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 Texas : Features : Columns : Letters From North America :
When your child's teacher
needs to consult Dr. Phil

by Peary Perry
Peary Perry
I donít watch daytime television. Mainly because Iím not home during the daytime. However, as you know, these past few weeks Iíve been trying to recover from pneumonia and havenít been hitting on all eight cylinders as of late. This past week I took off early on Friday and found myself sitting in front of the boob tube thumbing the remote trying to find something of value out there in the vast wasteland.

I finally stumbled onto Dr. Phil. After a few minutes I decided that he might be ok, but some of his guests are borderline insane. Case in point. He has a couple on, nice looking, intelligent, well groomed, not what you would call raving lunatics.

Now, the major complaint that these fine folks are asking Dr. Phil to solve is simple. The wife has this attraction to buy everything that the movie and rock stars wear so she can be noticed. She reads all of the fan magazines, sees what the stars are buying and then goes out and buys the stuff for herself. According to her husband, she is spending them out of house and home as well as neglecting her family. Dr. Phil asked her who does she think she is impressing with her purchases and she repliedÖ.íThemí.

He then asked (naturally) just who ĎThemí is and she goes on to state that when she is walking through the mall or anywhere else, Ďeveryone will notice that she has a purse just like Brittany or shoes like Paris wears.í

Dr. Phil was amazed and said she needed to get a grip on this. First off, there isnít any Ďtheyí or Ďthemí and no one really cares or gives a big hoot if you wear stuff from Dior or J.C. Penney.

In the waiting rooms of the doctors Iíve seen over the past couple of weeks are these magazines entitled ÖíPeopleí and ĎUSí that seem to hold the attention of millions of our citizens. Is this crazy or what? First off, I donít know any of these people in these publications and probably never will. Second off, I donít want to know any of these people. What good would it do for me to meet them? Can you imagine what running around with the likes of say, Paris Hilton would be like? Not me. Do you really think youíd like to be friends with say Donald Trump or Mike Tyson? So, why read about them and follow their lives? Why should you care?

I want a low-key existence, not some lifestyle where I have to have people around me all of the time, fawning over me or just being there. I canít think of anything worse than fame. I bet if you asked most of these famous people, theyíd trade their fame in for just a sense of normal. Why do they wear disguises if they wanted fame so badly?

Iím not saying that entertainment people donít earn their money. God bless them if they can get a zillion bucks for making a motion picture or recording some album. Thatís the American way. But, letís face it, they are just people who happened to be in the right place at the right time and had some talent (in most cases). Have you ever seen a movie being made? I have and let me tell you thisÖitís boring, boring, boring. Paint drying is more interesting.

Please release me from the likes of the media who seem to think I am desperately interested in what religion Tom Cruise belongs to. I donít care. Brad Pitt breaks up with his girl friend or wife? I donít care. Matters not to me. Russell whatís his name gets into another fight and punches some poor guy out? Who cares? He can afford the legal expense.

Movie and rock stars are not living in the same world as you and I do. We have to work. We have to drive our kids to the doctor. We have to feed our own dogs. We have to change the toilet paper rolls and refill the water bottle for the bird.

Dr. Phil pointed out to this lady that she was a teacher and that in itself should be enough. He was correct. The teachers in our lives are much more apt to have an influence over our families than some millionaire movie star repeating words from a script. This lady needs to wake up and be happy with who she is, not who she thinks she might like to be.
© Peary Perry
Comments go to pperry@austin.rr.com
Letters From North America
- June 27 , 2005 column
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This page last modified: June 27, 2005