Matty’s Musings: Practical life lessons learned from ‘Full House’

Matt Busekroos

Winter break is a wonderful time to relax after a long semester of work, tests and projects. Oh, and it is a great opportunity to run away from any kind of drama or oddities that may have occurred right before leaving.

During my break I was confronted with a number of options to best occupy my time. Mainly, I thought I could catch up on sleep and then work on applications for summer internships, while updating the resumé and writing a new cover letter. I was ready to go. However, I was sadly mistaken when procrastination won out once again. I decided to catch up on all of the television I missed over the past few months instead. But rather than watch the current crop of television shows, I found former ABC sitcom and current ABC Family staple “Full House” calling out to me.

Now, I am no stranger to “Full House.”  Oh, no. That is one of the few shows I recall watching as a child. In fact, I remember one instance where I wanted to watch a new episode and was blocked because I had to go to my older sister’s orchestra concert. I was 5 years old and I am still pissed.

All it takes is one viewing of the insanely familiar and comfortable intro to get hooked into the cheesy atrocity of a “comedy.” One of the more memorable aspects of the show included one or several characters undergoing some sort of life lesson in any given episode. This metaphorical hug to the audience usually led to a heartwarming discussion featuring the very special music playing in the background. You can practically see the Velveeta curdling from the screen during those scenes. Yet I am proud to admit that I learned numerous practical life lessons from these episodes.

Crash diets lead to unhealthy eating habits and a negative body image.

In the Season 4 episode, “Shape Up,” Kimmy Gibbler decides to host a pool party, which leads D.J. Tanner to feel self-conscious about her body. I learned here that no person is worth putting yourself through the rigor of a harsh diet just for society’s approval (I have yet to collapse at the gym, thank you very much). This very special storyline certainly rivals Jessie Spano’s caffeine pill addiction on “Saved by the Bell” and Sylvia being raped by a clown on “Little House on the Prairie” as some of the most gripping television ever produced.

Drinking beer during the middle school dance is totally not cool.

Uncle Jesse catches D.J. with a beer at her middle school dance in Season 3’s “Just Say No Way.” Jesse ultimately jumped to conclusions and assumed D.J. was drinking when she was not. This episode gave me a false impression of what it would be like to be in middle school. There was no live band at the Friday night dances. There was no beer stowed away in lockers (that I know of). There was no cute, awkward dancing during the fast songs unless you want to count grinding, which was certainly not cute for this 11-year-old.

Writing secret love notes has its consequences.

In a special three-episode arc during the fourth season where Danny dates his dry cleaner, Cindy, the audience is given the ultimate pleasure of becoming acquainted with her delinquent son Rusty.  One of Rusty’s great machinations came to play in “Secret Admirer” where he wrote an unsigned love note intended for D.J. from Ricky the paper boy. This note was passed throughout the household between different pairs. Hijinks ensued, of course. While never having to deal with secret love notes in real-life (unfortunately), I think we can all agree that Ricky the paper boy was not worth all the trouble. Sorry, D.J.

Having been anointed Princess for the day does not give you permission to be a royal pain.

To celebrate Uncle Jesse’s gig at Walt Disney World, the Tanner clan heads to Florida in the Season 6 finale, “The House Meets the House.” Said episode features spoiled and bratty Michelle in all her glory when she becomes princess for the day.  Now I have been to Disney World several times and never had the luxury of becoming rince for a day, but if I did, I know my place as the youngest in the family. I did find myself lost similar to Michelle though, it was not nearly as dramatic or fun.

Never bathe your goldfish.

In Season 4’s “A Fish Called Martin,” Michelle wins a goldfish at a carnival. Michelle foolishly gives her goldfish, Martin, a bubble bath, which effectively kills him. I have never had a pet, not even a fish, but it is refreshing to learn that a simple bubble bath would actually kill one. Once again, Michelle gets away with something (and in this instance, murder) because she is cute and adorable. I also learned from “Full House” that a frown and fake crying can go a long way.

I would like to thank “Full House” for providing a false sense of reality. Where is the forced hug after my sister and I quell an argument? Why is there no random, goofy and unsuccessful comedian living in my house to tell poor jokes to break the tension? Lastly, there is not enough Aqua Net in the world to get your hair to look like D.J. Tanner’s. Trust me. I’ve tried.