Last week, some colleagues and I were discussing buying media (it’s our jobs). One woman was describing a reality show host whose name she couldn’t remember: She was blonde, maybe or maybe not still on the air, was she a cook, might've started as a Real Housewife?
Ah yes this will be an easy puzzle, I thought.
Me: “Oh, hmm a real housewife that cooks and is blonde? Which city?”
Her: “I’m not sure, New York or something? I think she had sisters?”
Me: “Oh, Dina Manzo. New Jersey. Yeah, she had an interior decorating show.”
I won the puzzle. Figured it out in a matter of seconds. But later it started to bother me. How many Real Housewives could I name off the top of my head? 20, at least. And all of the Kardashians. Countless terrible VH1 dating shows. The cast of one or two "Real Housewives" spin-offs.
Then I thought about how many fine artists I could name, on the spot, without the help of Google: Uhhh, five? Concert pianists: nope. Ballerinas: one. But I sure remember those Housewives.
I haven’t had cable in four years. I spent so much time soaking my brain in horseshit that will never matter. Now it’s time to replace the horseshit with something else. With art, literature, conversation, and music. Eventually those things probably won’t matter either, but they make me feel good, warm my soul when it gets colder out, teach me something to teach my little girl—and that matters right now. I’m working on prioritizing experiences over entertainment.
On Thursday, I’ll be at opening night of the MCAD Art Sale to support design students and the MCAD Scholarship Fund. I’m going to prep a canvas this weekend and pick up the paintbrushes I’ve only touched to move from one house to the other. We’re going to plan a trip where at least two of the days are spent in museums or galleries. There will be more dinners with people who want to make things together and more writing. And I’d like you to join me.
(I won’t judge you if you still watch the "Real Housewives")
Photo of work by Ascher Sinkkonen, MCAD