Thursday, January 26, 2012

Heightened Reality Trickery

A curious type of deception that presents symptoms when exposed to larger than life scenarios such as written works of fiction, television shows (see also Hallmark, Lifetime, ABC Family, Korean Dramas, Scripted Reality, et al.), movies and stage productions. Symptoms include: brighter colors, selective hearing, rapid pulse. Prolonged exposure may be hazardous.  

In books, we're perfectly okay with the flowery things the hot guy says because, well, he's hot and the whole story has set us up to root for him to say these flowery things so when he finally does we CHEER! We swoon! We melt! But if someone said similar things to us in person, we'd probably roll our eyes and walk swiftly the other direction, mumbling something that sounds like What a pansy.

Then there's TV. Take this season of The Bachelor, for example. Bachelor Ben, very normal looking to the eye, the California-wine-maker-next-door type. He's gone YEARS being a regular guy, grocery shopping and pumping gas in his car just like the rest of us. Suddenly he's on television and thousands of women who now think he's the most beautiful thing that ever walked the planet claw over each other just to get to him. Did that happen to him every time he went to the grocery store before he was on TV? No. The reality has been heightened and the minds of the people have been TRICKED. (I'm not speaking out against him as a person, just demonstrating what HRT does)

These things are all constructed to bring out our emotions, to get us addicted, to make us feel like it's love. The build up of tension and tingly words in the stories we read. The driving music during that scene where the forbidden lovers are shouting at each other in the pouring rain. The guy you wouldn't look at twice out in public that's now on stage with his guitar and suddenly your legs are jelly.

Handy often (lovingly and jokingly) says, "You live your life in the movies, don't you?" or "You live inside your books." *snicker*giggle*snicker* I like to escape to my gushy heightened reality as much as the next person (okay, maybe more). It's not that I'm running from anything, but it's like having the best of a million worlds. In my heightened reality I've survived The Hunger Games! I've gone to school at Hogwarts! I've been a freaking PRINCESS! In my actual reality... I'm the wife to the sweetest guy in the world, I'm a daughter, a dog mom, daughter- and sister-in-law, aunt, friend, a writer who writes her own heightened realities, photographer, crafter, and pizza eater. Who says I can't have it all?  

How about you? Do you let yourself get swept away?


  1. Ha, so true! I love living vicariously through books. And I love watching these women who wouldn't give Bachelor Ben the time of day in real life throw themselves at him. So much fun!

  2. You know, I think I'm pretty guarded in this sense. I am swept away at times (Colin Firth!), but unfortunately I'm usually the critic going, "How stupid! That would never happen!" LOL! I do have a weakness for British historical series, however. I'm not sure why....

  3. It does my heard good to see that you included kdrama in your list of things that cause this phenomenon. I say it again, #myworkhereisdone.