I admit it. I need a 12-step program for my addiction to made-for-TV movies. If we are talking Christmas movies, I need a full-out treatment facility.

My dealers, the Hallmark and Lifetime channels, enable me. They know I’m weak. I love me a cocktail of bad dialogue and tired plot lines. They over-serve me while I belly up for more.

I should be ashamed, but I’m intoxicated by the predictability. After just one taste, I’m a goner until I suck down the final, sweet drop of schmaltz.

Laundry piles up. Meals go unserved. Brain cells die.

When the high wears off, I get that these movies have nothing to do with reality. Well, not my reality anyway.

Here’s why:

Morning Breath. Perfect hair. Lux 1000 thread count sheets. And a whole lotta’ locking lips, and more, in the a.m. On my flat screen, magic happens without a dental care. Flash to my bedroom where no amount of love or libido conquers the need for a hit from the Crest tube at dawn. It’s whatever the opposite of magic is.

Parking karma. Do TV people circle a parking lot stalking strangers? Scrape through lint in the bottom of their purse for meter money? Or go all WWF on some a-hole who took their space? Umm, no. There is a wide open spot in front, day and night. Show me some crappy attempts at parallel parking that hold up traffic and make you later than you already are. That is me on the daily.

Amnesia. I can count on one hand the people I know who’ve had amnesia. Ok, I lied. If we’re counting, yeah, it would be zero. Zilch. In the movies people are routinely forgetting spouses, family, jobs and their address. This is mostly at Christmas. My mind only goes blank when it’s time to remember where I hid the presents.

No Way Out. The whole ‘stranded in a small town’ plot must really be pissing off AAA. Their gig is simple: cell phone, 800# and voila! Back on the road. But in the movies, everyone is a card member since, NEVER. So they hang out in that backward town and manage to find love and happiness without a tow truck. I would gnaw off my arm to be stranded somewhere alone for a few days. You know, somewhere remote but with room service.

Identity Crisis. There’s some major swapping in these movies. But not the sex-secrets-in-suburbia-kind. It’s the fake fiancés, wedding dates for hire, twins switching places variety. Oh, and all that amnesia. It takes two hours (minus feminine hygiene commercials) for anyone to catch on.  Don’t they know moms like me are hoping—no, praying—to live someone else’s life? Just for a little while. A peaceful life where the closed bathroom door is not interpreted as an invitation.

 I know I will eventually hit rock bottom. Quit cold turkey. Until then, here I sit. On a bender until the screen fades to black.


Maureen lives outside Washington DC with her husband, 3 boys and her dog, the only one who really understands her. She shamelessly exploits the chaos of her everyday life for enjoyment and profit. She loves 80's music, Miller Lite and reality TV. She is rarely without a koozie in case someone is kind enough to offer a beverage. Maureen can be found blogging at Montgomery Community Media, in her column for the Town Courier Newspapers as well as online at Scary Mommy, the Mid and more.

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