You know those people who say that 16 & Pregnant and Teen Mom glorify teen pregnancy? (Also known as people who have never seen either show). They need to see the episode with Markai. Because they'll see they were totally right. Markai develops both pica (she has the urge to eat soap) and excessive saliva. Yes, excessive saliva. To the point that she has to carry around a Pringles can with her to spit in. I mean, that's what EVERY teen girl wants to do. Shoot. If I was 16, I'd run out right now and try to get knocked up just so I could be on MTV for one whole hour. I mean, a FULL HOUR complete with everyone seeing me in the full throes of labor. That's totally worth nine months of carrying around a Pringles can to spit in (can you imagine? In high school?), nibbling on a bar of soap whenever I get the urge, birthing a baby out of my girl parts, and, you know, like, taking care of a child for the rest of it's life.
This week, MTV features it's first interracial couple of the season with James and Markai. Markai is black; James is white.
Before we delve into the babymama too deeply, let's talk about James.
James is white. With dreadlocks.
They never say how old he is, but he's covered in tattoos and never steps foot into a school. It's safe to assume he's over 18.
James is unemployed. THE DAIRY QUEEN WILL NOT EVEN HIRE HIM.
James wears his pants so low that they ARE NOT EVEN ON HIS BUTT AT ALL. (Hi James? Please meet Larry Platt).
MTV has to subtitle every single thing he says because his ghetto speak is THAT hard to understand.
I mean, James is totally the type of guy every parent wants their daughter to bring home. Totally.
In one of the very first (totally MTV-staged) scenes, Markai and James are sitting down with M's mom and sister. Her mom asks just how she got pregnant and the couple admits they had unprotected sex. Why?
"Because, yo, a condom, yo, like, totally got in the way, dawg," is James's way of explaining.
Oh, James. James, James, James.
A CONDOM got in the way? A CONDOM?
Try having a seven-week old baby, mmkay?
Much is played up in the episode about how Markai's dad has never been the type of dad he should've been. She still has contact with him, but he doesn't come around when he says he's going to. He's that type of dad. Understandably, it's very important for Markai that her child has a Daddy that's going to be around.
Which makes me wonder why, exactly, she had unprotected sex with a jobless, dred-locked white boy with no understanding of the English language.
Totally not in fashion with what other parents are prone to do on 16 & Pregnant, Markai's mom refuses to allow James to move in with her pregnant daughter. *High fives Markai's mom* This means that it's pertinent that James finds a job so that they can all move out together. Too bad neither Dairy Queen or Burlington Factory will hire him. Soon, though, James takes a break from his job search because he's talking to his ex. On Myspace. Hello? Is it 2004? Markai isn't happy about it and it causes some jealousy issues in their relationship. Also causes me to flinch because he refers to his ex-girlfriend as "that bitch." Yes! I love a little bit of misogyny with my MTV reality shows.
We're first introduced to Markai in the 31st week of her pregnancy so it's not long before Baby Za'Karia is born. And she's gorgeous and adorable and I would give anything in the world to hold one of my babies as a newborn again.
They go home, Markai realizes her life is all about breastfeeding. M's mom realizes how hard life is on Markai taking care of the baby all by herself so she allows James to move in. But he has to sleep on the couch. Eh. *High fives but not as enthusiastically*
The sleeping arrangement doesn't last long because . . .
Markai finds out, right when she goes back to school, that James cheated on her two weeks into their relationship. She doesn't just find out -- she's confronted with the news, by the girl he cheated with, in front of "everyone" at school. Aw, hell naw. Time to pull them earrings off, girlfriend.
She handles the situation like, I'd assume, most 16-year-old girls would. Screaming, cussing, carrying on. On the side of the road. Yes, that's right. These two, who are parents, get into it with each other. ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD. They are so totally mature enough to have a child!
Markai ends their fight by yelling, "You'll have to fight me for custody! Don't ever think about seeing MY baby!" Yeah, totally in tune with her whole "my baby WILL have a Daddy" line of thinking.
(Sidenote: apparently, James normally picks Markai and her sister up from school - while the baby is in daycare - but, on that particular day, dropped the car off for Markai and walked home. Hence their fight on the side of the road. Um, hello? JAMES DOES NOT WORK. Why is this baby in daycare? Oh, lawd, help me. I'm 'bout to go all Republican up in here and that just pisses me off. Who pays for this daycare? Markai with her salary from the grocery store? Markai's mom? The Florida taxpayers? If James isn't gonna pull up his pants, trim his hair, and get a job WHY IS HE NOT KEEPING HIS OWN BABY? I'm using way too many caps in this blog post, ya'll).
A couple days later they decide to hash it out again and it ends even worse. This time with violence, with Markai hitting James. (I can see the headlines: IS MARKAI THIS SEASON'S AMBER?) She ends up crying how she loves him so much and blah, blah, blah -- why do I feel nothing emotionally for this couple at all? MTV cuts to a commercial break and we're reminded of what to do if we, or any of our familly members, have been a victim of domestic violence. Amber? Is that you?
Approxomately two minutes before the show ends - and awfully convenient seeing as a camera crew was in town - SURPRISE! Amber's - I mean Markai's - daddy is in town and he's taking her to breakfast. The whole scene would be rather unremarkable until the very end of it when Daddy Dearest has a heart-to-heart with his daughter.
And I wanted to punch him in the balls.
He starts telling her, "When YOU ALL left ME." Wait. What? When "you all?" Excuse me? If anyone left your sorry ass it was their mother. Don't go heaping the blame on THE GIRL WHO ALREADY HAS DADDY ISSUES, YOU DUMBASS. I didn't even listen to the rest of his drivel because, frankly, I was ready to throw something through the TV screen.
The episode ends with Markai and James reunited to have pictures taken with Baby Za'Karia. And, okay, damn, I'll admit it. My uterus skipped a beat a little because that baby was that cute. Like, seriously. The only cuter babies I've seen came out of my own uterus. (Hi. I've never had Baby Fever before so someone please tell me if drooling over an adorable two-month-old -- when I have my even more adorable seven-month-old -- means I'm sliding into the realm of Baby Fever-dom. I'd rather stay out of that territory, thankyaverymuch).
In conclusion ('cause I wanna sound all fancy here for a moment), I just gotta say . . . with the exception of Markai's mom, not a single person in this episode was even remotely likeable. It was even hard to feel sorry for Markai with all the cheating shenanigans because she was that unlikeable to me. Surprisingly, James the Loser was actually more likeable to me than Daniel the Hair of last week. Does this mean I need therapy?