with Lynne and Leslie

Yay middle-aged guys! Slow and steady wins “The Amazing Race”

by SweetMidlife

Leslie here with some yay!

I admit to being a somewhat self-focused rooter-for-er, which is not a word but which you totally understand. When I was little and there was, like, one black girl in every beauty pageant, I pulled for her. Or for Miss Maryland, since that’s where I was from. Or, as time went on, the highest-ranking girl who hailed from Maryland, Ohio, Florida or Pennsylvania, the states where I had lived. Or Arkansas, where my parents were, and which was like a second home.

Apparently these loyalties weren’t all that binding. But I had a pattern. A pattern-ish. Anyway, this scattershot logic has bled into my reality show viewing, where I will usually root for the minorities, be that racial, gender, national origin, sexual orientation or socio-economic, unless they’re jerks. I will not root for a jerk. This became a problem this season on my beloved “The Amazing Race” where one team initially seemed to hit all of my buttons – Natalie and Nadiya, Sri Lankan identical twin sisters who were loud, crazy, scrappy and super-close in that way you can only be with someone you’ve shared a womb with. I totally get that relationship, and since Lynne and I could never get cast on this show and do our own version of brown crazy twins, we felt The Twinnies were gonna be our spiritual doppelgangers. And since they were younger and fitter, they probably wouldn’t fall off anything like we would’ve.

Not so much. The Twinnies turned out to be completely un-self-aware, shifty, blithely homophobic thieves with appallingly bad game plans for people who can’t keep their mouths shut. They picked up money that another team had dropped and split it with someone else, which wasn’t actually illegal, but still shady and dishonest. They were obnoxious. I withdrew my twin love, and my brown people love, and my girl love, and my human being love. Was done.

And towards the end of the race, they had an incredibly dismissive and condescending way of referring to “Fabulous Beekman Boys” Josh and Brent, a couple whose adventures as gentleman goat farmers has garnered them a Cooking Channel show. They called them “The Gays,” which is not only ignorant but less than what I’d expect from people who’ve likely spent their lives being dismissively called “The Twins” or “The Sri Lankans” or “those brown girls.”

They also seemed to believe that – maybe because of their age, or their relative fitness level, or because they hadn’t won any other legs of the race, that the Beekmans were some sort of irritant hangers-on that they just now noticed were along, sucking up air from the more worthy competitors, including the Twinnies, young University of Texas couple Trey and Lexie, or charming Chippendales Jaymes and James. So they had no problem openly suggesting an alliance with the other groups within earshot of the Beekmans, and then telling them basically that they were waiting for them to lose, or get lost, or just disappear so that someone who deserved it got the million dollars, even though still being in the running means they deserved it. It was so much entitled claptrap that I wanted to scream.

So then I picked a side. The middle-aged underdog side. And it’s not about them being gay, or on TV. I came to love the Beekmans because they tried so hard. Because they loved and supported each other, even as they bickered. Because they stayed in an alliance with another, seemingly stronger team who were clearly using them as canon fodder, until it became no longer advantageous for the Beekmans, who had not forgotten that they were in a race and didn’t owe it to anybody to lose. And even though they felt bad about it, as human beings, they did what they had to do. They’re pluggers. They got tired. They got frustrated. But they kept running.

That’s what being this age does to you – you can either give up and assume that all the good stuff is for the younger ones, the hotter ones, the ones who don’t fall asleep on the couch at 7:30, or you can keep getting up, pack a heating pad and some Aleve, and say “Why not?” That’s something I live by. I saw them win and say that they wanted the money so that they could pay the mortgage on their farm so they could spend more time together, and that made sense – I am an old lady in love, and all of my wealth fantasies involve being able to be with my baby more. I completely get it. I get them.

And I’m glad they won. They probably needed a lot of Doan’s pills afterwards. But they were chilling with their money and their Doan’s, so that was probably OK.

2 Responses to “Yay middle-aged guys! Slow and steady wins “The Amazing Race””

  1. kromaine@fastmail.fm' Jill says:

    Nice, although I’m not a fan of TAR.

    BTW, Aleve is becoming a bosom buddy and my standard crash time is 9:30 pm weeknights.

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