My hubby's radio show recently signed a deal with a local television news program to do some sort of cross-broadcasting promotional whatnot. I'm pretty fuzzy on the details. All I know is that because of this deal, my hubby is in a tv commericial, a fact that delights my children to no end, and now he has to watch Dancing With The Stars, a show which, up until this point, we've treated with the sort of enthusiasm usually reserved for finding spiders in your shower or science experiments lurking in the veggie drawer.
My hubby is on his second week of watching DWTS (No, no, that doesn't stand for Dimwits...). I stayed with him the first week, out of a wifely obligation to mitigate his suffering as much as possible. This week I decided he had a husbandly obligation to soldier through it alone while I stayed upstairs and read books with the kids.
Not watching with him, however, does not excuse me from a blow by blow of his brief excursion into ballroom hell and so after the show finished, he found me upstairs and began telling me the dramatic highlight of the evening. Apparently, near the end of their routine, one couple was unable to truly finish because the man injured his arm and was unable to fully extend, much less lift with it.
Immediately following their botched ending, the host cut to a commercial break and medics swooped in to ascertain the extent of the injury. When the commercials ended, the host gravely informed the viewing audience that the man (now swathed in bandages) was experiencing a severe muscle cramp.
Well ouch. No wonder he couldn't lift and separate. I nodded my head in token sympathy but my hubby wasn't done.
Once this announcement was made, the judges swiftly invoked their deepest sympathies for the pair's unfortunate piece of luck and then, when the dancers went backstage to recieve their scores, all of the other dancers stood and gave them a standing O.
Umm, okay. I guess. I don't really get it, though. Aren't standing O's reserved for incredible, once-in-a-lifetime performances or acts of sheer bravery in the face of nearly insurmountable odds? Since when are standing O's handed out to make someone feel better about a reality tv show? It's not like he's Kerri Strug running, vaulting, and freakin' nailing the landing on a broken ankle to push the U.S. team into gymnastic gold. Now that deserved a standing O and still makes me a little choked up to remember it.
But whatever, right? I don't really care about any of this. Until my hubby informs me that after the next duo performs their dance, the judges congratulate them on being able to pull it together and perform after what just happened.
So, just to recap: A man gets a muscle cramp in his arm, thus hampering his efforts in a show designed to breathe stale life into an already flagging B-list career, and because of it he earns sympathy, a standing O, a trip to the hospital for observation and care, and those who must perform in his wake are given kudos for being able to shove aside their emotional reaction.
Well now DWTS (hmm, maybe it does stand for Dimwits...) earns an emotional reaction from me. Cramps are painful beasts, there's no denying. Any woman over the age of 14 knows that. In fact, we bear cramps every 3 to 4 weeks that make a solitary arm cramp look like child's play. We endure agony twisting through our lower abdomen, piercing our ovaries, radiating up our spine, and setting up camp like a rowdy troop of Boy Scouts in our posteriors. We cramp so hard, some days we can barely walk, much less dance. We pop Midol way beyond the recommended dosage and chase it down with brownies and cheap wine. We stifle road rage, pits of depression, and sketchy plans to waltz into over-stuffed Walmarts with Mace and a yen to bring down anyone thinner or happier than ourselves. And we do this every single month.
I must admit that no one has ever given me a standing O for that.
So, DWTS, you'll forgive me (and the thousands of other women watching your show) if I cannot summon up deep wells of sympathy and admiration for a man having to deal with a cramp in his arm. However, let him take on the female version of cramping for just one hour and successfully finish his ballet routine and I'll be the first one on my feet.