Dropdown menu

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Who's your baby daddy?

I was at the gym the other day and I had forgotten to charge my iPod, so I was at the mercy of the gym entertainment system. Namely, the Maury show. I must just choose the wrong times to go to the gym, because every time I'm there, either Maury or Jerry Springer is on. And it's always the same topic- determining if man A, B, C, or however many guys is the father of some poor innocent baby.

My first thought at watching the drama was, "between Maury and Jerry, haven't we figured out the paternity of every baby in America by now?"

I honestly don't understand our fascination with people going on television to air the drama of the baby mama. Because it's always the same- name calling, accusations, people acting like total jerks, and then the big reveal. Some days, the man is triumphant at his vindication, other days, the woman gets to revel in the knowledge that she knew the daddy all along.

Which is my question... why would someone be willing to go on these shows? I'd like to think that if the father of my children ever denied it, there'd be no going on television to prove it. I'd do it the old fashioned way- court. Where I'd prove paternity and get enough child support from the jerk that he'd think twice about where he put it in the future. But maybe that's just me. I guess I do enough humiliating things on my own that I don't need to do it on live TV.

The more I thought about this, the more it bothered me. Do these women have such low self esteem that they think these televised revelations will somehow make their lives better? And why are they so desperate for love that they would tearfully tell a man that all she wants is to be a family with him again even though he's just sat there and told everyone in the audience, live and at home, that he's been cheating and has no intention of stopping? I feel bad for these women. Not that I'm the poster child of high self esteem, on the contrary, I'm on the low end of the scale myself. How low do you have to get to want to be treated like this so publicly?

Then it occurred to me that for a lot of these people, this is their one chance to be SEEN. For their stories to be told, and for those fifteen minutes, their stories to MATTER.

I have to wonder, though, what happens when they go home. Is anything changed? Sure, they know the identity of kids' father, but is that knowledge enough? Are they able to take that knowledge and move forward with their lives and make something good and positive with it?

I don't know the answer.

But what I do know is that the sense of emptiness and desperation that makes people want to go on a television show to air their dirty laundry isn't going to go away just because they get their appearance. And it makes me sad. Because they fail to realize that there is a God who SEES them and who says that they MATTER.

And as much as I thought when I got the idea to write a funny article about how ridiculous it is that all these people are STILL going on these shows to prove paternity. And that we're still watching them. But the more I think about it, the more I realize it's not funny at all.

The truth is, as easy as it is to point at these people and say, "wow, they *so* have it wrong," a lot of us miss the boat too. We want to be seen, and we want to matter, and we try to meet those needs through all sorts of crazy ways other than the only way it will ever work.

God sees us. We matter to Him. Why is it so hard for us all to live that out?


Michele Cushatt said...

So true, Danica. We're all so desperate to know we matter. Isaiah 43:1-4

Robbie Iobst said...

Fame, even Maury fame, is just as attractive to some folks as eating an extra piece of chocolate cake is attractive to others. Okay, me. :0) It's all comes from the same thing tho, trying to fill something in us that only God can fill. Great post Danica. When I saw the title, I was intrigued to say the least. :0)

Danica Favorite said...

Michele, I'm so glad you posted that verse! I was thinking about what you had said the other night, but couldn't remember the verse.

Robbie, it's very true. I wouldn't mind a piece of chocolate cake either. Want to share? ;)

Eva Maria Hamilton said...

Very thoughtful post Danica. There are lots of shows on the air that make me wonder why. But in this case, I wonder if when these people sign up for the show if they are treated so nicely (more kindly than they are used to) and that's what sucks them in.

Danica Favorite said...

Eva, that could be... but surely they've seen enough of the shows that they'd know what they were in for. I think if Maury or Jerry called me up, I'd say no, even though I KNOW who fathered my children.

It's just sad, that they'd think that little of themselves that they'd need that attention.