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Posts tagged ‘child support’

Dr. Phil: Teen Mama Drama Mini-Review

Teen Mama Drama aired 5/30 (Original Air Date 02/07/12). Dr. Phil’s guests were two teen moms, and the boy who knocked them up. For several reasons this episode got under my skin. I hadn’t planned to blog about it, or Dr. Phil, at all, but after watching the show I decided to make a quick post about it. I didn’t take notes, so some of the ordering of things may be off.

So, the show opens up with a little background on the guests. I am just going to cut and paste the synopsis from the Dr. Phil website:

Parents, pay attention: In the United States, one in six girls will become a teen mom, and oftentimes, the baby’s father gets a free pass and is not held to the same responsibilities in raising the child. Eighteen-year-old Taten has no job, no phone, no car and no permanent place to live. What he does have is a 3-month old daughter with one teenage girl and a second child on the way, according to another. Autumn, 16, gave birth to Taten’s daughter, Emma, in August and although Taten has cheated on her numerous times, and possibly fathered another child with her former best friend while pregnant with his baby, Autumn still wants Taten in her life. Autumn’s mom, Michelle, couldn’t feel more differently and says, “I wish Taten would drop off the face of the Earth.” Caitlyn, 16, says she is currently five months pregnant with Taten’s second child. Taten has his doubts. Caitlyn’s mother, Dana, says, “The thought of Taten makes me physically sick.” Taten says he wants to be with Autumn because he doesn’t want to “tear their family apart,” but admits that if their relationship doesn’t work out, he might want to be wiling to give it a shot with Caitlyn. What will the results of Taten’s paternity test reveal? Is he the father of Caitlyn’s baby, and will he man-up and be a better dad to one — or both — babies? How will the teens and their mothers deal with the outcome? Dr. Phil reveals the hard facts about teen pregnancy: Find out what the future may have in store for these young moms. And, can he convince them that they’re better off as friends than enemies? If you suspect your teen may be sexually active, you can’t afford to miss this show!

Dr. Phil first speaks with Autumn, the mother of Taten’s 3 month old child. The conversation consists of what all these conversations consists of – How did you get pregnant? What were you thinking? Why didn’t you use condoms? Do you value yourself so little that you are so easily taken by any boy that will give you attention? Mom, where are you in the picture? What about dad? It costs X amount to raise a child today. How do you plan to support your baby? Etc etc. The typical answers flooded in. It was a mistake being the overall theme. We hear teen mother stats rattled off here and there.

Next we hear from Caitlyn and her background is given. She’s 5 months pregnant. Much of the same type of questioning goes on.

Finally the prize of a male they have both been knocked up by comes out. Of course, he can’t really say much for himself. He has no real plans on how he will support either of his children. I will say that I find it interesting that their was so much foul language being thrown around on national TV. I swear like a fucking sailor, I really do, but when I am out in public, around other people, I know how to filter myself. There is a time and place. At some point Taten went off on, I believe it was, Caitlyn’s mother, which sparked Caitlyn to speak up for her. I do believe the mom swore ate him first, however, and I guess he figures that respect won’t be one-sided.

Taten had the typical deadbeat teen father response to everything. He doesn’t work, he isn’t with his parents. I think it was Autumn’s mother who allowed him to actually move in with them and sleep in her daughters room. She claims she bought them condoms and such and that the only reason she allowed him to move in is because he had no place to go. Really? She actually tried to defend herself and her actions and I just found that completely indefensible.

The Dr. Phil show went Maury Povich on us for a moment and revealed the results of the paternity test. Taten had insisted that Caitlyn was somewhat of a ho and that there is no way for him to know if the baby is actually is. Of course, both babies are, so that put an end to that ridiculousness.

In the end, what really got me about this episode is how easy it was for Dr. Phil to kind of absolve Taten of any responsibility, or dismiss him. I felt like his attitude was, “Well he’s not going to take care of these babies, most of them (teen fathers) don’t, so I am not even going to waste my time trying to talk to him about that,” and it just really rubbed me the wrong way.

First of all, I am a big believer in self-fulfilling prophecy. If you tell someone that they ain’t shit enough, they are going to start to believe it. If you tell a teen father, “hey, I know you aren’t going to be around,” they start to believe that that is what is expected of them, and furthermore, it’s OK that they aren’t around to take care of their kids. Where was the advice to have him locked up for nonpayment of child support? To have his wages garnished? Why didn’t he take the time to try to, essentially, scare him straight?

I get tired of women letting men off the hook for child support because they are so concerned about how they will feel. We saw that attitude with Sheree Whitfield on The Real Housewives of Atlanta when she refused to take steps to have her deadbeat ex, Bob Whitfield, locked up for nonpayment of child support. It’s ridiculous how our society is so quick to let men/boys off the hook from their responsibilities, yet people are trying to figure out why men are no longer living up to their responsibilities like they once did. Geez, I do wonder.

Hey, I know it’s Dr. Phil, so I should curb my expectations just a bit, but come now!

The End.

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Real Housewives of Orange County: Season 7, Episode 16 Review

(Beware: foul language below. Enter at your own risk!)

We start this episode of the RHOC with a flashback to last week’s episode where Tamra is telling Alexis that Dr. Dubrow was all like, “Alexis is the fakest chick EVAR, and I should know because I’m a plastic surgeon!” During dinner with the Dubrows, Tamra owns up to her exaggeration to prepare them for the eventual backlash. And, we all know Alexis. It will be vicious blowback, for sure! I will give Tamra credit for not trying to hide what she did, and although Heather isn’t pleased, she isn’t terribly upset, either.

Now, on to Costa Rica! But first…

Hint: This is not Mexico

We are treated to Alexis packing for her trip to Costa Rica. Which she says is in Mexico. I don’t know where YOU are going, but Costa Rica is in Central America, dear Alexis. I do hope she makes it. (Check out my spoof on Alexis’s attempt at covering “hard hitting” news here.)  Alexis informs her helper that she is worried about not having enough help, for her hubby, because they do not have a full time nanny to step in while she is away. She is also worried about Vicki making the trip – you know, the trip that Vicki planned and organized? – But, in the end, she says it’s okay because she is going to have a good time no matter what. Someone must have shown her a brochure on Central America, because she makes mention of monkeys and the rainforest to show that she knows the lay of the land.

It’s Heather’s turn to pack, and she and her helper are having an equally as genuine and authentic conversation as the one we just witnessed with Alexis and her helper.  They are discussing what she thinks they will be doing on their trip. Heather just hopes that everyone will be on her best behavior. Hubby walks in with their adorable baby and starts to toss her in the air.

Now we are on to Gretchen and her helper – er um, Slade. Slade is being oh so helpful looking up a Costa Rica packing list for Gretchie-Poo. Gretchen is getting stressed out by him telling her to pack what she clearly doesn’t have; stop doing that Slade! Slade is mad that she’s not appreciating his super duper helper assistanting skills. Gretchen snaps at him and Slade pouts. Apparently, the therapy session from last episode is the cause of the faux tension, and time apart will help heal the… it.

Sidebar: It sure is nice of Gretchen to pretend that she is upset with Slade for not handling the whole child support thing; after three years. I am sure it made the mother of Slade’s children feel better about not receiving any back child support, even though Gretchen could “catch him up” if she was not so worried about his manhood. Yes. It was hard to type that last sentence with a straight face. I will say that I agree with Slade that it is difficult to make money while being someone’s lapdog. It seems that his pay comes by way of being fortunate enough to be Gretchen’s lapdog, and I don’t know how she thinks he will be able to make money to pay child support without neglecting those lapdogging duties.

Now we are on to the airport. It’s 4 am and Alexis is in full hair and makeup. Heather looks a tad bit more practical. Eventually, Tamra, Gretchen, and Vicki arrive for their 11 hour trip to Costa Rica, by way of Miami and 3 hour ride to a resort. Alexis didn’t like all that hard work and complains about it in the confessional. She’s just lucky that she wasn’t the one mapping out the trip. Or they would be in Mexico.

After watching Vicki struggle to navigate the stairs in heels – who travels in heels? – we watch ladies start the trip off right with welcome cocktails and dinner. The gals look up and realize that Vicki is no longer around. Like… Where’d she go?

Tamra suggests that she is likely on the phone with Brooks. We see a flashback of Vicki scowling at Alexis as she spoke with Jim while they were one of their other trips. Vicki chastises her for having to speak to Jim every moment, or everyday or something. Of course, we never actually see Vicki on the phone with Brooks, but it is a solid educated guess.

Eventually Vicki joins the women, stating that she had a lot of “work” to do, which is an odd way to describe unpacking your bags. Vicki has just gotten so use to using work as an excuse for not attending events, or otherwise hanging out with the crew, that that response is just on auto-reply.

The women get on the topic of Alexis’s faux jewelry. Heather points out the ridiculousness of Alexis’ss whole, “I keep my real jewelry in a safe, and wear these fake ones so that the real ones are protected from theft,” logic once again. Anyway, who accuses Alexis of being smart – ever? This sounds like some story that Jim concocted as cover for her lack of real jewels. Maybe in Orange County the thieves can tell the difference between CZ and Diamonds at the drop of a dime. Who knows?

Alexis breaks it to everyone that she is leaving in two days because she has youngins to tend to.  Heather points out that she has one more child than Alexis, and no nannies but her husband is so much more superior than hers and that’s why he can handle the kids without her for the entire duration of the trip.

Sidebar: Seriously, who believes that Heather has no nannies? Anyone? I have a feeling that she has people she call “babysitters” or, perhaps even an “au pair,” which wouldn’t count because it isn’t a “nanny” per se, in that they are totally different words and all. I just don’t buy that she has no help whatsoever with her children; or that Dr. DuBrow is taking off several days from work just so she can have a silly vacation.

Suddenly all hell breaks loose and Vicki starts to babble incoherently, at least to MY ears, about something to do with kids, before whining about her baby being married. Then she said, “Penis.” Yup. I’m lost.

The next morning the women meet for breakfast. Alexis is dressed like the Crocodile Huntress and is explaining egg whites to the natives. Then they eat.

The women are scheduled for zip lining, and on the bus ride there, Camp Counselor Vicki tries to get everyone to play the alphabet game. She is acting very strange, for Vicki, and saying potty words like anus and penis. I am confused. The alphabet game proves too advanced for women who are armed with canteens of booze, and it never quite takes off.

When they reach their destination, they are introduced to their zip line instructor, and I watch far too much Diego with my nephews, because all I can think is, “Go Diego Go,” when their zip line instructor says his name is Diego. Somehow, he ends up braiding Alexis’s hair and I don’t know why.

Alexis is first up for the zip line, or at least the first person I recall seeing. Her litany of lies once again, confuses Heather! See, apparently, at some point, Alexis told Heather that she had been zip lining before, and that it wasn’t a big deal. So, why are you so terrified now, woman? Eventually the women suggest that perhaps Alexis just should be pushed. Once I saw how far they were zip lining, I thought it was somewhat pathetic, really. The distance between my bedroom door and my bathroom is as far… OK, maybe I exaggerate, but it SEEMED as if it was that close.

Eventually Alexis zips along, and we see everyone take their turns. Some do little tricks; going upside down, with their legs this way, and that way, etc, etc. It was fun for all! (Except the viewers, really…)

So, as they are all standing around, they somehow got on the subject of who Vicki was going to marry – some guy named Bob Tomato. Instead, she married someone with a better ass. She says that she was 20 at the time. This causes Tamra to do a double take and she asks Vicki to do something that she clearly has never done EVER in life and put things in perspective when it comes to Brianna’s marriage. After all, Brianna is 25, and clearly more mature than her mother is TODAY, let alone when she was 20 years old.

Vicki is in confessional wanting to know where she went wrong as a mother. “Oh, woe is me! Woooooe is meeeee! Won’t someone feel sorry for me?”  But seriously, her emotions are all over the place and I feel as if we are in store for another Kelly Bensimon type breakdown before this is all over.

Uh oh, did Tamra just tell Vicki the absolute truth and call her a, dun Dun DUN, hypocrite? We see steam escape from Vicki’s ears, and flames shoot from her nostrils! The sky fills with dark ominous clouds and lightning strikes across the sky! Rolls of thunder cackle in the distance and Vicki raises her arms, and… er, where was I? Oh, yea Vicki didn’t like that Tamra called her the same exact thing that Meany McMeanFace, Gretchen called her.  Tamra continues to point out ways that Vicki the Hypocrite displays her hypocrisy. For instance, her attempt at the alphabet game and her potty mouth full of penises and anuses.  “You can’t make up your own rules to life,” says Tamra! I guess Tamra has not been paying attention. Vicki tells Tamra to say sorry. I honestly don’t remember how this exchange ended, and I have no notes about it, so moving on.

We are shown clips of Gretchen going to Alexis’s room to discuss the pending confrontation with Heather, and the same goes when Heather visits Tamra. Vicki is off alone somewhere having phone sex with Brooks. Or something.

“Today was so weird,” Alexis says. “I need to talk to Heather. It’s awkward.” Whatever.

Tamra tells Heather that, based on Alexis’s behavior at zip line, it’s clear she is desperate for attention and it’s all her hubby’s fault. Heather concurs, “It’s why she dresses like a two-bit harlot,” she says with a nod. OK, Heather didn’t actually say that… but, she did say that it was why Alexis dresses “like that.”

TIME FOR THE CONFRONTATION

Yea that shit was not contrived at all.

It’s all small talk for a while with Heather trying to explain the name of the restaurant and why it’s amusing. The women don’t get it and figure it must not be for blondes to understand.  Personally, I just think that Heather wanted to show off her multilingualing.

Tamra is bit on the inner thigh and Vicki demands that she proves it! Once bored with the idea of seeing Tamra’s inner thigh, Vicki suggested that they sing a song. She’s happy damn it and everyone is going to know what it is like to be with a Vicki that is so happy that she is delirious! She’s drunk and delirious off of her happiness! DEAL WITH IT, Tamra!

Alexis is surprised to hear that the men are getting together for dinner the next night. Her husband must not have deigned it worthy of Alexis’s ears. Maybe he is accustomed to not giving her brain more information than it can handle. While on the subject of husbands, Alexis decides that this is the perfect time to “discuss the white elephant in the room” and mentions what Heather’s husband said about her being all kinds of fake. Heather said that Dr. Dubrow (I really don’t remember his first name) was parroting what he heard others say, which I don’t think says much about him. Maybe Heather just wanted Alexis to know that everyone thinks that she is artificial (fake is such an overused word), and it works because all of the women, even BFF Gretchen, points out Alexis’s superficiality to her.

What hurts Alexis the most, what really cuts her way deep down in her soul, is that Gretchen didn’t stand up for her. That she didn’t lie to all of those women and say, “No! Alexis is not at all fake! She is the most genuine, down to earth person I have ever met! So what if she is always talking about her cars, her fake diamond ‘stand-ins’ and have tits the size of basketballs? That so totally does NOT make her fake!”

To bolster the women’s claims that Alexis is a materialistic blowup doll, we are shown a montage of Alexis’s greatest hits and Heather recounts an encounter at Nordstrom’s where she overheard Jim giving their son a lesson in owning the most expensive pair of shoes in the store. Heather was mortified by such behavior and Alexis said that her husband is just loud and that’s just who he is. Vicki throws in her two cents and tells Alexis that, although she is clearly the wealthier of the two women, Alexis makes her feel as if she is beneath her and explains that she would never buy both a Phantom and a Bentley because it isn’t wise decision making. Alexis insists that cars appreciate and that Jim will make more money off the cars in the end. Maybe we should actually be looking into HOW Jim buys these vehicles, huh? Maybe Alexis is on the wrong show. Mob Wives Orange County, anyone?

“God don’t like lying!” Says Tamra.

Alexis begs Tamra to stop being a Meany McMeanFace and dissolves into tears.

The End.

Next week promises to be as ridiculous, and I can’t wait!

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