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TWOP 10: Life Lessons My TV Taught Me

by Kate Rogan July 11, 2008 6:00 am
TWOP 10: Life Lessons My TV Taught Me The producers responsible for The Baby Borrowers will be airing a reunion special on August 6th in order to defend their show and prove that it's "more than just entertainment." Apparently, in light of all the recent (lousy) press, executives feel they need to prove that the show is really teaching teenage couples -- and, by proxy, America -- an important life lesson about parenting. With this in mind, I came up with my own list of the ten invaluable life lessons TV has afforded me. I don't mean to brag, but think I've got the world pretty well figured out. And I didn't even have to leave my couch!

1) How to deal with family dysfunction
Grey's Anatomy provides us with an essential model for familial baggage: If your dad slaps you in public, your mom is crazy, and your long-lost sister can't stop breathing down your neck, it's probably not worth trying to repair the broken family bonds. If your family is as dysfunctional as Meredith Grey's, do yourself a favor and leave well enough alone. Spare yourself the aggravation and ditch the crazies. Remember the saying "you are who you hang out with"? (I'm paraphrasing.)

2) How to land a fiancé
If you're going to date, do like they do on The Bachelorette! Fill up a room with twenty eligible bachelors who find no better satisfaction then being the last man standing with a boutonnière and your hand in marriage. If we've learned anything from DeAnna, it's that playing the field is all right if you're looking for the man of your dreams.

3) How to adopt a healthy body image
So what if your wife thinks you're a lard-ass? King of Queens' Doug Heffernan is right: if you don't want to go to the Overeaters Anonymous meeting, you don't have to. "Fat" is a relative term anyway. If you really want to implement a work-out plan, take your donut into the living room, sit your ass on the couch and watch some television -- it's much more satisfying than an afternoon spent dripping sweat at the gym or sipping on a wheat grass shake.

4) How to manage obnoxious in-laws
Never let 'em see you crack. Everybody Love's Raymond's Debra Barone did OK for a while, hiding her loathing for her overbearing, opinionated, mother-in-law under a smiley veneer. But the power dynamic shifted when she let on how she really felt. Yelling at your mother-in-law only leads to mortifyingly embarrassing apologies that you don't want to give. Take a page from Ray's handbook and just avoid them.

5) How to determine what's "cheating"
Look no further than the classic Friends episode, and learn from poor Ross Gellar's mistake: If you are on a break, you cannot hook up with anyone else because it is cheating and she will find out. There is no debating this one.

6) How to handle your frenemies
Generally speaking, it's wise not to follow any of The Hills protagonist Lauran Conrad's cues, and handling ex-bff drama is no exception. Since she can't seem to give up a night at local hot spots like Les Deux and Goa, running into her nemesis Heidi is a common occurrence. Unfortunately combining a few too many glasses of champagne and some pent-up rage can be a critical mistake. The result: overuse of the phrase, "You know what you did!"

7) How to get ahead even if you're a talentless hack
If you have no talent whatsoever, you can still appear on America's Got Talent, which teaches us that everyone has a calling, be it smashing cans with your breasts or teaching pigs to paint. If you want to be the hot topic at the water cooler or are hoping to become a YouTube sensation, it's worth filling out an application.

8) How to prioritize
Sex and the City had it right: It doesn't matter if you have ten dollars left in your pocket, can't make this months rent and have a writing career that's not paying the bills. If you have a plastic card with your name on it, you can buy those shoes (and if you own the shoes, everything else will fall into place!). Carrie Bradshaw has taught us well about the importance of style and what it means to look good, even if it means bankruptcy.

9) How to cut your losses
Dancing With the Stars is an instructive case of "do as they say, not as they do." If you're anything like Billy Ray Cyrus or Steve Guttenberg and don't have a rhythmic bone in your body, don't showcase your lack of talent in front of millions. No professional can magically make your hips sway from side to side if you just can't feel the music. Instead take a seat at the party -- sometimes it is better to be a wallflower than the one the office can't stop talking about the next day.

10) How to raise a kid
Screw The Baby Borrowers. Who doesn't love the mother-daughter dynamic exemplified in Gilmore Girls? Rory and Lorelai talked endlessly, laughed together and grew to be best friends. Sure, Lorelei may have been a mere teenager when she had Rory, but she sure did something right. Rory didn't turn out half bad. I mean, I hear Yale is a pretty decent school. I guess all those long talks at Luke's diner and old-fashioned movie nights paid off.

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