My Amazing Wander Is Better Than Your Amazing Race

I’ll go ahead and admit it right now—I used to want to be on the Amazing Race. In fact, I wanted to be on it so much that I actually applied—video, forms, the whole nine yards. But I didn’t hear a word. It was crushing.

Not so crushing, however, that I didn’t try again. I figured that Jeff, whom I first applied with, was the weak link, so I ditched him and applied with my brother Gregory. And though I willed my phone to ring by staring at it all day every day for two full weeks, it never did. Again, it seems that my partner just wasn’t up to par.

(Hold on, what’s that I hear you whispering? You think maybe I was the problem. Um, no, you’re wrong. It definitely wasn’t me. In fact, I think the truth is that the reason I never got a call was that the producers, upon seeing my application, were completely overwhelmed by me and certain that I would absolutely crush any competition, making the show not all that interesting for its viewers. Oh, to be as talented as I am…)

Anyhow, as the show has moved from season to season, my interest has waned, and I’ve gone from being obsessed with getting on the show to watching the show if I happen to have the time. I’m just not invested anymore. I think part of it is the realization that while the show’s contestants travel the world, they don’t really get to see much of it. It’s a race after all, and the goal isn’t to see the scenery or get to know a local or enjoy foreign cuisine. The goal is to accomplish whatever task you’re given as quickly as possible, whether that task is milking camels, consuming pounds of caviar, or running roughshod all over town in search of a hidden clue. The other reason for my slackened interest is my realization that maybe, just maybe, I wouldn’t actually do that well. Let me tell you why.

1. I don’t perform well on little sleep. I need to get my ZZZs, otherwise not only am I a huge grump-monster, I’m also completely useless. Even as a kid, I wasn’t interested in staying up all night. At sleepovers, I’d stay up just long enough for someone else to fall asleep first and thus be subjected to whatever pranks the other kids could come up with. Once the toothpaste was all over the other kid’s face or their hand was in a bowl of hot water, I was in my sleeping bag and asleep. In college, I never even once pulled an all-nighter. I always figured a good night’s sleep would do me better than a few woozy hours of cramming

2. I do even worse if I don’t get to eat on a regular basis. When I get hungry, I want food NOW. Just as with lack of sleep, a lack of food makes me grumpy. And I have a problem that I call jello legs because when I need food, my legs get to feeling like jello and I feel as if I’m going to collapse. Not good for racing.

3. I can’t stand obnoxious people, and if you have ever watched the Amazing Race, you’ll find that most seasons have a good share of people I’d place into this category. This is reality television after all. Conflict is good for ratings. Stupidity might even be better for ratings.

4. I hate losing. If I ended up being eliminated from the Race, you can bet I wouldn’t be happy about it. No way I’d stand there jumping up and down and cheering for the winning team like all the eliminated losers do on every season’s finale. I think I’d stick my leg out and trip them instead.

So take that Amazing Race. I don’t want to be on your show anyway. Rather than getting paid a million dollars to run around the world like a chicken with my head cut off, yelling at cab drivers, cursing everyone who doesn’t speak English, and screaming at the top of my lungs about how much I hate my partner (oh yes, all common Race occurrences), I’ll pay my own way so that I can move at my own chosen speed. (And sleep and eat when I need to, get away from obnoxious people at my first opportunity, and not have to worry about my sore loser tendencies.)

13 thoughts on “My Amazing Wander Is Better Than Your Amazing Race”

  1. And, folks, Theresa’s true colors come out. I can’t imagine being related to her!

    [On a related tangent, Amanda wonders how mom survived raising us three boys. She somehow has this misinformed idea that the three boys were difficult while you were amazingly easy to raise/get along with. I will have to direct her to this confessional so she can see your true side. Because, let’s be honest, the need to eat and or sleep, and the consequences of not eating/sleeping, comprise a good deal of your life.]

  2. Matthew, I have no idea what you are talking about. I was a peach, I tell you, a peach!
    Hmmm, wonder if there’s a reason that I say if I have kids, I’d prefer to have more boys than girls (though I do want one girl…one as awesome as me of course.)

  3. I’ve never come across a reality show that I would actually want to be on (except of course the ones I would never qualify for like Project Runway or America’s Next Top Model), but even if I did, I feel like I would always lack the motivation to actually apply. So wow, I’m impressed that you went to all the trouble of applying twice!

    Anyway, I’m with you on the whole eating and sleeping thing. I get very grumpy very easily if my basic needs aren’t met.

  4. Maybe you needed me or Michael as your partner!

    I think if I did the show I would have to do it with Michael rather than Danny because Michael and I have traveled together before and fought. Like the time we were driving thru Niagara Falls and he threatened to jump out of the car and I sped up. Talk about conflict and drama!

    I love the Amazing Race and I think it’s great that you are going to Choose Your Own Adventure. Although the million bucks would be great!

    On the topic of boys vs. girls…I’m not sure. I think that since we both have 3 younger brothers, we know a bit more about raising and living with boys than with girls. And we both probably played equally with Barbies and race cars.

  5. My comment wasn’t so much relating to boys v girls as much as it was related to Amanda’s erroneous claim that Theresa was somehow easier to raise than the three boys. Amanda must have arrived at this conclusion from observations of current behavior. Theresa attempts to exhibit tact and play the social game, while the three boys are all pretty unstable(especially Greg). My comment, then, was merely to point out that Theresa has a pain-in-the-ass side that usually only is demonstrated to close family and friends(or those unfortunate to [have] live[d] with her). Everyone gets grumpy from time to time, but Theresa has had a lifelong issue with food and sleep, and therefore, could be difficult to be around at times. Those who know her well, know this. Those who try to vouch for her while attacking the Dowell boys [cough:Amanda:cough] will learn it soon enough. Because, well, how is that search for airline tickets to D.C going, Amanda? It’s only a matter of time….

  6. Allow me to add some ammo Matt =). I will say she’s generally a peach, but the food and sleep issues are many. Right before dinner is not the time to talk, nor is right before bed. Theresa’s bedtime ritual begins probably around 10:30 to make it to bed by 12. Anyway, Theresa tells me stories about getting gold stars for not complaining about her socks for an entire day (when she was six, not in high school). About being downright evil to a lot of boys in her classes. Etc. So yeah, while I don’t know how much of a terror you boys were to raise (I can only imagine), I have a hard time seeing Theresa being easy in comparison to anything. She does put on a good show of normalcy when she tries though, doesn’t she.

  7. Theresa? Lovely, lovely Theresa?? It’s all a lie! I lived with Theresa for a year, and I’m here to tell all you whiners that if you think living with THERESA is hard, you just need to try living with some OTHER people who shall go nameless (at least in this public forum). Although Theresa demands attention to the most basic of human needs–food and sleep–she is tidy, clean, doesn’t hog the bathroom, can get ready to go somewhere in a short amount of time, can leave the house without makeup, can cook, and has a healthy attitude towards TV (take or leave it). The food and sleep thing is pretty easily managed, I would say, in comparison to the potential other horrors that roommates/siblings can visit on you.
    Oh yeah, and she’s silly! What FUN!

  8. I do think you guys are being a bit tough on Theresa. She openly admitted her weaknesses-grumpy when without food and/or sleep. Each of you have your own weaknesses and I am not going into them here. Of course if you care to blog about them I will comment. I do know that I am glad I had a girl to go along with my boys, as there is always something interesting going on and there always was while you all were growing up at home.

  9. Hehehe… Ok, so since I just tuned in here I obviously don’t know either of you any better than what you write on your blog, but yes, I hear you with the no sleep thing. I can go without food (although I rarely do, just ask my rotund stomach) but I get truly evil without my sleep.

    Not that that will stop me from applying to Amazing race. Alas, I think I just missed their last season. Oh well. I can at least watch your life of wander… Great post title by the way!!

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