Is this a real life? Is this a fantasy?

Posted by Marlinee on Mar 6, 2016 in Middle Age |

We should all know the difference between what happens online or on screen and what actually happens In Real Life (IRL) but somehow it is sometimes very hard to distinguish between these two things. Isn’t IRL where we spend all of our minutes, hours and days, and isn’t NRL (Not Real Life, a term I may have just coined and don’t even think about trying to steal it) the antithesis of actual things that matter. But I digress. Here are some things we see every day on various screens and devices that I wish actually existed in real life.

1. Good wardrobes for working women. Although apparently, The Good Wife gets most of her clothes off the rack, the outfits sported by all of the women on Suits and by Claire Underwood as she swans around the White House are all figments of someone’s very customized imagination. There are endless instances of beautiful neutral colored shifts, effortlessly glamorous trench coats and leisurewear that never ever existed IRL. If TV shows can’t even find clothing appropriate for women in positions of power, how could any normal human being ever hope to look as well turned-out? And even if Alicia does manage to make do with ensembles that do exist IRL, she can only do it by spending $1000 on a blouse (double that on shoes).

2. Technology interfaces. Have you noticed that any technology that appears in a movie or television show bears no resemblance to functionality available on your IRL devices, even if it isn’t science fiction? For example, any time something is copied from one place to another, the documents show as a thumbnail and then whisk themselves neatly off the screen in a chic little ‘whosh’. Or if something is being transferred secretly from a phone to a thumbdrive (something I’m sure that happens every day), you see each individual file being transmitted in a line-by-analog-line to the transportable device. IRL we still get the ‘blue screen of death’ more often than we thought was possible in the 21st century.

3. Apartments that people who do not come from a family of billionaires can afford New York, LA, San Fran (fill in the desirable city here) etc. I’m sure that Carrie Bradshaw’s midtown bachelor pad would rent for at least $10,000 a month while her earnings as a freelance writer would be more in line with having 5 roommates in a two bedroom slum. People on TV also never have dirty dishes, piles of laundry or cat barf on their carpets. Or maybe they do, and they just have an army of cleaning people that works away quietly in the dead of night to make sure everything is shipshape by morning. IRL we wake up to the same mess we left the night before, compounded by fresh cat barf to step in while searching for something relatively clean to wear.

4. Pets that make money. Of course a handful of people have been able to monetize their pet’s cuteness, but if you do the math it works out to about .0000001% of the pet population that is paying their own way. My cats, for example, are perfectly content to sit back (or lie down) and live a completely work-free life, even though they are at least as adorable as any star of the Internet Cat Festival. IRL pets remain on the wrong side of the household balance sheet.

5. Food that dances like no one is watching. The most recent issue of Bon Appetit is entirely devoted to taking pictures of food, including the ‘rules’ for taking photos at dinner. If you need proof that society as we know it has devolved to a dangerous level of vacuousness, you now have it. Photogenic food is now mandatory, as is the requirement to take and share photos of every meal, snack and raw ingredient. IRL, you are certainly allowed to admire what’s on your dinner plate, but then please just get on with the business of actually eating the food.

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