These two words, Just Jack, have been on my tongue and fingertips and tweets more often than any other answer to Big Brother questions I’ve received. Just Jack. The answer to that never-dying “Do you keep in touch with anyone from your season?” There’s nothing wrong at all with the question, yet it is the last question I would ask myself, if I was…you. Some ask if I have kept in touch with Jee and no, I haven’t. He came to my father’s funeral when he passed in 2004 and we cried together, then Jee and I have not kept in touch since. I know he is married and through mutual friends, I see he is smiling with his new bride, the same girlfriend he had during our Big Brother season. I forget her name. This is how much I don’t keep in to touch.
But back to Jack. He is the one person I said I would love to keep in contact with and in the 9 years since my season, we have done more than that. Our bond reaches to each others families. Jack’s is a beautiful family inside and out, and have such a strong web of love and support. I couldn’t cherish more or be more proud of the bond Jack and I have formed.
Jack speaks volumes of the game Big Brother used to be. I don’t hate Big Brother as it is now, and as a fan first, I really never mean disrespect to the show, or CBS. I just voice my frustrations like everyone else does. But I don’t “hate” anything or anyone, really. Not even Julie “Homegirl” Chen, although many people think I hate her.
And when my father passed away, I will never forget just how gracious and warm CBS was to me and my family. And I was blessed to have real people on the staff who connected with me. I still have a very few but real freaking friends I’ve made within the Big Brother staff..those people who “live behind the scenes”. Those few friends know who they are and they are friends because we do not need to name names or name drop. There is no leaking of insider information from them to me and I am just a girl who happened to win a reality show they work(ed) on. Among BB alum, I have relationships of all degrees, but my deepest connections are actually not the ones that happen on Twitter or otherwise in-your-face. Real friendships don’t depend on Big Brother. It is why I cut people hard and cold when they become anything but friends. People have called me crazy for doing so, but I call it “clearing out bad energy to make room for better energy”. Hello.
And so Jack remained in my life as a fixture and he is nothing but jovial and uplifting in all our exchanges but real and firm when he needs to be. And as he and I watch our families grow, mine just starting to, it’s no wonder all I answer is “Just Jack” anymore. Because that’s all I need. Literally, Just Jack works for me. Jack is a published author and brilliant mind, and one of the last class acts to have graced Big Brother. We can look at Jack then and look at him now and he is still the same comfortable-in-his-skin Jack. Only now, at least to me, he is the one person from my season that tells me it was worth being a part of something that now reeks of plastic and mugshots and other bad-press-is-good-press.
On Twitter, there’s a hashtag going #JustJack, because that’s how often I get this question…and so my long-time followers feel my pain when I have to answer, yet again. Jack Owens has a hashtag and I can’t convince him to get on Twitter! But maybe that’s a good thing. He spends his time more wisely than the average bear. And Twitter is such a dirty dirty place. And I relish in Twitter just like I relished the diary room. Jack relished my diary rooms too, and we just get each other. That’s why, it’s Just Jack.
I know those of you reading this nodding and/or otherwise agreeing, get it too. And the unfortunate remedial portion of those who will read this, will just never get it. Why there are “armies” assigned to the Hantzes, Brenchels, and other BB alum, I will never really get. But I’m more than okay with that. Because I know you know I know I’d be the first one to shut down anything remotely close to some “JunArmy” bullshit. Why do you need an army if you can handle your business yourself.
Let’s be thankful there was a time when Big Brother cast people like Jack, and not TMZ “stars”. And a time when hating the person you saw on television could be separated from hating the person in real life.
All this wishing harm on lives (this goes for BB alum hating on one another too), and tormenting Big Brother alum with threats on their families because you did not appreciate them in a context of a reality show is spinning more and more out of control. Perhaps it’s getting time to step away.
Old school Big Brother was the best of Big Brother.