Dear MTV’s The Real World (where it’s OK to act like you’re on spring break no matter where you are and no matter the season):
Well, I don’t even know where to start, but it’s high time I got real. You’ve changed. Or maybe I’ve changed. I’m not really sure, but after some 22 years, maybe it just doesn’t matter anymore. Either way, things just aren’t like they used to be. Do you feel that way too? Please tell me I’m not the only one desperately holding onto these feelings, clinging to them for dear life like Norma Desmond trying to find “her people out there in the dark.” Is it some sort of midlife crisis? A nearly quarter-life crisis?
I recorded the premiere of your new season last week (that’s the new cast, above), and honestly, I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch it yet. Truthfully, I think part of me is just too scared of what I’d probably find if I hit play. I hear you’re in San Francisco again. You were there 20 years ago. Do you remember those times? My gosh, it was your heyday. You were in your prime, all bright-eyed and looking forward to exploring this big, bad world that stretched out before you. The first time around in San Francisco, you showed what it’s like when clashing cultures come together — frustrations, lessons, blessings and all — and broke real barriers. Now, you break furniture. You stood for things back then. Now, you fall asleep after a long night of partying. You used to stay up all night discussing all things politics and other social issues of the day — there was so much excitement in your eyes. Now, you stay up all night fighting in a drunken stupor. Then, you were content to just explore your new surroundings and your new roommates. Now, it’s all you can do to not hook up with someone on that first night.
And, honestly? I felt that same excitement back then. It coursed through my veins too. It was young and curious just like you in the beginning. I can’t believe it now, but I was a mere 12 years old when I started tuning in, and I remember giddily filling out that all-important application by the time I was 17. Heck, I even began counting down the days until I turned 18 and could mail in said application. I would be perfect for the show, I thought. I mean, I’d fit that sheltered-girl role pretty darn well — I mean, really, really sheltered. Confession: I’d never heard of some of the things on the application. If that doesn’t scream “Pick me! Pick me!” then I don’t know what does.
But then something strange happened. I forgot about that application — or, maybe I lost it. The reason does matter, I suppose. The point is that I grew up a little, started college and somehow, you managed to stay the same. You turned into that long-distance boyfriend you see for the first time since the end of the summer…you know, the one who is still as immature as ever. All the while, you’re thinking to yourself, “Man, what happened? We could have been great together.” So, yes, I will be watching your new season, but know that it will be with a rather heavy heart because sometimes, you just can’t shake those memories from yesteryear. I’m sorry, but my bottom line will always be: Hot tubs! Hook-ups! Hell no! un-xoxo