June 12, 2012

The Real Competition

It's Tuesday again which means tonight you'll find me and the fam all huddled around the TV watching Design Star (8pm CST on HGTV). Bex Hale is one of the designers competing this season for her own design show and she happens to be an old friend of mine. She was in the church youth group way back in our high school days. She was always gorgeous, super talented (an artist, a singer, an actress), outgoing, fun and commanded attention wherever she went. You know, one of THOSE people--if I didn't like her so much I would have to hate her just on principal. And she hasn't changed; she's still gorgeous, still funny and still has talent oozing out of her pores.

Each week the designers have to compete in a different design challenge for the hope of being safe again for another week. The losers are booted off with the words, "We will not be producing your show." Thank you and goodbye. The winner will get to have his or her own show on HGTV. There is also an online voting competition where this season's "fan favorite" will win an online show. I am happy to say that I love all of Bex's designs, both in her online portfolio and in each episode, so I don't feel the least bit guilty about giving her all of my votes.

As I watch the designers pull off tasks that would be impossible for me to even contemplate considering my house is decorated in 21st century cast-offs that don't match, I wonder why someone hasn't come up with a competition show for those of us who have no talents, those of us who don't know the first thing about paint or lighting, who can't tell the difference between molding chocolate or fondant, and who would rather spend their time eating the cupcakes instead of making them look like miniature castles. How about a competition for those of us who can't sing OR dance, couldn't sell ice cubes in Hell, can't sew a zipper and like our Ben & Jerry's too much to consider losing all the nice insulation it's given us?

I would like to propose The Slacker Games, a competition for REAL people who must compete in the type of mundane, every day tasks that we will never otherwise get any credit for being so good at. Here are the challenges:

1. Practice Night Dinner
The challenge? You have 45 minutes--the time after soccer/dance/choir practice and before church/football/homework--to come up with a semi-nutritious dinner for your family. The catch? It's a week before payday and all you have left in your kitchen is ketchup, pickles, a box of Hamburger Helper and a wrinkly apple. You will be immediately disqualified for turning to your local drive thru for help.

2. Vacation Packing
The challenge? Your family is going on a 7 day vacation to a resort. You must pack enough clothes and toiletries to cover all scenarios--sun, swimming, hiking, and even the possibility of rain--you must throw in books and games enough to keep them occupied in down times without relying on electronics since this is supposed to be family bonding time, and you must also throw in snacks for the trip since airlines don't provide meals anymore and you can't afford the $10 nuggets at the airport McDonald's. The catch? You must pack everything in only 3 suitcases because the airlines now charge a minimum of $25 per bag to check in extra luggage. You must also limit your carry-ons because you will be too busy stripping off everyone's shoes, belts and dignity at security to keep up with a lot of bags.

3. The Impromptu Mother-In-Law Visit
The challenge? Your mother-in-law, who has never found you good enough for her beloved son, calls to say she "happens to be in the neighborhood" and will be at your door in 15 minutes. You must race around like a speed addicted squirrel stowing stuff out of sight and swiping dust off surfaces with the hem of your shirt. The catch? You've neglected all the housework the last week or so due to vacation/sick kids/apathy and now have quadruple the work you normally would. Points are deducted for stashing dirty dishes in the oven or smelly laundry under the bed. She is your mother-in-law; she will snoop.

I could throw in more challenges like folding fitted sheets (I would rock this category), grocery bag carry-in (how many of those bags can YOU carry?), staying dry while bathing the kids (this one might be near impossible), schedule coordination (3 kids, 3 practice locations, 2 parents), and my favorite--concentration. This is where you have to complete a task that requires reading and remembering while all your children are having different conversations with you at the same time, and your husband has just come home wanting attention and dinner.

There are so many more things we could add. It would be fun to watch regular people compete in the things we are doing every day anyway. But honestly, I'm not sure any of us would be willing to tear ourselves away from Celebrity Rehab long enough to to compete.

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