Empty nesters have such freedom. I know this especially after spending five days in California with my daughter’s family. A four-year-old and a one-year-old. One evening, we tried to watch that great movie, I, Tonya–the one about Tonya Harding and her horrible mother and husband. We hit “pause” forty times, at least. Diaper changes, lost pacifiers, the need to study the directions on a Lego robot, Birdie bumped her head and it was horrifying, we needed to open another bottle of wine–you know how it goes. What was an hour and a half movie turned into a marathon. Thank God we knew how it ended, because by eleven o’clock, we were only two thirds of the way through, so we gave up and went to bed.
Here at home, we can watch whatever we want! Not a single interruption! We plan our evenings around our shows of choice: Grantchester, Victoria, those great mystery shows on the Acorn channel. I don’t know why British mystery procedurals are so much better than American ones, but they are.
Every once and awhile, we actually run out of shows. Can you believe this? We finish dinner, put all the dishes in and start the dishwasher, blow out the candles (we are true romantics), and troop into the TV room, only to discover that we are caught up on all of our shows! This causes much consternation as we scroll through the options on our various channels: Netflix, Amazon, and Acorn. We refuse to watch live television, because COMMERCIALS. Sidebar: My God, if I see that car commercial about “it’s a family car, so we had to put your family in it” one more time, I will explode (the Olympics-we watched them live-never again)!
So, last evening, we searched for some shows.
HIM: How about this one about animals with hidden cameras?
HIM: Ok. John Oliver?
ME: Watched it in LA.
HIM: Independent Lens about rats?
ME: I will gag.
HIM: I know you love documentaries. This one sounds good.
Let me just defend my husband for a second. He knows I won’t watch docs about endangered animals due to sobbing. He knows I hate stuff about the economy because I am at the Donald Trump level of understanding about that stuff. I hate to watch docs about the turmoil in the Middle East, because sobbing (see above). The Detroit water crisis is not only old news, but depressing as hell. He hates docs about show business, because he has no idea who Lady Gaga or Bruno Mars are. So we are hampered all the way around.
Finally, he lands on something that he thinks will be interesting to him and perhaps instructional for me: he finds a documentary on the British channel called The Story of Math.
I lasted seven minutes and twenty seconds-as soon as they explained how the abacus worked, my eyes glazed over.
As I shuffled out of the room to head up to bed, he said, “WAIT. Here’s another good one we could watch! The History of Dishwashers!
I didn’t even turn around.