In the same way laws find special jurisdiction up beyond the clouds, so do my own rules. When I’m on a plane they just seem to, forgive me, fly out the window. I buy junk food, read junk literature, and take advantage of the junk TV. All this to say, on my recent flight to New York I watched an entire episode of “Naked and Afraid”.
If you haven’t heard of this show, let me assure you, it is almost exactly as gimmicky and fascinating as it sounds. I’m sure I’m not alone when I admit that I watched a whole episode in rapture at the perfect placement of every cloudy rectangle, waiting for them to slip, just once. Of course, a man and a woman left alone together for three weeks are going to create drama regardless, but when you strip them and put them in agitating circumstances they begin arguing like an old married couple within minutes.
It’s quite satisfying in the shallowest way possible.
So, I was laughing at these people bemoaning a poor night’s sleep and I suddenly thought, “A veteran mother would rule this show.” And as I shifted the boy to my other arm and ate my peanut M&M’s I realized that this is exactly why you would never find me there, because I have been there and done that. For as any mother can tell you, the first few weeks of motherhood can pretty much be labeled “Naked and Afraid”.
Let me draw the parallel for you.
For starters, sure, you’ve seen this particular show and the ravages it carries for others, but you, well, your show will be different. You took a class. You are a survivor. You will be the best contestant ever. And so, you are blissfully hopeful when they cart you to this foreign seemingly beautiful place. But then, you are asked to take your clothes off before strangers and are subsequently introduced to another naked human being and told to survive together for the next three weeks. Make no mistake; there is no thriving possible in this place, only survival. You will have no sleep, you will be hungry, you will be thirsty, and, yes, there will be very, very much drama.
So, congratulations new Mommas! You have been selected for “Naked and Afraid”! You will test your limits! You will learn what you are truly capable of! You may even begin an irrational fight with your partner about not being able to bring you a coconut! But, for sure, you will never be the same again!
This is reality … TV.