Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Why Do I Feel Sorry for Kate Gosselin?

Last night TLC aired a one hour interview of Kate Gosselin by NBC reporter Natalie Morales. (Don't worry if you missed it; I'm sure TLC will replay it every third hour for the next several weeks.) Now that Kate's estranged husband Jon has refused to allow their eight children to appear on their beleaguered show, the series is all but dead and the cable network seems to be doing all it can to produce content with Kate alone. Last week Kate answered viewers' letters; this week she sat down for an interview.

I have followed the disintegration of Jon and Kate Gosselin's marriage more closely than I should admit, undoubtedly contributing to the paparazzi maelstrom that seems to satisfy these parents' appetite for stardom and may well be destroying any waning chance of normalcy those eight children could hope for. Time after time, Jon has proven himself to be an overgrown child and, well, a jerk and I wrote him off long ago. But - and here's what I can't figure out - despite her repeated episodes of outrageous behavior, I find myself feeling sorry for Kate.

I started watching Jon & Kate Plus 8 right after Big Boy was born. While I struggled to get through the day with one baby, I marveled at Kate's ability to manage nine (I always counted Jon as one of her brood). Yes, she was shrewish, controlling, and unpleasant, but so was I and I had much less excuse to be. Unlike the legions of fans who watched the show for the cute kids, I was captivated by the bitchy mom.

Since Jon and Kate separated earlier this year, Kate has done plenty more to lose my sympathy - from continuing to air her family's dirty laundry in public to convincing me fairly thoroughly that she is hungry to remain a celebrity as long as we'll have her. But every time I read an article about her or see her interviewed, I feel for her because I simply cannot imagine doing her job alone. Yes, she has help, but it is hired help. She has lost her partner, even if it was the bumbling Jon, and it's hard to imagine anyone signing on as a new one. At the end of the day, she is a mom, barely older than me, with four times as many children and no one else.

Am I the only person left in America who feels sorry for Kate?

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