Fantasy vs. Reality. Everyone has fantasies, and not necessarily erotically speaking, but generally speaking of their life. Everyone has a wish on how they would like their life to be. The question is what we are willing to do to turn this fantasy into a reality. Bethany, Rachael and Cassie are all on the brink of finally having their fantasies turned into realities, and that’s only because they finally became more grounded and stopped wishing and accepting the realities of the situation.
Early this morning in the Starting Over house, the doorbell rings, and Renee answers the door to find a nice-looking man asking if she was Bethany. Renee’s response is, “I wish,” as she fetches Bethany from elsewhere in the house.
Bethany is stunned by who is at the door. It’s James Hyde from the soap opera, Passions. Bethany has been taping this every day religiously for four years. Sam and some of his buddies from Passions are challenging Bethany and her housemates to a softball game. He leaves her with bags of uniforms for them and directions to the softball field.
Bethany, who had remembered in a hypnosis session that she had played softball before her amnesia, will now, along with her housemates, enter into her first game since, with James and his co-stars Rodney Van Johnson, Eric Martsolf and Charles Divins. The men and the women split into two coed teams to make it even.
The women seem so alive doing this, even when flubbing up. Cassie, after getting a hit, runs to third base instead of first. After, she quips to the camera, “I really need to be on Starting Over. This we all know for sure.”
Sam mentions his wife on Passions has amnesia, and Bethany admits to knowing that and it being the reason she is so interested in the show. They talk briefly of Bethany’s experience, and she tells him of her undergoing hypnosis treatments.
After the game, the girls all have camera out, taking pictures of this momentous event. Bethany gets the first bold moment she has had since she has been on the show, and presumably in the four years since being struck with amnesia. She mentions realizing at twenty-one, she has never been kissed, and asks if any of them would like to kiss her. Three of the guys gather around and kiss her on the cheek and top of her head while Renee shoots a picture.
Eric Martsolf mentions to the camera how each of these women have such interesting stories, but together they have continence and are even more inspiring.
Rhonda leads Group this day, and is happy to hear of Bethany’s sudden assertiveness. She invites Bethany into the “love seat” next to her and awards her with her first step – accepting memory loss. Her next step will be giving up the charade. The more she learns of Bethany and her past, the more convinced Rhonda is she has always lived a charade.
This all leads into today’s Group topic of fantasy vs. reality. Asked what her fantasy would be, Vanessa says to have a perfect marriage, two kids, a home and a dog. She defines a perfect marriage as one based on a loving relationship and support. Renee’s fantasy involves her fantasy man, and it’s hard to hear who she names through the other women’s laughter, but I believe she names James Hyde.
Bethany’s fantasy of her first kiss became a reality today. The other women say Bethany has fantasized a little too much of how her first kiss had to be special and with the right guy. Rhonda says this was just like the lesson learned when Cassie was putting all her eggs in one basket. Cassie had believed if she could reconnect with her son, all her other fantasies would come true, but without the reconnection, nothing else would happen either. Sometimes the desire for the fantasy becomes so overwhelming, we don’t do the reality to make it work.
Before Group ends, Rachael asks if Iyanla is coming today. When Rhonda says no, Rachael seems visibly upset. Rhonda tells her to come into the “love seat” and talk and get support. Asked what she wants, Rachael says she’ll be mailing out her memory album with accompanying introduction letter to her birth father. Rhonda asks again what she wants, remembering the fantasy vs. reality conversation. Rachael says she has always thought her life was such a tragedy, but the reality is she’s had kind of a good life, and she’s not the person she would have been without her parents being gone. Rhonda order a Group hug.
After Group, Renee is with Rachael while she puts the finishing touches on the album. Renee asks if Rachael’s biological father knows her mom and stepdad passed away. She doesn’t think so, as he would have no reason to.
Cassie gives Rachael a ride to the Post Office to mail the album. Rachael tells her she appreciates her supporting her, and feels closer to her because of it. Cassie says it gives her hope of connecting with her birth son. Her worst fear is not being allowed to contact him. She adds it’s up to him if he wants to see her; she just wants him to know where she is, and that she’s interested in reconnecting.
Rhonda meets with Bethany privately and asks how it felt to get her first kiss. Bethany says she had just figured when else is she going to get that opportunity again. Rhonda says it’s time to start working on giving up the charade. Bethany wants to kiss, wants to be a rebel, but doesn’t see herself as kissable.
Rhonda tells her to get Renee. Finding her and relaying the story, Renee asks if she’s the kissing expert in the house. Rhonda believes Bethany needs a whole lot of kissing so that she will stop fantasizing about it, and has an assignment for Bethany and Renee to do together. They are going to run a kissing booth. Renee is going to be in charge of it, and Bethany is going to be the one being kissed.
Bethany gets very upset and makes excuses such as what if she catches gingivitis. Rhonda assures her that gingivitis isn’t passed through kissing. Bethany admits she thinks people won’t want to kiss her, as she doesn’t think there will be even one offer. She asks who would want to kiss a fat girl.
Rhonda asks Bethany why she thinks she would ask her to do this. Bethany doesn’t know, and Rhonda says that to her, Bethany isn’t a fat girl. She sees Bethany as a girl that is afraid of her power and trying new things. Rhonda finally tells her she knows it’s scary, but it could be fun like earlier today with the Passions guys.
Moving on, Rhonda joins Vanessa for a one-on-one, and has a makeshift Olympics podium set up in the room. Vanessa says she always hid that she secretly wished she did get the gold. This is why Vanessa’s first step will be to face failure.
Vanessa stands on the bronze step of the podium, Rhonda slips a bronze medal around her neck, and Vanessa feels nothing, like she did a bad job. On the silver step with the silver medal, she feels a little better, but also worse since it’s so close to the gold. On the gold step with the gold medal around her neck … finally … Vanessa feels she’s getting attention, and has a sense of accomplishment.
To fail getting the gold makes Vanessa feel like she was wasting her time and effort. Asked how she failed herself, Vanessa says it was by eating unhealthy and rebelling. Vanessa realizes for the first time that she had made a decision not to care, and now feels bad for being angry at the people she had been blaming. Rhonda instructs her to make a list of her bronze, silver and gold moments in her life.
Bethany and Renee are preparing a sign for their kissing booth and try to decide how much to charge since Rhonda won’t let them come back until they earn twenty dollars. They suggest twenty dollars for one kiss and have it over and done with in one full swoop, but Candy suggests one dollar a kiss; kiss twenty guys and be done with it.
Rachael joins Bethany and Renee on their kissing booth adventure. They are going to give the money they raise to the Big Brothers/Big Sisters charity. Before they even get the booth set up, a man approaches and asks for the particulars. Renee and Rachael explain Bethany has never been kissed, and this man doesn’t understand why not. He gives her a little instruction, then kisses Bethany full on the lips.
Many of the men that approach the booth want to kiss all three girls. One man pays five dollars just to kiss Rachael. In the end, they make $32.80, with the eighty cents coming form a homeless man.
Rhonda wants to meet with Cassie, and tells her to bring her notebook up to the loft. The adoptive father has finally called Rhonda back. Rhonda calls him kind and sweet. He wants to help, but feels uncomfortable because of his difficult relationship with the adoptive mother. He believes Cassie has the right to meet her son, and thinks it’s a good idea. He doesn’t have a relationship with his son now, but has the name and number of someone else who could help.
This other person is the adoptive father’s second ex-wife, Shelly. Shelly helped raise Cassie’s son from the time he was two until about ten-years-old. Rhonda wants to call with Cassie and invite Shelly to the Starting Over house.
Shelly is called and agrees to help. She doesn’t know for sure if Cassie’s son knows he is adopted. The adoptive father told her he walked in on his son looking at the adoption papers one day. Cassie is concerned now that he found out in the worst possibly way. She asks Shelly if she would visit the Starting Over house, and she agrees. She will bring stories and pictures with. Cassie calls Sherry a godsend and Rhonda calls the whole thing a miracle.
Cassie ends the show by saying this is what has kept her going. When he was born, she remembers looking into his eyes. She’s not supposed to be here; she should be dead or institutionalized. But here she is. Her fantasy of meeting her son is closer than ever to being a reality, and it can’t be by accident that it has come after she accepted that this fantasy may never happen, and if doesn’t, life would go on.
I welcome all questions and comments at LauraBelle@realityshack.com