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Survivor already?

Jenn Metz | Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I lost my ID card this weekend. The impact of this loss didn’t quite hit me until dinnertime, when, realizing I only had 61 cents in cash, I took out a package of my room’s seemingly endless pile of Cup of Noodles and put some water on to boil. Our water heater might be illegal, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

While stressing out, I did what I do best – put in a DVD box set and sit and watch. For hours. Inspired by their second turn on The Amazing Race, I recently purchased the eighth season of Survivor to pay tribute to my favorite couple, possibly ever – Boston Rob and Amber.

(You can request online that they come to events. Whoever it is that organizes big events here, I’m just putting it out there. I’m sure they’re not that expensive. I’d go.)

My ridiculous collection of box sets, in retrospect, is probably the reason for my untimely shortage of funds.

For one day, at least, I am playing my own version of the show – Survivor 25: Indiana. I can boil water. I rely on my Cup of Noodles for sustenance. I make alliances with my fellow “tribemates” to gain access to their valuable FlexPoints.

Rewards won today: a coffee at Starbucks, three yogurt-covered pretzels and a water bottle. Challenge lost: my fight with the card swiper at the Rock who just couldn’t believe I was a Notre Dame student on my way to volleyball class.

Honestly, who would lie to go to volleyball class?

I watched my Survivor while I was studying for an anthropology test. It was appropriate, I thought, since I saw the castaways make tools, create culture and find their niche in the group.

I also watched my Survivor when I was hungry because I knew, luckily, I wasn’t as hungry as them.

But was I really luckier? In my box-set season, the Survivor cast members get to live with Rob and hear that lovely accent every day. And they participate in what might possibly be one of the most fun and challenging experiences ever.

Which brings me to a recent addition to my life goal list: to win Survivor.

I shouldn’t really have a problem achieving this goal, I don’t think. I swam in high school, and on every season except Africa, most challenges involved some form of swimming. I’m very good at jigsaw puzzles and the Jumble. I can cook a Cup of Noodles. That’s instant – so is rice, right? All of these skills make me worthy of the game to which I have, in effect, devoted seven years of my life.

Is that pathetic?

The UPS delivery man who brought me Survivor All-Stars thought so. When I leapt from my loft, thrilled to hear, “Barnes and Noble for Jenn Metz,” he was curious as to what was in my package. When I told him, his face showed that he didn’t expect me to order something like this.

He didn’t understand how I could watch a reality show, let alone re-watch a reality show. I think he threw some air quotes around the word “reality” a few times.

But my stress-induced box-set watching has its purpose. I have so many strategies in the works that I have the potential to be the best survivor ever. I’ll learn how to make fire with sticks before I go to the island. I’ll work out.

And when pretty boy Probst calls my name, I’ll be ready.