Tuesday evening, I spend 1/2 hour mapping out on a notecard all of the network television shows premiering this fall. My notecard is aptly titled: “Shows”. It then lists each show I’d like to watch, followed by the premier date, the day (underlined of course), network, and time. I quickly scan both sides of my notecard (I couldn’t fit my seven shows on one side) to ensure that none of my programs conflict. Damn. How I Met Your Mother is on at the same time as The Voice.
As I consider my strategy for catching both shows, a foggy memory surfaces. My old self whispers to me from somewhere in the past.
“Psssst. You used to hate network television. You used to not care for television in general. You cancelled cable three years ago. You cancelled Netflix streaming. PBS used to be your go-to channel. Remember, who you are….rememberrrr….rememberrrr…”
Ok, that last vibrato is Mufasa talking to Simba from the clouds, but it’s the same message for me.
I love being home with Will. I do. I hate the looming conclusion of my stay-at-home time with him, but…well, it’s getting to me a bit. Not him. Just the “stay-at-home” part.
Wednesday is kind of a dark day. Bubbalooshki Bear is grumpy, which is tough because he’s spoiled me – he’s hardly ever fussy. I’m sick of my daily schedule of coffee, morning news, Live with Kelly and Michael / Rachael Ray (I flip back and forth), Kathy Lee and Hoda, check my email, check Facebook, check my email again, Young and the Restless, The Talk, Ellen*, Katie, The Office (on syndication), and phew! Nick is home. Then I start all over again. Don’t worry. These exciting events are peppered with Bear snuggles, breastfeeding, diaper changes, story time, and singing and dancing. I don’t just sit and watch the tele the whole time in one shot. I rarely watch an entire show. Please believe me.
*Ellen is the only show that offers my daily dose of belly laughs and keeps me sane. I love Ellen Degeneres. I mean it. I think I love her. It is, admittedly, the one show during which Will may feel a teensy bit neglected.
Nick gets home and we head to the mall for dinner. Must. Get. Out. Must. See. People. It is Wednesday that I realize – my mind has grown all mushy.
I can’t recall the names of A-list celebs when discussing a movie with Nick. I can’t think of simple words, and I get so pissed off that I stop mid sentence, tell Nick that I can’t think of the word or person, and warn him in my shitty voice (after he’s offered to help me remember), “and don’t tell me what it is either. I’m pissed off at myself and I don’t need your help. When it comes to me, I’ll tell you.”
It never comes.
I break down and give Nick hints to help me remember the name I’m trying to recall.
“Has a famous brother – also an actor – was in Brokeback Mountain – Donnie Darko – Prince of Persia – Jesus, I can remember everything about her goddamn brother!” I huff.
“Maggie Gyllenhal.” He offers, sympathetically. Maggie indeed. Now if I could only remember why the hell I was trying to recall her name in the first place.
My shrinking brain also tends to give significance to matters of no importance. I make note of which squirrels would make the best meat for stew during walks in the park. (The fat ones.) I wonder if I could eat squirrel stew again. I have as a child. Could I do it now? No, probably not. Well, maybe. They are tender if prepared in a pressure cooker…
That was only a glimpse into my psyche.
I spot a fun little self-improvement piece in an issue of Better Homes and Gardens (courtesy of my mom), and it suggests taking time to learn something new through technology, apps, etc. I recoil at the thought of my inability to have come to this conclusion on my own, but I digress. I have been watching the Today Show for my news lately, after all. Something that would have made the old Chris vomit. Anyways, thanks to BHG, I resolve to download something from this fancy thing called iTunes University. I find a series on creative writing workshop-type stuff and download it. The problem is, I somehow ended up with some lecture on poetry. Furthermore, I don’t get how to subscribe to it. In my current hazy state, I give up after approximately 4 seconds, and my mind skips on to something else, having given up the plan to…wait…what was it I was doing again?
I’m half way through my maternity leave. My point is that I’m starting to miss work mates, friends, the ease of come-and-go, having more than 1/2 a glass of wine, reading a book more than two pages at a time, listening to NPR on my commute, peeing when I need to – not when I remember to, and endless snuggle-and-a-movie time with Nick. I say this without real complaint though and, therefore, unapologetically. Sigh. ‘Cuz, I know it’s worth giving up these frivolities for my fuzzy-headed fart machine (no, not Nick). But it’s these frivolities that keep our minds sharp, I’ve realized – for my part anyways
And so…I will rise from the ashes of my comatose state and conquer! I must overcome! I will succeed in arousing my consciousness from daytime talk to a more Charlie Rose-worthy endeavor! I pledge the following:
On Monday, September 24th, the television will not come on in my household.**
**Pledge includes the hours of 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Excludes The Voice and How I Met Your Mother, and any other primetime programming.
Fare thee well to you all! And wish me luck! I hope to return to you as a rejuvenated creature of renewed intelligence!