I have recently experienced what many would call an awakening—an epiphany. I am willingly and graciously recanting some—er–statements that I posted in an earlier blog. I’ll let you figure out which one. It’s my prerogative, after all, as a woman, to change my mind every once in awhile. And it proves that I am human.
Last evening, while many of my contemporaries were enjoying the finer things in life–like, oh, maybe the aroma of a good cigar, an elegant dinner with dear friends, a quiet moment shared with a lover, or were simply curled up with a good book, I was in a hotel room outside of Cleveland, Ohio (yep, the same one) watching television. I’m not proud, and I’m not–I’m not going to pretend that this time around I wasn’t utterly fascinated with last night’s repeat of the season finale of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo—the wedding—pardon me, the commitment ceremony episode where Mama June, after nine years of shacking up, marries her baby’s daddy Sugar Bear. Nor will I make fun of everything that transpired during the episode, just the highlights.
The show truly is like a bad car wreck in terms of voyeuristic affinities. As you’re watching, you know you shouldn’t be—not only should you be doing something more productive with your time, like, well, just about…anything, but the peek through the keyhole of this family’s existence, this intimate snapshot of the day-to-day life involving this family is, well, downright embarrassing at times. However, once the viewer experiences the essence of Mama June and the mischievous charm of her young’uns, it simply can’t be helped. Who does that stuff—the farting, the snorting of snot, the scratching of bellies and bums, the belching, and the cussing? Who but June and her lovely daughters, that’s who.
For the uninitiated, the reality TV series Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is a spin-off of the network’s (and I’m refusing to name the network because absolutely no learning is going on; its just prurience) makes-you-want-to-bitch-slap-that-mother offering Toddlers and Tiaras. Here Comes Honey Boo Boo’s principal player is Alana Thompson, a.k.a. Honey Boo Boo, a frequent flyer of the child beauty pageant circuit who sashays her chubby little self across the stage at various pageant venues that take place a half tank of gas and a few hour’s truck drive away from her McIntyre, Georgia home. You know the house—it’s the one next to the railroad track.
Mama June, while working in some factory, got her foot runned over by a forklift so now she has a wonky foot that she calls her ‘forklift foot’. It aint pretty. You can find it in Google images. Ew.
Sugar Bear is Alana’s daddy. He is pure redneck. Nuff said.
One of the girls, Anna, I think, but they call her Chickadee, has a kid—a baby named Kaitlyn (I’m not sure how Anna spells it this week). The baby is passed around the sisters like a little doll.
Punkin (sic) is another one of the sisters, and she’s kinda’ fat. She has masculine tendencies, so don’t be surprised if she up and exchanges her panties for boxers or briefs.
There’s another chubby sister, but at this point they all seem to sound and look the same, so I’m not remembering anything special ‘bout her.
Honey Boo Boo, the show’s namesake, is also kinda fat like Punkin and likes to grab her belly and make it talk. She’s Sugar Bear’s daughter. And June’s.
And now here’s the Hillbilly Highlights of last night’s episode:
• Mama June wore a cammo-themed wedding dress.
• Sugar Bear wore cammo pants and an orange vest.
• The older girls were bridesmaids, and Boo Boo and Baby Kaitlyn were little flower girls.
• Kaitlyn was pulled down the aisle in a wagon.
• The dog was the first one down the aisle, and I kept waiting for it to take a dump.
• Or at least take a leak on Sugar Bear’s pant leg.
• They wrote their own vows.
• Sugar Bear cried.
• I cried.
Yes. I cried.
Now that I have delivered my stuck-up, snotty, snooty, bourgeois assessment of this family, let me share with you the takeaway. Boo Boo’s family, for all of their coarse manners and common language, genuinely love, laugh, and live for one another. Yes, I realize that one of June’s daughters is a teen mom, but for an ardent proponent of life like myself, I am profoundly grateful that the young lady made the choice to bring the child into this world and did not march off to Planned Parenthood in order to “take care of it” (such an oxymoron, don’t you think?). Sorry, folks, but that took guts.
Despite her daughter’s less than pristine virtue, June is a good mother, in her own coupon clipping way. She may not have a nutritionist’s grasp of the benefits of a healthy diet, but she certainly makes sure everyone is fed. The family eats dinner together (albeit on the sofa). Sugar Bear, despite his dearth of visible teeth (they’re in there—I checked, you just can’t see them), loves June. For a man with three stepdaughters, he doesn’t play favorites, treating all of the girls as if they were his own.
Their reality may not be my reality, but it is real. This is verisimilitude in its purest form. So if you tell me that you’ve never farted in front of anyone, you’ve never been spied scratching your itchy butt, you’ve never attempted to burp the alphabet, nor shot a snot rocket out of your nose, go ahead and stick up that oh-so perfect NPR listening, public television watching nose of yours at the Boo Boos of the world.
As for me, I can’t help myself. I think they’re wonderful. Just don’t call it a ‘biscuit’.