“You never really understand a person,” Harper Lee wrote as Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, “until you consider things from his point of view. Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
Of course, literally climbing inside someone’s skin and going about your business is frowned upon. So perhaps Lee was using this Texas Chainsaw Massacre-esque imagery as a metaphor. For empathy.
What we do know, is that Lee was obviously referring to the misunderstood people of Western Australia; a people who we don’t consider nearly enough.
Last week, Hotels.com sent us on a holiday to Perth, and we learnt something… chilling.
We’d heard whispers, of course. And by whispers we mean people yelling through the internet at 8:30pm on weeknights. But we didn’t understand. Not until we lived it.
It began on the Tuesday night. We're addicted to Married at First Sight, you see, and as we raced back to our hotel room from a picturesque winery, we thought about how lovely it would be to cosy up in bed with a) snacks b) our favourite show and c) our Married at First Sight Lols Facebook group which provides running commentary.
We had butterflies in the pit of our stomachs. This is the kind of joy life is all about.
Until we checked Facebook.
And it was already f*cking ruined.
Listen to Clare and Jessie Stephens debrief on last night's episode of Married at First Sight (that, yes, has already aired in Perth). Post continues after audio.
Because Perth LIVES IN THE PAST BY THREE HOURS AND HOW HASN'T ANYONE FIXED THIS YET.
It was goddamn mid-afternoon when the rest of the world were watching this masterpiece unfold. We were still digesting our lunch.
And yeah, the rest of the country were tweeting. They were meme-ing. They were providing updates about a show that had not yet begun and it was the worst experience of our lives thus far.
And it's not just Married at First Sight.
It's I'm a Celebrity. And we can't know for sure, but the law-of-time would suggest it's also Masterchef.
But this goes beyond reality television.
THEY'RE BEHIND IN THE NEWS.
The 7:30 Report. Q&A. The Project. By the time they hear the news, it's over.
We just genuinely want to offer an apology to the people of Western Australia, our forgotten brothers and sisters, who put up with this sh*t day in and day out, only complaining every now and then, by commenting "IT HASN'T AIRED IN PERTH YET" on stories about reality TV. Even then, they're met with rude responses like, "Stay off social media until it's finished!" which is frankly a ridiculous expectation.
They're told it's their own fault. But is it their own fault that they live in the past? Is that not just old-fashioned victim blaming?
Imagine being three hours late to everything. It's stressful to even think about.
So, Western Australia. We're sorry.
We're sorry that every show, every eviction, every rose ceremony, every unexpected bombshell, is entirely ruined before the program has even begun.
We're sorry Sydney refuses to wait for you. And Melbourne. And that Brisbane only waits a 'lil bit.
It is a profound injustice that you do not deserve.
It's clear, however, that when God decided he would punish you so harshly, he gave you a gift.
The humble quokka. Who is always smiling, despite being late to every piece of gossip the country has to offer.
You can follow Clare and Jessie Stephens on Facebook.