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Destiny – Starting Over, 12-17-04

by LauraBelle

I can’t help it. As Rhonda is asking the women in the Starting Over house, “What is your destiny?” all I think of is Michael J. Fox’s future father telling his future mother in Back To The Future, “I am you density” instead of “I am your destiny.” I am sure this is not what Rhonda meant when she posed the question, yet my mind still wanders there.

As Rhonda goes around the room, many say their destiny is to somehow help others, with Denise saying she is sure she will be helping others with her humor somehow. Sommer begins to break down, crying and noting all the hard work she knows she will have to continue even when she goes back home, to begin to find out what her destiny is. She says she doesn’t know why she’s crying. Denise, reverting to her old ways, tells Sommer maybe she’s crying because it’s her destiny to cry.

Rhonda immediately jumps on her, calling the remark flippant. Everyone else, clearly uncomfortable, agrees it was rather flippant. Later, even Denise agrees it was flippant, and realizes it was another of her attempts for attention. While she believes her destiny is to make people laugh, she is now beginning to realize her humor hurts people sometimes as well. Rhonda informs them there is a Board of Review that night.

Before Denise can define her destiny, she needs to clean up her life. She has so many things scattered about, there is no way she can come to a clear understanding of herself. Rhonda knows that Denise seems to understand everything she has learned in the house, but is questioning her desire to change, since she still doesn’t follow through and execute. She even tells Denise that she finds herself not believing Denise when she says she wants to change, as if she wanted to, she’d be doing it. I have to say I agree with that one, and have even used that same logic on my eleven-year-old son. And when I do, I can hear my father telling me twenty-five years ago, after I’d say, “I know”, saying, “No, you don’t know. If you did, you’d be doing it.”

After Rhonda sees the little progress Denise has made in keeping her living area clean and orderly, she sends in a professional organizer to help Denise, to see what Denise will do with additional knowledge. The Organizer, looking at Denise’s bathroom products spread from her counter to Towanda’s two counters, and her clothes in a laundry basket and an additional pile on the floor, sees an immediate need. The first thing she does is give Denise a drawer insert, telling her the good thing about those was you could still drop things in drawers, you just had to compartmentalize it at the same time. Moving on to the bedroom, everyone agrees Denise is a “shover.” Asked where she keeps her paperwork, Denise pulls a pile out from under her nightstand. The Organizer shows her a bin where she can store her paperwork in three sections – In, Working, and Out. Denise appears astonished they make such things. Okay, I’m not always the most organized either, but I do know the tools exist.

Cassie is still pouty and upset with her hair. She’s not willing to think about the change, so Rhonda notes she won’t ever like it. She is so tied to her blonde hair, she can’t see past how changes might be necessary sometimes. She can’t even begin to see where her destiny might lead her, as all she knows right now is that her destiny will lead her to have blonde hair.

At the Board of Review, I had expected Sommer to hear she was graduating, but this wasn’t the case. She wasn’t even reviewed. First up is Cassie. There is a layer of tension so thick around the table when she is up before everyone for her review, that garden shears would be needed to cut it. All of the talk is still centered around her hair. She still can’t see that she looked bad before, or looks better now, so she basically hears nothing. Rhonda tells her she only seems to be putting herself into her assignments that she enjoys. If her assignment is the least bit hard, she can’t seem to put herself into it. Everyone agrees her past was hard, but she needs to get past it, accept the style change and move on. We know she is only half-listening as she receives a B for her effort thus far.

Denise is called up next, and I guess that makes sense. Every time someone is called before the life coach on a day when there is to be a Board of Review, and they are told privately by their life coach that they need to be putting more effort into everything, they get called up for review. We can see where t his is going for Denise. As expected, she gets called out for not putting every bit of herself into it. Even she gives herself a C in most areas, when asked by the life coaches what she would give herself. Her housemates say she still leaves messes around and can’t find things. As expected, she gets a C, and just like the others before her, she questions why she is there and considers leaving.

One of Rachel’s assignments is day had been to make her mother’s favorite dessert, and share it with her housemates. They all sit around the table to enjoy peanut butter cookies and Ovaltine. Rachel tells how she was told that her mother always had to stir the glass of Ovaltine three times, and she demonstrates clink, clink, clink. The other women appear to be sincerely touched to share this with her. Rachel asks them to share what they remember about their own mothers. Towanda remembers picking berries and making pies. This discussion was a great tie-in to their theme of destiny. Rachel now sees she wasn’t destined for a life without a mother, as she still has one, and just needs to honor her memory and the time spent with her.

Seemingly after everyone else is in bed, Cassie is downstairs at the kitchen sink in her bathrobe. She washes her hair with dish liquid, trying to rid herself of the darker dye. This won’t bode well with Rhonda; we just not know it. This is not a good day for her to think about her destiny. She sees no future without her blonde hair.

I think it was an interesting placement of their women’s time in the house to talk about destiny. The seasoned veteran Sommer, acknowledges the work she’s done so far, and fears what changes going home will bring. Towanda sees a life of helping others, just before her probable last big assignment of her solo concert. Denise knows the area it has to deal with, but can’t pinpoint it, and the others can’t even begin to think of going there yet. There is too much work to do.

I welcome questions and comments at LauraBelle@realityshack.com

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