Thursday, October 20, 2016

Close to Home

There's this t.v. show I like; I've mentioned it before-- 90 Day Fiance. I know, I know. Even the name sounds ridiculous.

[1st Side Note: The premise of the show is this: Each couple has 90 days (regulated by U.S. law) to get married once they are granted a K-1 Visa. Most of these couples meet online or on a trip and then one of them moves to the U.S. during that 90 Day period. The show documents the process. Kind of fascinating, right?].

[2nd Side Note: At some point, we must truly own who we are to live our best lives (at least, that's what I believe). We all do things that aren't glamorous, so let's just let it all hang out. This is one of my things.]

Hey, I never said I was too cool to watch TLC.

Anyway, the reason I'm writing about the show is this: I recently realized a major reason why I like it so much, and it has nothing to do with it being crazy or juicy or unrealistic. It's because, in many ways, I can relate to it. It's actually not unrealistic. It's real people, doing what some consider 'crazy,' and others consider... life.

I didn't meet my husband online. I'm not from another country than he is, and neither of us needed to get special Visas to get married. In that way, I feel fortunate. How lucky I am to have met my husband at the mere age of 20, in college! How quaint!

As I watch the women on the show, however, the ones who have traveled across the world to [hopefully] be with the person they love, well, it gives me pause. These women from all parts of the globe may have thick accents and may be struggling to assimilate to a new culture, but when I watch them talk to their families on Skype, it hit me: they are me. I am them.

I live across the country from my family. I am homesick every day. Yes, seriously. Every. Day.

I hate flying, and yet I've done it every single year of my life, countless times.
Because that's what you do for family.

I try to Facetime with one of them at least a couple of times a week. Just like the women on the show, I chose to move here to be with my now-husband, and I had to make a life for myself in a new land. I did choose it, and with no regrets. But that doesn't mean it was an easy decision to make, and that it isn't still hard.

I did have it easier than the women on the show do. I speak English. I have a driver's license and a college degree. I don't experience culture shock (wait, that's not entirely true-- I do experience Minnesota culture shock now and then, even after living here for 12 years), but not in the extreme amounts the women on the show do).

Still, I understand their vulnerability, and despite all our differences, I feel a surprising sense of kinship with them. Sitting on our big yellow couch in the evenings, I find myself rooting for these couples, even though my heart has been calloused against all the failing "reality show couples." I want it to work out for them.

Because while their trials and tribulations are televised to entertain, they have also connected to me in another way. Say what you will about 'reality shows,' but they aren't always as "unreal" as we all like to say.

~Julia @ Frantic Mama

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  1. I love watching that show! And yes you are right, it's really not that crazy what they are doing. It's just different to what the "normal" should be. :)

    1. It's such a good show, isn't it? Reality shows get such a bad rap, but there is a lot of humanity in that one. Thank you for reading :).

  2. Oh! I don't know much ( or anything ) about the show but I think I will be streaming it through Netflix soon! I understand well the culture shock though! My husband is from another part of the country, his family speaks a language different from mine! The food is different, I have had to learn to cook all over again! And the common language so my husband and I can communicate is English! We met in college too. And ran away too because our families weren't in agreement at all! I love how we got together and it makes it so much more precious. Now for love my husband will have to watch the show with me!

    1. You have tell me if you watch it! How romantic to 'run away together!' Ours wasn't quite as dramatic, but I sure am grateful I met him. My husband humors me and watches my shows with me too :).


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