Dec 14, 2020
19 Kids and Counting: Momma Duggar Goes Back to High School
How’d you like to learn three sentences worth of information about Michelle Duggar’s formative years spread out over thirty minutes of television? You’re in luck, because it’s high school reunion time on 19 Kids & Counting.
We’ve got another double dose of Duggars this week. Episode #1 starts now!
Ma Duggar’s BFF Cindy is in town, and she’s coming over to exorcise! Get those demons hoppin’, girls!
Oh, exercise! Really? Huh, I thought maybe 16-year-old Jedidiah had caught the gay and they had to cast it out. I mean, have you seen how much hair product that kid uses?
Well, my mistake. (Maybe.) Anyway, Cindy is in town because it’s her and Momma Michelle’s 30th high school reunion. In case you don’t know, Ma Duggar went to a public high school where she used to kiss boys, which is why she’s such a nasty slut today. No wonder she has all those kids; government schools never teach girls to keep their legs closed.
The reunion is tomorrow, so today they’re headed into town to work out at the gym. Sure, what else you gonna do with your best friend since first grade who you only see once or twice a year—catch up? Show off the kids? Pft, like she’s got time for that. That’s what the TV show is for.
The gym is decked out in purple, so I assume it’s a Curves or possibly the workout room in Magneto’s secret lair. Cindy is a personal trainer, so she shouts things at Michelle like, “Go, Supermom!” Exercising together isn’t exactly conducive to conversation—so maybe Cindy is smarter than she looks. She’s spared Ma Duggar’s preachy, squeaky voice.
So far, Cindy’s managed to avoid interacting with the kids or Michelle. The only way things could be going better for her is if she’d shot herself in the foot with a nail gun and gotten to skip the trip altogether.
We cut away to the Duggar compound for a few minutes, where 10-year-old Jackson is lugging in a heavy box that’s just been delivered. It’s Jessa and Ben’s wedding invitations! The oversized postcards look nice, and the little kids get to work peeling and sticking address labels on all 800. Ever watch someone label 800 envelopes? Ever thought it would make good television? I’m thinking about borrowing Cindy’s nail gun.
The little kids are quickly in a stupor, so we head back to Ma Duggar at Curves. “Before I came to know the Lord, I was really struggling,” she says. “I started getting in the bad habit of making myself sick after I ate, especially if I felt I ate too much.”
“Bad habit” might be underselling bulimia a bit. Kind of like when I say I’m “not outdoorsy” because I’m scared clowns are going to get me if I leave the house.
Cindy says she never had a clue Ma Duggar was so intimately acquainted with Mr. Pukey until she read Michelle’s biography. I’d make a joke, but no, bulimia’s a legitimate medical disorder that’s often hidden, so I’m going to let it pass.
“I just talk with my kids—my girls, my boys—about the things I struggled with,” says Ma Duggar. “Like that time she got sucked into a crazy cult,” she fails to add.
The workout’s over, and Cindy and Michelle’s hair and makeup are exactly the same as before. “I call that a successful morning,” says Cindy. I call that being a shitty personal trainer.
Back at the compound, Jessa and Ben are talking ice cream with their wedding planner, Sierra. For the reception, Ben wants crushed mints sprinkled over dark chocolate ice cream. “The kind of mints they leave on your pillow at hotels?” Sierra wants to know.
Uhhhhhhh… sure, stammers Ben. I want to make fun of him for it, but I’m not 100% sure what type of mints they leave on your pillow at hotels, either. Am I staying at the wrong hotels? Who actually does that?
Jessa wants peanut butter cups crumbled over chocolate ice cream. Ben says mints are better because they’ll leave everyone’s breath nice and fresh for all the making out everyone’s going to do. I’m not entirely sure he knows the difference between a wedding reception and an eighth grade party. Besides, who wouldn’t want to make out with someone who tastes like peanut butter cups? It’s pretty clear he’s never done any actual smooching before.
Sierra asks about the tux, and Ben hasn’t even thought about it yet. There’s 42 days left before the wedding, and a tux is a tux is a tux, says Ben. Jessa backs him up, saying there’s no reason to worry about anything, ever. The line for the nail gun is over here, Sierra.
It’s reunion day! Ma Duggar is bringing her hubby and a random assortment of offspring to the family-friendly luncheon. “I’m a fucking celebrity, bitches! Bow down before me!” she shouts as she enters the banquet hall. Nah, instead she brags to the camera about how awe-inspiringly humble she is, and that’s not even a joke.
The Springdale High School Class of ’84 is a pretty mellow group, as you might expect. They all seem at least dimly aware of who the Duggars are, and there’s a somewhat cute montage of random classmates trying to name as many of the 19 kids as they can remember. We’re told Michelle was a cheerleader in high school, although no one mentions that she ditched the cheer squad senior year when she got all religious and shit.
Momma Michelle finds some dude named Pat and apologizes to him for being mean when they were little kids. Apparently, he tried to put some “no girls allowed” bullshit and li’l Michelle got fierce. Way to apologize for something that actually makes you sound awesome, Michelle. Nicely handled. Very humble.
Then we get a story about li’l Michelle getting all up in the grill of a boy who pushed another little girl out of a swing. Damn, she was pretty much a feminist hero back in her elementary school days. From there to bulimic cheerleader to submissive cult wife—it’s been quite a journey. Less of a slippery slope and more of an icy cliff.
Cindy butchers the joke about being “old friends until we’re senile, and then we’ll be new friends,” and the episode comes to an abrupt end.