It is heartbreaking when a person suffers a rejection on the road to making his or her dreams come true.
Both Ed and Mandy realized that first-hand on Last Man Standing Season 7 Episode 7, while Vanessa was consumed with regret over the dream, she never followed.
We all have a dream of the way we want our lives to turn out. Whether it is having a family or a successful career, dreams are what gives us drive and purpose.
However, like with Mandy, the road to making your dreams come true can be full of rejection. She had a natural response to being told no, yet again, on her latest fashion collection.
Mandy: The moment I stood up from that table I knew what I wanted to do with my life.
Vanessa: What are you talking about?
Mandy: I am going to become a real estate agent?
Vanessa: What about fashion?
Mandy to Mike: It is what you said yesterday dad. When God closes a door, he builds a window. Fashion is the door; real estate is the window.
Vanessa to Mike: You and your home improvement.
Her first reaction was to blow off steam and have fun by going to Italy with Kyle. Hey, when life knocks you down, you need a little pick me up.
Even if it is utterly ridiculous, like blowing your life savings on a trip, Mandy wanted to feel better instantly and planning a vacation achieved that for her.
She was all smiles about going to Italy. But, Mike and Vanessa were right to talk her out of it.
When you are young, you live for the moment without realizing the choices you make will have lifelong consequences.
Mike and Vanessa were good parents by telling her the money she was using for the trip was technically theirs. After all, Mandy and Kyle have the extra cash because they live rent-free in the Baxter home.
Once again Mike was a man with a message, and it was a good one. His analogy that when God shuts a door, he opens a window was spot on.
Kudos to the writers for having Mandy call it his home improvement moment. A nod to Tim Allen’s hit show and the character he played on it.
Mike: I am looking at the stuff you did as a kid, this is early stuff you did. Honey this is really amazing. Your work is spectacular.
Mandy: You really think it is good?
Mike: I think it is great. But it doesn't matter what I think, or Modern anybody thinks. The only person that has to think it is great is sitting in your chair right now.
Mandy: I just don't know if I can take it anymore. This isn't my first rejection dad. I am sick of hearing them say no.
Mike: Then you can pack all this stuff up. And that is ok, that is ok. But then you will never experience what is like when they go yes, yes!
Mandy: Just tell me the truth. Does life get any easier?
Mike: No! But the good news is that it goes by real quick.
Mandy taking her father’s advice a little too literally and deciding to give up on fashion, was a perfect example of the message getting lost in translation. That happens a lot, especially when it comes to parental advice and young adults.
It is easy when the going gets tough to give up on your dreams. Hope is lost, frustration mounts and reality sets in. The question becomes do you give up or keep on trucking?
Mike’s analogy is a lesson we can all live by because our dreams may not happen the way we imaged. But you have to be open to looking for new ways to make your dream happen because the reality might be even better than you hoped.
Vanessa was adamant Mandy not give up on fashion, but it wasn’t because she gave up on her dream. It was because she didn't follow it when she was a young adult. She took the safe, logical route, instead of figuring out what she really wanted.
Now eventually she did achieve her dream of teaching geology but not until she was much older. As a parent though, Vanessa wanted more for Mandy. She didn't want her daughter to go through life with the regret she carried for years.
The thing is not everyone’s dreams come true at a specific point in time. For some people, it happens as young adults and for some people it happens later in life.
In Vanessa’s case, I don’t think she even realized her dream of teaching geology until she had raised her children.
Vanesa: It is better she talks to you. You're someone who made their dreams come true.
Mike: Let's not get into this again.
Vanessa: You think that is an insult? Well, I have a couple more. You're handsome, and you're good in the sack.
Mike: Oh really! Well how about this, you're intelligent, and you have a nice rack. Now you go!
Vanesa: But seriously. Outdoor Man was your dream, and you made it come true. That is pretty impressive.
Mike: More specifically, Outdoor Man was a goal of mine., this is my dream. You, the kids, us and I didn't make this dream happen, we made this happen.
Vanessa: Just when I think I can't love you any more than I do, it happens.
Mike: Well that is because you understand I am intelligent and good in the sack.
I also think that Vanessa sold herself short by claiming Mike was the only one who had the advice to offer Mandy since he pursued his Outdoor Man dream. Yes, he did that, but Vanessa is the perfect example of following your dream regardless of your age.
Mike and Vanessa banter and bicker a lot. Their love though is so genuine. It is nice to be reminded of how much they care for each other.
Tears welled up in my eyes as Mike told Vanessa she and the kids were his dream and that dream would not have come true without her. They are so relationship goals!
Chuck, Ed, and Kristin brought a lot of laughter with their Outdoor Man Grill promo. Ed’s acting talent was not as he had thought in front of a camera and he froze up when speaking.
It was a tough lesson for him. Ed comes across as a confident, secure man but what he really wants is not to be forgotten. His feelings are common for people his age, especially after retirement.
Kristin: Chuck and I are going to shoot a new promo for the Grill's new website.
Ed: That sounds like a terrific idea but make sure it is classy. Nothing says classy like a spokesperson in a tuxedo. I have four. Four wives, four tuxedos. For this one, I would use the Marianne.
Chuck: Are you sure Ed? Acting is harder than it looks.
Ed: Trust me I am a natural. I know all the tricks. As much as I love the camera, it loves me more.
Kristin: Thank you, Ed. It is going to be great.
Chuck: I will round up the in-house production guys. Kristin, you write up the copy. Ed, take Marianne to the cleaners.
Ed. With pleasure, her lawyer did the same to me in 86'.
Older people need reassurance they still have something to offer. I love how the writers are showing that side of Ed because it is a reality. He has always been confident but now life is completely different, and his confidence is shaken.
Chuck finding a way to keep Ed in the promo gave Ed a reassurance he was still vital to the company and his friends.
Mike did not do his vlog again. It doesn’t make me happy that his blog is not happening each week.
I will take it when I get it, but there is always something lacking in an episode that doesn’t include Mike’s Outdoor Man vlog.
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Rachelle Lewis was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in 2019..