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April 2, 2008

Just Another Day in Paradise Hotel


By Cindy Droog

I am way too old to watch Paradise Hotel, Fox Reality’s series about 11 singles who shack up at a posh beachside place, switch roommates each week and send each other home in a quest to be the last guest standing.


But I have a soft spot in my heart for young 20-something women, which is why I’m an adjunct professor, professional mentor and work supervisor to so many of them. And there’s nothing like an episode of Paradise Hotel, and hearing recent cast-off Raheim Smith’s mantra of “sharing is caring,” to remind me of my own crazy youth, and bring out my desire to embrace and love these young ladies so clearly still trying to find themselves.  


Each week, my husband and I tune in, so I figure my counsel to the ladies of Paradise is just as legitimate – if not more so – than what they’re getting anywhere else. Consider it a free concierge service:


  1. Krista “the Chaste” Norman: I like you. I had that “little sister” vibe going when I was your age, too, and it’s definitely an advantage. But girl, you need to sex yourself up a little. I’m not suggesting you get physical – in fact, your innocence is your strength. But there’s something about a slightly flirtier girl next door that might help you out. Think Neve Campbell’s move from Party of Five to Wild Things, only minus the pool scene with Denise Richards.
  2. Lauren “the Lippy” Doughten: You had all of the guys eating out of your hands, and at first, us too. We thought you were cucumber cool, but after Monday’s episode, it’s more like someone took a sledgehammer to a watermelon. After a little force is used on them, they look disgusting with their insides on display. Keep about half of your future thoughts to yourself, and you could be a cucumber again.
  3. Myrna the Magnetic: Aaron is attracted to you because you’re unique. The other guys like you because, well, you’re not one of the girls they already know. We like you because you’re not afraid to say that being gainfully employed is attractive. Wake up call, people. It is attractive!  But you called Lauren out your first day in Paradise, effectively angering a contender. I suggest you do what I do in big meetings. Lay a little lower until what you have to say will create a “wow” moment for everybody there – not just for you.
  4. Tidisha “the Tricky” Huley: I don’t think I’ve seen you in a vertical position aside from the elimination ceremonies. Do you ever just get up and dance? Spike a beach volleyball at someone’s head? Belly-flop into the pool? I see it in you – a fun girl, hiding out as a couch potato, but needing to escape. Do it now, before America – and the guys – get so bored with you that you become dial-up Internet service – a connection nobody wants because it’s slow and makes annoying sounds.
  5. Tanya “the Teacher’s Pet” Norman: And the teacher is me. Come on, you gotta love Tanya. Here’s a girl who’s done things all women do – fell for a guy a little too quickly; tried (but failed) not to get hurt; drank too much and hurt someone’s feelings and wasn’t too proud to apologize; and has attempted in honest fashion to like other people, whether they’re new or old, right or wrong, smart or dumb. She’s nonjudgmental and funny, and if she doesn’t make too much of a scene when Mike betrays her – which I believe will happen any episode now – she’ll deserve to stay in Paradise.


Now, I am a professor, so I’m not dumb enough to think that Tanya will actually win. The others will likely gang up on her in the end when they recognize she’s a favorite, sabotage her, and get her kicked out of Paradise.


The best I can hope for is that she’ll feel like having a couple of 30-something fans out there is a decent consolation prize


© 2008 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


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