I have, from the moment I watched my first episode, loved Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. It’s about making a lasting, positive change in someone’s life, helping the “victim” explore himself, expand his horizons, get moving to the next level of being the best he can be, carefully matched to the person he is now.
Blame the lack of coherent thought for weeks if I’m not getting it across. But much of reality TV is people competing against each other, with all the nasty stuff that comes with it (Survivor, anyone?) Or holding people up for mocking, like Hoarders (note: I’ve never seen it) and…well, the list could go on and on.
There are lots of shows out there (or there were, when I was watching a lot of reality TV) about helping people. What Not to Wear is one I remember. And then there’s Clean Sweep, Trading Spaces, In a Fix (I loved In a Fix! Does it even still exist?) and a boatload of others. For me, though, Queer Eye rises above the rest.
It’s funny, without ever being mean. It focuses on the total person, and on making every single change suit the personality of the person they are changing. (Kevin Downey Jr’s Boom-Boom Room, anyone?) In one episode I watched, they went back a few months later to check up on four of the guys they’d helped and every single one was maintaining because the changes weren’t some huge jump of “this is who I think the perfect man is.” The focus was always “let’s make you the best you we can, and show you how to keep it going.”
Well, anyway. The reason I’m talking about Queer Eye is I took a small portion of my tax refund out yesterday, and I came back with about none of it because I needed to help my kitchen.
Ted (Allen, the food guy) would be pleased that I bought good knives at last. My last set’o’knives (which was the best I’d ever owned) was falling apart, and instead of hitting the thrift store for a piece here and there to replace as they broke, I went out and carefully, thoughtfully, bought new knives.
I bought a red microwave. The impetus of the whole shopping trip was the breaking of the old, dull white microwave, so a microwave was GOING to happen, but daring to jump on the red–I think Thom would be proud. I also needed to replace my teflon-coated pans†, but I have some amazing All-Clad (because I’m THAT DAMN LUCKY) so I didn’t need a set. I bought a set of red-bottomed teflon skillets, and a set of ceramic-lined saucepans so I won’t have to replace THEM when I next replace the teflon. And I bought with the future in mind, so I went for quality.
All in all, I got some good stuff, some fun stuff, and a nice mix of things to help get me into the kitchen. And I think that the influence of the Fab Five is going to shine through, because I thought about what I wanted my kitchen to be as I looked for what I needed and wanted.
†In case you didn’t know, the bonding process with teflon means you must replace your teflon every few years no matter how high-quality the pan. Otherwise you’re eating the teflon, and it’s not good for you.