Before I start today’s post, let’s all have a moment of silence for my eyesight because apparently it is completely shot. Here is how I know.
First, I will tell you the synopses of two shows that are on in the wee hours of the morning (lots of insomnia being passed around our household this winter) and here is the first one:
“A small-town hotel manager tries to raise her three daughters while contending with a zany staff and a notably unreliable train.” Got that? Okay, hold the name of the show in your head. (Starts with “Petty” and ends with “shun.”)
Number two is (I’m just going to tell it because I’m guessing here) The Red Green Show maybe? Anyone else up at 5ish? Something with redneck guys on the BBC? Do I have that right? No, that’s totally not it. It’s the servant one, not Upstairs Downstairs but Have You Been Served maybe? I’m pretty sure that’s it even though I’ve never watched any of these three BBC shows, but somehow the vague details of what they are about have seeped in subliminally somehow when I’m trying to sleep.
Wow. Totally unintentional tongue-twister. Twice! Now three! (Sign of sleep deprivation)
BACK to the original eyesight story.
So when you wake up on the couch in the vicinity of 5am and (even squinting your very hardest to see) you think you are watching Have You Been Served, and then you fumble around for your eyeglasses and when you find them and put them on, and you then discover you are in fact watching the very ending of –you guessed it—Petticoat Junction, THEN you know you are truly fucking blind. I’m sorry for the bad swear, but seriously. My eyesight gets worse every single day. It’s out of control.
If you’re thinking, Why wouldn’t the British vs. Hillbilly accents totally give it away? It’s because the volume is down so low because I’m trying to sleep. My trying-to-fall-asleep-to-TV volume is a 2, maybe 3. For reference, the kindergartener’s regular watching volume is 30, and the second grader is often at a very acceptable 15, unless I start doing dishes then she will shout “I can’t hear it!” and the kindergartener will join in with, “Stop, mama! We can’t hear!” And if I don’t immediately stop he will start counting backwards “Five . . .four . . .three . . .” because he is still learning about who gets to count backwards in this household with any real authority. They are generally really, really good kids, but when it comes to self-sufficiency in getting up to adjust the volume on the TV they repeatedly fail. They both totally know how to do it, but every time a volume adjustment is required, they just sit on the couch like people who are paralyzed and stranded on a sinking ship and call out for help in an annoyed/demanding kind of way. ”Get . . . the . . .remote!” (Only it’s usually the “me-rote” when it’s the kindergartener’s turn to yell.)
I used to do this when my dad would vacuum during “my shows” (a line-up which went waaaaaaay beyond today’s “suggested 30 minutes” or whatever the limit is supposed to be) and he would either give me an annoyed you are a complete ingrate look or pretend not to hear me, but either way just keep on vacuuming. And now that I’m the parent I just want to say, I totally get it. Sorry, Dad. I used to yell at this same parent for going into my room to pick up the wet towels off the carpeted floor after I left for school—invasion of privacy!—so they wouldn’t mold. Man was I a pain in the be-hind. Sorry again. One of his favorite sayings (and there were so, so many) was this:
“Grandchildren are our reward for not drowning our own teenagers.”
I’m glad he got to know my two kids (not to mention thirteen other really cool grandkids!!) before he passed on, because he deserved some big rewards for living with me as a teenager. We all get to enjoy Opa Twice Removed (or however you would say that) in the form of the Kindergartener, who we sometimes refer to as the Opa Incarnate. In a really good way, sweetheart. (I’m saying this to your future self who is an excellent reader now.) Because you are so energetic and full of life, and also you are a little ladies man, according to one of the moms who caught me on the way out of school the other day, to say she has some stories to share with me about how you were telling the kindergarten and the first-grade girls they are “lovely” and “beautiful.”
Not that my dad was really a ladies man or anything disrespectful to my mom, but he did love to go up to complete strangers (i.e. attractive women) and in kind of an old school/old timey/still-a-little-decency-left-in-the-world kind of way say, “My compliments to your hairdresser.” Which probably was a little charming for them to hear without feeling offended or feel like a stranger was “making advances.”
On the flip side, he was equally fond of approaching total strangers (i.e. anyone he deemed to be overweight) to ask, “Did you eat breakfast today?” Because he had a theory that obese people don’t eat breakfast. And he either wanted to test his theory or he was being a little passive aggressive or (this one was always the worst, where it is your signal to go to another aisle of the store and pretend you aren’t depending on him for a ride home) he wanted to give a little lecture to the person about the importance of getting their metabolism going in the morning. And lay off those Mountain Dews. How I wish I were kidding, but as many of you already know, I am not.
Often he had comments like these for me as well when I put on the “Freshman Fifteen Forty” in college. So he was kind of a pain in the be-hind, too. Not that he deserved my selfish complaints while he was vacuuming or picking up wet towels, because crimony (what is the real word here, spell checkers?) do no kids understand how many chores their parents have to do every day while the kids sit idly by and watch tv?
Back to the eyesight. Never mind, we’re done with the eyesight because I’m trying not to be such a big complainer for my Chinese New Year Resolution, but let me just quick add that in addition to the near-sightedness (which counterintuitively means you can’t see far things, right?) as I get “up there in the years,” I also am unable to read menus, computer screens, even cereal boxes. It’s so pathetic. All Done Complaining. All Done.
Some friendly visitor who calls himself Pineman just made a great suggestion in yesterday’s comments, so let’s wrap this post up and go back to that one, where you get to share your favorite childrens’ malapropisms.
I’ll be back tomorrow with the post that was going to be today’s. This is exciting because now I am having that elusive “ahead of the game” feeling, thanks to the audience participation. Also learning a thing or two along the way. Yay! Now, go get your Robeon, and we’ll meet at the Pineman game, right here. (And then scroll down to comments.)