You should know this about me: I watch some TV. And by some I mean a lot. About half my favorites are on Bravo lately (I’ve said before, if they invent a Bravo chip that implants straight into the brain, I’m first in line.). Topping the list this week is Flipping Out, about obsessive perfectionist Jeff Lewis who flips multi-million dollar houses (or renovates and redesigns them) for a living with his hilarious team.
And as with most lowbrow entertainment, I can’t help but find high levels of wisdom buried within. I suppose you could call it justification for my viewing habits. (Actually…I call it that.) Well then, let’s justify some reality TV by showing the four lessons we can learn from this week’s episode of Flipping Out!
Lesson #1: Sometimes it takes two dates to know if you click. When Jeff went to meet with a client considering him for a redesign project, he compared the experience to dating: “I don’t want to go on three dates and then you decide you don’t want to date me anymore,” said Jeff. “Like, I want you to know on the first date that I’m somebody you want to see for the long-term.”
In theory, heck yeah, I’m with you. Why get dragged through long pointless dates if one of you knows it’s just not right? But the truth is, sometimes we’re off our game on the first date. Sometimes we’re caught up in the awkwardness and nervousness. Sometimes you don’t get deep enough to get to the crucial heart of the person you’re with after twenty-odd minutes of small talk. Jeff was already sold on them (well, the clients were going to pay him after all), but the clients wanted a second date. So he reluctantly went. In his case it worked out. In real life, second chances can make all the difference, too!
Lesson #2: It’s okay to get really excited—and really sad—about being single. Jenni, Jeff’s newly divorced assistant (and co-star, really), is on a new quest this season: for love. And this week, she had some big highs and big lows. First, there were moments of laugh-y excitement about a potential set-up. Later in the show, she was let down when it didn’t go through, and had a soggy-eyed moment as she helped taste-test someone else’s wedding cake. (Ugh, right?) But Jenni’s doing it right on both counts, because looking for love is like a magnified version of life: Sometimes you’re up, sometimes you’re down, but the important thing is that you feel passionately on both sides of the spectrum. It takes heart to find love, so let yourself feel it all!
Lesson #3: If you plan for failure, you’ll get it. A new character this season is Rachel, a years-old friend of Jeff’s now working as his second assistant. But things aren’t looking like she’ll be able to handle much more of the job, and she blames Jeff’s keen eye for flaws—i.e. she feels that Jeff keeps his eyes peeled for what is going wrong, which brings the wrong out. “I feel like you’re almost set up to fail with that sort of thing,” said Rachel.“Something’s bound to go wrong, especially if someone’s gunning for something to go wrong. When you ask for mistakes or when you assume there will be, there usually will be.”
She’s really onto something, so listen up! It’s kind of like when you’re driving and you point to something on the side of the road…and then realize you’re accidentally steering right toward it? In life, we can’t help but follow our focus. If all you see at the finish line is failure, you’ll run right through the rope. Ta-daaaa, you lose! So if you want to win, you have to see success at the end of the road.
Lesson #4: Brown-er salsa is better than the regular red kind. It really is, you know. Jeff threw a minor fit that Rachel only brought home four brown salsas from Baja Fresh instead of ten, and I know why. The brown salsa is the best kind! Not just at Baja Fresh, but anywhere. I think they add some smoked peppers in those, or more pepper maybe. But Jeff’s right. Always get extra brown salsa. If nothing else, that’ll make you smile.