Monday, March 1, 2010

Moral Dilemma

Of all the things to get wound up about...

When Krys and Steve moved back home last year, they brought with them an idea and an application... Steve suggested we apply to an ABC program called Extreme Makeover Home Edition.

The premise of the show is that the producers find deserving families with homes falling apart and come in to help out. They film the whole thing and air it on Sunday nights.

First off... I hate, and I mean HATE reality television. I watch the SyFy channel's version of RT because they're funny... but avoid all other such programs. There are so very many reasons to dislike these shows... in general they aren't genuine, they suck you in and they're emotionally manipulative... just to name a few.

And yet... I'm tempted.

We have no heat. No air-conditioning. Our floors are shot. We have a huge hole in the ceiling due to water damage from the A/C unit. The windows leak. There is a hole in the roof. I suspect we've got termites trying to move in. There is electrical damage to the front room downstairs from the fireants that managed to move in a couple of years ago. The front doors need to be replaced. The back door no long locks properly. We absolutely have mold thanks to poor construction. Every room (save 2 bathrooms) needs some measure of repair to the walls and every room needs paint.

And between what I can put together selling crafts and Charlie's disability, we're still not making the bills... There's no way we're going to scrape together enough to do any home repairs.

I can't, I can't, I can't have Becka and Krys' babies crawling on these floors. I'm so desperate about the floors, I'm ready to pull up the carpets and live on plywood and concrete until we can get new floors in this house.

So, yeah... the house is falling apart. Charlie and I along with it... at a somewhat slower pace. We're at least still able to work to improve our physical situations.

As for health, Disability Insurance, wonderful thing it is, acknowledges Charlie's health problems but then insists we all wait another 22 months before any sort of health insurance will be made available to us. In the meantime, he can't replace his breathing equipment or afford his diabetes supplies and glucosamine can only do so much for the joints in us both that continue to deteriorate. By the time we get health coverage, there's a good chance Charlie won't be able to make the trip up the stairs to our room anymore.

Then there is John who is patiently waiting an official diagnosis of Asperger's... but once we finally get that long awaited appointment with the specialist at MUSC, we may not be able to pay for it.

The more I look around at all I cannot change in our lives, the more I think about this idea that, quite frankly, I could shoot Krys and Steve for planting in my head.

So I pulled out the application and looked at it. Even started filling it out... then I got to this part: PART 2) – YOUR FAMILY’S STORY (Mandatory)
Please summarize your family’s CURRENT situation and how it affects you and
your home. What makes you deserving? What makes your situation unique? (Due
to the large volume of mail we receive, please keep your answer brief)

I see the question, "What makes you deserving?" and I shut down. Heck, it's hard even to breathe reading those words. Let's forget for a minute that my own personal neuroses make me crazier than necessary... HOW THE HECK IS ANYONE SUPPOSED TO ANSWER THAT QUESTION?

I ask the kids... Krys and Steve talk about all we've been through during my recovery, dad's health and how through all that we've kept our home open to others. For a couple of years when Charlie was still at the port, he paid a friend's mortgage until he could get back on his feet.

John says we're just awesome. Gotta love that kid.

And everyone else, like me and Charlie says "uh... I dunno." Actually, I constantly flash to a Wayne and Garth style "I'm not worthy! I'm not worthy!"

I've tried talking Krys into just nominating us if she thinks it's such a hot idea and she gets the same deer in the headlights look I feel when I think about putting anything to print on that blasted application.

I'm so torn it's ridiculous. Even if I find the nerve to complete an application, offer up a video of my home and family and send the thing out... WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO SAY?

Am I going against my own principles even considering the idea? If not, and by some miracle we were chosen... could my sanity survive not only inviting dozens of strangers into my home but the prospect of *wretch*gag* allowing it to be nationally televised?

So I'm asking... is it worth a try? What would we say?

Or am I better off trying to sell that kidney on Craig's List?


  1. I say go for it. But before you do, pray about it. Ask God for guidance in this matter. Ask Him for the right words to say, because you acknowledge that no one is truly DESERVING of it. Your family, and those babies, need a safe home to be in. That home is not safe. And if anything makes you "deserving" of the home makeover, I'd say it WOULD be your willingness to open your home to others. But as always, pray and ask God for guidance.

  2. P.S. The episode that is about your family and your house would be the first episode I watch from start to finish. ;-)

  3. it is worth a try. knowing how hard the whole thing is for you - because it would be the same for me - i say go for it.

    you miss 100% of the shots you never take.


  4. Marisa...
    While I'm not a fan of reality shows either, I have watched this one before and the things they do for people are truely amazing. I can't think of a family more deserving then yours to have this. I say go for it. Pray about finding the right words. For as long as I have known you have have done nothing but help people. It's your turn to be helped. I love you.

  5. How is this a moral dilemma? I would, think it was a no-brainer.

  6. the dilemma lies in trying to decide if i should willingly participate in a television genre i detest. a little hypocritical, isn't it?

  7. Even the widow of Ephrepath got her prayer answered when God sent the prophet to her house and told her to fill all the jars she could find or borrow with oil. You are no different. The difference has to do with having the FAITH to believe you can be deserving because you are God's children. So go ahead and ask. But before you do, pray to Our Father in heaven to bless your request. He can cause these servants (ie film crew,carpenters, electricians, etc.) to open the way to your recovery. (I will also pray, believing the same for you and your wonderful husband whom I have known and loved for many years.)
    Jim Leddy

  8. Well not sure Mrs Feathers - daily we participate in so many things we detest! The crowded commute, the junk food, the mind numbing traffic jams. When something is needed something is needed! Go for it!

  9. oh man - go for it!!!! What do you have to loose? You're worth it because you have a family who you want to be safe... that would be soooo exciting!! Keep us updated if you make it through!!!


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