Week of May 10 - May 14, 2004
Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday

Monday ...........
I normally like Mondays. It's a chance to start over. A whole week stretching out in front of you and lots of time to fix everything you didn't fix last week. I've got my complaints about Mondays also. Why didn't this show hire a paint crew for Rain's apartment. No one likes to paint, do they? It might satisfy the cameras, but it's a waste of the housemates' time. I hate paint fights or food fights and they managed to work in a bit of each. At least the decorator acts more like he took valium this morning instead of another toot of coke. I noticed they didn't have to paint the trim, so that made it go faster. The reveal is always the best part, and they're saving that for later in the week.

Hailey is more interesting and a lot softer than she likes to show. She can be a really interesting person if she lets go of her tough-girl exterior. She's really sensitive and intelligent, but it's hard to show those things when you're barely out of your teens.

I'm trying to ignore the Josie segments. The only clue she has gotten a hint of is that Jonathan is a lousy excuse for a parent. How nice that he came at 3 AM (after the bars close)and destroyed the paternity test. People might act ecstastic at birthings, but the everyday care a baby needs negates all that elation fast. Welcome to the real world, Josie. How about some adoption counseling along with that breast-feeding information? Rain is convinced the baby is mixed race, which really means nothing except that Josie might have lucked out and not carried Jonathan's genes into the future. Lynnell understands it. It's a mess.

Amy's parents are coming, maybe. The housemates are going to know that her father is senator, now. Her parent's schedule is sooooooo busy. I bet she's heard this all her life. She doesn't fit into Mom's schedule. I bet it's not the first time. After all, what's more important, another trip to the Caribbean or your child's welfare. I don't know, maybe it's the editing, but her mom seemed fairly self-centered. Would a conference call make you feel loved?

It's going to be a busy week. Not much time left and a lot of loose ends to wrap up. Thank goodness it's only Monday.

Tuesday ...........
Tools needed for today's show : Patience, humor, kleenex.

Tuesday is the day that you feel obligated to actually get some work done. Morning meeting is hopping today. Rhonda's boundaries for Josie and Jonathan should have included some barbwire (and latex), but Rana is really Josie's coach. Rana is good with Josie. She cuts to the heart of the matter and breaks things down into easily understood steps. She actually said to Josie, "You have to step up now. You're not a child anymore." Truer words have never been spoken.

Rain's worried that she is going to repeat her past mistakes by moving her children to another barren apartment. Rain's doubts about her apartment are going to make for a great reveal. One more day with the decorators (all I can stand.) How effective is it to communicate by gnashing and yelling? Collin actually got a word in today. Maybe he could use a little life coaching and lose the loudmouth. Rain's apartment is not boring white anymore. It's lots of colors and looks like fun. This is one of my favorite things they've ever done for anyone on this show. I was as ecstatic as Rain. Can you break the cycle of self defeat and start over? "Yes I Can" says Rain, and I believe her.

Lynnell is finally facing the facts about her marriages. She has some understanding and insight into her problems, but that doesn't make it any easier to face. She's had a busy life, if not interesting. Rhonda is very effective with Lynnell. I'm not sure if you should conduct marriage counseling without both partners present, but it's a start. There's a caring, interesting person in there, but, Lynnell has emeshed herself in the confusing aspects of life and sorta got lost in the salad toss. Women are the fulcrum that the whole world balances on, and Lynnell's loads are shifting. One step at a time,huh? She asks the same question we all do every day, "What do I do NOW?". I'm guessing the answer has something to do with starting over.

Wednesday ...........
Rana doesn't mince words. or let things slide. Rana's not giving Josie the free ride that some of us were worried that she might be getting. New motherhood is a lot of work, but Rana isn't letting that be used as an excuse for Josie to hang out doing only that. Josie's goal is a new life, and this one is going to have some accountability - something Josie isn't used to. I understand her testiness with Rain, but the comment about being made to feel like a whore let us know what her worst fears are. It's fear of being judged and dismissed as worthless - something that's happened to Josie more than once. There's nothing more threatening. Lack of sleep makes everything seem exaggerated. Have a nap and start over.

Susan's story is approaching it's apex, too. It is time. I want to see her face beaming, not scrunched up and nearly in tears.

Rain is graduating. For me, her success story has been the best thing this show has accomplished. It's all good. She's not crying about it, and neither am I. She'll do great. Rain is meeting with Pastor Gates. He's perceptive and encouraging. I hope when the show left Chicago, that they left some sort of support system there. After all, about half of these women ended up moving to Chicago. I guess they have each other. OK, she didn't cry, but I bet you did. Me, I'm not crying. Just give me a minute, there's something in my eyes.

Thursday ...........
It's never too late to start over. Here we are at season's end (nearly) and we get another housemate. I understand Leah's problems, but it's not anything I can relate to personally. Living out Loud was never a problem for me. Living Too Loud - maybe. We saw a bit of this with Erika, the shy, quiet type. She worked it out and so will Leah. Her family's opinions may be her biggest obstacle she has to overcome. She is really afraid of her own shadow. It'll take a while to adapt to new roomates.

Hailey is getting some lessons in adulthood. Facing fears and past pains which led to her present day anger. Leah is like Hailey's opposite. Leah says she has never had a harsh word or an argument with her mother. Lynnell is looking into adoption/trade options. Not really, but you could see she was floored by that revelation. That ADHD doctor comes off as just another pill pusher that likes to talk a lot. Mostly, he repeats back to Hailey what she just said. If I called all the fights with my siblings abuse, I'd have to rewrite my life story. I think sometimes therapists should think twice about their suggestions and sometimes patients need to just say no to wacko ideas. Talking it out is good, just make sure you're talking about the right things.

Josie is still the biggest idiot in the world, except for Jonathan. She said to Susan that she doesn't need anyone anymore now that she has her baby to love and to love her. How many women have taken that route straight to Hellsville. Using a child to hide your pain and troubles behind can only lead to a life of misery for both parties. Look at Lynnell and Hailey. It's impossible to be sympathetic as long as she continues to call Jonathan and expect anything from him. When she said to Jonathan that she loves this "thing" better than anything I felt sick. Do that "thing" a favor and never call Jonathan again and never call Chloe "thing" again. This is the biggest trainwreck they could possibly find for this show. I hope they know what they're doing.

Amy, Amy, Amy. Can you say over-analytical? I can. I live with it daily. I know Amy irritates some people. She seems unfocused at times and rambles on incessantly, eventually coming round to the issue at hand. I can relate. A busy mind is a terrible thing to waste. Her conversation with her mother was more than interesting. Her public speaking exercise was a success. She has every reason to believe she will be a success at it. She might even end up in politics. Wouldn't that be ironic?

Please give us the rest of the Susan Story. What a dragged out tale. It's been a great story, but could have been told a lot faster. I hope it resolves happily. and quickly. They must be having both Josie and Leah back for next season. They couldn't possibly cover many "steps" in the time left. Starting Over is about to Stop For A While this summer.

Friday ...........
Fridays are for wrapping up loose ends. Pay attention because today is a rocket ship ride of activities. These ladies aren't just stepping today, they are tap-dancing their way to new life.

Motherhood can be downright ominous at times. Mother's are forced into added responsibilities after birth, while father's role may be as little as the few moments it took to become a father. Josie is still allowing herself to be manipulated by Jonathan. Perhaps a shot in the dark at love is better than nothing, but her aim seems to be somewhere in the middle of her own foot. She talks a good game one minute, and the next she is doing the opposite. Maybe she needs to go with Hailey to the ADHD doctor. That and a thousand other things. Rana knocks on that wooden head one more time, but sooner or later the echoes have got to leave her wondering. Josie's boundaries for Jonathan should be up to level orange by now. What an ultimate creep. Someone revoke her phone priviledges before I puke. ("It's because I love you.") Funny, but, humiliation never played a part in anything I called love. GET OFF THE PHONE NOW IDIOT! Needless to say, Jose does provokes a lot of emotions in people, the most difficult of those being sympathy.

FINALLY, Susan is going to Arizona. How much longer can they string this out. Monday-the drive to the house, Tuesday-the knock on the door, Wednesday-the muffled "go away"? One more dramatic statement from the PI and we're on our way. No, not just yet, let's have coffee and review. Let's look at documents we're using to send this show one hell of a bill (after all they work by the hour and I feel sure he's had government training in time management). What a drag. More scrunchy faces from Susan before we're going to just another frigging commercial. Maybe they'll make it to graveside services for the old man at this rate. Geez. So, let's let the PI expouse some more and drag this out a bit more. More. Later. Next. Week.

Leah is going to an expressive/creative workshop. This is a little new age for me. Just let her borrow someone's 9 year old for half a day and she'll know creative. Actually, a nine year old might be more mature than than these goofs. I'm all for the creative, the path not taken but, come on - this is playschool for goofy adults. Wonder how much a session costs? More than playschool I bet. I think you could tell Leah anything and she'd believe it. I'm never seen a more passive creature - well until her presentation. Hailey nearly burst out laughing. Me too, Hailey. I think laughter is just as valid an emotion as anything in this case. Don't tell me what to feel.

Amy is going to give a presentation at Loyola University. She's working with the speaking coach. She's a natural and the coach is great. When they get to the hair color question, the coach is very direct. I hyperventilated. DON'T LEAVE ME THIS WAY. arrrghhhhh. This is supposed to be a wrap up Friday, but forget that. Put out the net before you watch today because every storyline is going to leave you hanging. And it's a long fall till Monday.