My husband Cal and I have been going through some pretty tough times in our marriage lately. For the past three months, Cal's been cheating on me with Rhonda, this 18-year-old stripper who used to babysit for us. And just yesterday, after beating me with a tire iron, he told me Rhonda's pregnant and wants us to raise the child.
As you can probably guess, I'm furious at Cal. But I'm not perfect, either: I did, after all, have sex with his father. All sorts of confused thoughts run through my head, and I just don't know what to do. My mother thinks I should dump "that piece-of-shit asshole fuck," as she's fond of calling Cal. My best friend Adrienne thinks we should get counseling. I'm thinking an appearance on The Jenny Jones Show is just the thing to save our marriage.
I watch Jenny every day, and I really think she could give us the advice and guidance we sorely need. Her show tackles relationship problems like mine all the time, and Jenny's incredible at dealing with them.
First of all, she's full of the plain, common-sense wisdom that all the great daytime talk-show hosts, from Sally Jessy Raphäel to Mother Love, share. I remember one episode where this middle-aged woman was cheating on her husband with her teenage stepson. She said the boy wasn't technically related to her, so what was the problem? I must admit, the woman's argument seemed pretty sound to me.
But Jenny really put things in perspective. First, she asked this lady, "What if your husband was cheating on you? Wouldn't you be hurt?" Then Jenny added, "You're this boy's stepmom! Stepmoms aren't supposed to do things like that!" I remember sitting at home in awe. I never thought of it quite that way!
As great as Jenny is, the studio audience deserves a lot of credit for counseling people, too. They provide just the kind of support system people need when discussing their embarrassing problems on national TV. I particularly remember one audience member's input. The show, titled "I Can't Control My Sexy Teen!", featured a panel of overweight teenage girls who dress like sluts. About halfway through, a male audience member stood up and said to these girls, "Can all y'all ladies say 'choo-choo,' 'cause alls I sees a ho train! Ho!… Ho!… Ho!" Talk about helpful! These remarks let the girls see that their mode of dress was causing them to be treated with less respect than they deserved.
I only pray that such insightful and compassionate people are in the audience if and when Cal and I appear. Maybe if I come on the show wearing my favorite green dress, someone will refer to me as "yo, the lady in green." (The audience always calls the guests it most cares about by the color they're wearing.) And maybe someone will point out that I gots to check myself before I wreck myself. Because I do. Sometimes, it takes a stranger in a TV audience to hammer home a point like that.
If Cal and I do get on Jenny Jones, I'm really hoping Jenny springs a surprise guest on us. Like maybe some other woman he's been sleeping with that I don't even know about. That would be great! Then the three of us could sit down and work out our differences by screaming at each other in front of millions of people. That's just the kind of open, loud communication you need in a successful marriage.
I was heartened by the interest I got from The Jenny Jones Show when I contacted them recently. Linda, the assistant producer, said my story would fit very well into the upcoming show, "My Man Won't Stop Cheating & Beating!" Linda then asked me if I'd discussed appearing on Jenny Jones with Cal. I said no, because he was busy working time-and-a-half at the grain elevator. "That's great," she replied. "Just tell Cal that the two of you are going on Jenny Jones because you won the 'Jenny Jones World's Greatest Hubby Video Essay Contest.' He'll be sure to agree to go on. Then, when Cal comes onstage, everybody will boo him, and we'll reveal the real reason he's on the show–because he's a cheating, beating, lowdown, rotten skunk."
For a moment, I was confused. "Won't that just make him angry at me?" I asked. But then Linda reminded me of all the hurt Cal had caused me, and said that if anyone deserved a taste of his own medicine, it was him. Well, I couldn't disagree with that logic. Besides, if the audience taunted and mocked Cal the way they did the "Over-80 Transvestites" who were on last week, maybe Cal would see the error of his ways and stop fooling around!
So, hopefully, you'll be seeing Cal and me on Jenny Jones real soon. There's a chance we may get turned down, which would be terribly disappointing. But if that happens, there are other ways to get the marriage counseling we need. Like by going on Jerry Springer. Like Jenny, Jerry always seems to lend a caring, sympathetic ear, and his "Final Thought" is always filled with the sort of solid, time-tested advice that never fails to rub off on guests.