks the news to him. She says she wants to move somewhere warmer, which is legit but then she says she wants to move somewhere where there are more jobs, which is a crock. There are more jobs in entertainment in California, and again, the crack in reality vs. show reality show. Farrah thinks Teen Mom is her in to being celebrity skin, so she wants to move to California or Arizona, because there are more opportunities for her to stay in entertainment. It has nothing to do with the restaurant industry, but I will give her that it’s warm. Be careful what you wish for, Farrah. It’s so hot in Tucson that my friend’s rearview mirror melted off her windshield. It just gave up.
Michael tells her that moving so far away from her family and her support network won’t be a cake in a walk, that it’s hard to move and that Farrah needs to consider Sophia’s attachment to her family. Predictably, all the progress Farrah had made toward being a decent, adult-sounding human being go out the window and all she really has is, “Michael-uh, don’t you think I KNOW that? Gawd. Why are you talking to me, you stupid little creature! I know everything-uh! Leeroy Jenkins-uh, GAWD.” Farrah Fail #1.
Farrah does some pre-research for her trip to California, and she’s on the phone with a realtor to try to set up some apartment viewings. She likes Santa Monica, but she doesn’t think the realtor is understanding that she needs to be in a good neighborhood, near good schools. “Uh, not schools-uh, pre-schools? Like, my daughter is very young (rolls eyes – have you not seen my SHOW, gawd, Leeroy Jenkins-uh). She hangs up the phone, shaking her head in disbelief that a stranger on the West Coast, thousands of miles from Omaha, didn’t know that she has a baby daughter and needs pre-schools. The nerve of that a-hole, gawd! Farrah Fail #2.
Farrah, captured in her most natural state. Gaawd! I can’t believe you didn’t know I meant pre-school when I said I wanted to be near good schools-uh!
Michael has wisely clued Debra in to Farrah’s relocation plans, and I say ‘wisely’ because if he had kept that from Debra, she’d escalate from meta emasculation to full-on Lorena Bobbitt madness. Debra is a woman who needs to be in the know, and Debra wears the only pants in this entire family. This is a woman who returned her grown daughter’s puppy to the pet store. (Ashley story from last week – Ashley used to rent the place Farrah rents, and I got the feeling that the puppy story happened when Ashley was an adult, not a child living under Debra’s actual roof. Yikes.) Debra wants to know why Farrah wants to move, like an reasonably caring mother and grandmother would like to know these things.
Instead of answering, Farrah tells Debra that she doesn’t need to be baby-sat, and she doesn’t need to go through her parents to make decisions about her life. She sounds like any given 18 year old who has severe maturity issues and a big attitude problem. But. She’s not any given 18 year old. She’s got a kid, so all of her decisions affect Sophia, and she’s on television, so her assholery and dimly-lit non-answers are broadcast internationally and Sophia will be able to point many fingers at her mother in about 14 years when she hits her own teenage skid. Maybe this is why Debra looks so smug all the time, lately. She knows Farrah is as laughable as Leeroy, and now Farrah’s getting educated and independent enough that Debra can leave her on her own, thus avoiding some of the consequences of Farrah running into battle with no real plan.
Or maybe it’s because she really doesn’t have to do anything to look like Mother Teresa. Farrah is going off about how she’s angry that they live in Iowa, and it’s not her fault that they chose to live in one area. She’s mad that she has to go through them for everything, and there’s some pretty sweet editing where like, moments before you hear her demand, “Will you watch Sophia this weekend?” It’s not a question though, it’s like she’s demanding it. I think it was edited in, and I thank MTV muchly for that. Debra hilariously responds to this outburst by saying to Farrah, “But we’re not nomads.” Eventually, Debra makes the point that one person’s actions affect an entire family, and that Farrah needs to consider moving far away very, very carefully both because of all the support that Farrah has in her family, and because of the mutual attachment the family has with Sophia. If Farrah would bring it down about `19 notches, she may be able to have a dialogue about this with her parents, but instead, they just quit trying and begin to consider how it actually may be a quite pleasant change of pace to have Farrah further away. Farrah Fail #3
Farrah? You can’t be a nomad and have hair this perfectly feathered, honey. Just look at my hair. We are not nomads.
The irony is not lost on me that in order to go to California to scout apartments and four-year restaurant management programs, Farrah leaves Sophia with Michael and Debra for the weekend. I wish they would have told her no, they won’t babysit. A little reality check would do her so much good right now. For example: “Will you watch Sophia this weekend while I pursue moving very far away without a job or a good reason?” “No.” “…” “That’s right. Find a sitter, pay for a sitter, agonize over whether your sitter is doing things the way you would, and fret over how much Sophia misses you, because that’s how it’s gonna be every single day in California.”
She travels to LA, and the suitcase she packs is not nearly big enough for her clothes, blow dryer, and mongo attitude problem. She meets with a realtor and tours a few apartments. The rents mentioned are like, “$1.7k – $2k, and really for a two bedroom in LA, I’d guess that’s about average, for a place that’s more residential than a studio in West Hollywood might be. She and the realtor are making conversation, and it’s most like, “My daughter is 20 months old-uh. I don’t like this at. all. Um, yeeah. That? Would have to change. She’s the teeniest bit less bitch-curled, but, well, not really. She’s not making this work at all. Farrah Fail #4
Listen up, Nebraska, and you better be tracking here because I’m only saying it once. I was here first, and I will cut you if you EVEN try to pull that bull-ish attitude on me, understand?
She does take some time to meet with the good people at West Los Angeles College. She learns that she would be a good candidate to finish a four year degree in Culinary Management, and that they do offer a variety of learning options, like online classes. They also have onsite child care, for when she’s in class. This is the one time in the whole episode that Farrah isn’t a raging jerk. I think that she actually does like working on her education, or maybe it’s that she likes being educated. For whatever reason, Farrah seems to totally respond to the admissions counselor at the college, which is good, because she was really giving me a headache in this episode.
Helen, the admissions counselor. I wonder if Debra could send Farrah away to live with Helen for awhile. This was the only person in the whole episode to whom Farrah was even remotely decent in tone and attitude. Stay golden, Helen.
After all that drama though, she calls home to let her family know that she doesn’t really like LA. Leeroy Jenkins, Farrah. She needs to see how flying in face-first with no real plan will get your buddies killed. Yes, you may have the chicken, but that’s all ya got, kid, and you could have so much more if you’d work with your family instead of charging out into the world with no plans and not enough experience to survive the inevitable battles.
See you next Tuesday… for another new Teen Mom! I’m genuinely looking forward to learning more about this Clinton Yunkers, and still waiting for Maci to get served with the custody petition. Come ON show! It’s Christmas joy joy time on your calendar, but on ours, it’s earthquakes, hurricanes, sewer roaches, and melting rearview mirrors! Give us something to love in these August dog days!