When you find yourself living from paycheck to paycheck, it’s hard not to feel slightly cynical about your current circumstances. Money, or the lack thereof, consumes your thoughts. Instead of counting sheep at night, you wonder if you could get a part time job as a sheep shearer so you can stop cutting coupons.
At first, all options that might lead to some extra income remain on the table, regardless of the embarrassment factor or the possible shame that could be brought to the Ripa name. 99.9% of them would have me ending up at a busy intersection in some ridiculous outfit trying to hawk a product to motorists stuck in traffic.
This might entail going Greek in all my toga glory for Little Caesar’s Pizza, in a dirty diaper to express the “loads” of great deals at an electronics store or in a poncho doing a sombrero dance for $1 Taco Night at the local Mexican joint with the extremely low sanitation score. Rather than being in my normal spot behind the wheel pointing and laughing at grown adults trying to earn an honest living, I’d now be the guy whose soul died a little bit with every honk of the horn. Can someone please tell me what the current exchange rate is between self-dignity and dollars?
So far, my pride has prevented me from going this route all in the name of grabbing some cold hard cash. Frustrated over the possibility of becoming a regular at the local blood bank, I click on the television and tune into the reality shows that get my mind off of things. Tonight for my viewing pleasure is Super Nanny.
This show provides me comfort on so many levels. To top things off, it saves me a trip to Wal-Mart to watch kids go bananas just to boost my confidence as a parent. Second, British accents always make me chuckle because they are just so darn “cheeky.” Then comes the part in every show where the mother or father glares over to Jo Frost (aka Super Nanny) after she shakes her head in disappointment while giving a smug suggestion over how they’re dropping the ball as parents. A pop-up bubble is not needed for me to understand what thoughts are running through their head. It goes something like this:
“Listen here Chubby Spice. It must be nice to show up here in all your Mary Poppins glory and think you’ve got my kids all figured out. Staying cool, calm and collective after 5 minutes in our house is not that big of deal. But, let’s see how you fair all by yourself for an extended period off time with our brood. Chances are good you’ll be praying ‘God Save The Queen’ while polishing off your 12th bottle of Newcastle. I bet you don’t even have kids…”
Surprisingly, the parent’s suspicion would be right. Jo does not have children and in interviews has stated that she doesn’t feel the urge to have her first anytime soon. Call me crazy, but how can someone that doesn’t even have children be the go-to person for advice on how to raise them? That would be like seeking words of wisdom from your middle school babysitter who allows the kids to run wild just so they can finish reading Twilight.
Why would one take advice from an individual who has never freaked out by the sight of what they’ve seen in their child’s diaper, felt the embarrassment of a temper tantrum in a crowded restaurant or bought a toy after being manipulated by their daughter without realizing it. Alright, the time has come to call a spade, a spade: the Super Nanny is the armchair quarterback of parenting experts. At least when relationship “experts” Steve Harvey and Dr. Phil dole out advice, they can say with a straight face that they’ve been in our shoes before. Granted, they probably won’t be too forthcoming in saying that their relationships ended in divorce, but that’s beside the point.
So, how does one become an expert in a certain field? Do you have to collect enough UPC labels off of Coco Puffs cereal boxes, mail them in and then wait 3-5 weeks for your certificate to come in the mail? Or is it similar to how easy it is to become an ordained minister over the Internet by filling out a quick form? By the looks of it, most people just wake up one morning and proclaim themselves as a specialist in a given area. Considering Supper Nanny has raked in the big bucks telling parents what they’re doing wrong, maybe I need to become an authority on a topic so I can make ends meet. With my years of skepticism, pessimism and sarcasm, it appears that “Cynical” expert has been my life long calling.