In the spirit of this Thanksgiving holiday, a humorous peek into my home life...
I'm a typical guy who, if given the chance, will sit on my leather sofa with TV remote in hand and slowly meld into the cushion, oblivious to the fact that I am watching for the third time the same episode of "Trading Spaces" or that I may not have changed my underwear in two days. With this in mind, my wife and I made a decision about four years ago to cancel all but our most basic cable channels.
Who am I kidding! If I'm going to be honest here, she made the decision. I had no say. I still get teary-eyed thinking back to that awful day.
To complicate matters, the cable company screwed up our cancellation. Yes, they lowered our bill from $50 to $16, but they kept forgetting to reduce our cable plan to the basic package. As a result, we continued to get all the big package channels. All for the fantastic price of $16! Can you imagine how frustrating it was for me to hear my wife call the cable company ten times, requesting them to come and "fix the problem."
I saw no problem. We were getting a hundred channels for $16. Where's the problem?
"The problem is that it's dishonest," she replied.
I think her honesty may be the death of me.
Now, though, with the kids growing older and outgrowing PBS (our only kid-friendly channel among our huge selection of 12 channels), we were faced with another dilemma. What could they watch? We were stuck between "SpongeBob SquarePants" and "CSI." There was no gray zone of good television for our kids.
Low and behold, we discovered our favorite television series on DVD. We made trips to Walmart, Target, and Best Buy and were frequent visitors on Amazon.com. We snatched up "Little House on the Prairie," "The Waltons," "Happy Days," "Laverne and Shirley," "Leave It To Beaver," "Gilligan's Island," and "The Brady Bunch." There's more, but these were the shows that made the biggest impact.
Our kids were in heaven. If they liked Season 1 of something, we moved on to Season 2. And Season 3. And Season 4. I'm going to be honest here--I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting these classics. Probably more than the kids.
I discovered that I did not attain much personal growth traveling from my childhood into adulthood. I still liked Mary more than Laura. I rooted for Jan over Marcia, Marcia, Marcia. Laverne made me laugh, but Shirley held my heart in her hand. Did I really think Richie Cunningham was cool? And Mary Ann versus Ginger? Let me tell you, if you put your hair in pigtails and wear a red-checkered shirt and tie the bottom in a knot around your waist, I'll eat the scraps from your plate.
Mrs. Cleaver remained my fantasy mother. Just once I wanted to wake up and find my own mother, awesome though she was, serving me breakfast in full makeup and an evening gown! I remember Mom rolling her eyes when I asked her to play along with me on that. Nope, it didn't happen.
And how could I not mention Eddie Haskell, my idol? I got tired of my friends and family mentioning that I was his twin, but he did teach me that good manners and sincere politeness could take you far. Thank you very much. And by the way, did I mention how nice you look today?
I could not let this moment pass without mentioning how much I still love Grandma Walton. Not for the physical reasons, mind you, but just for the fact that I had never known someone who was so moody and sour. It was a new experience to watch such a crotchety character. I was so thankful she wasn't my grandma. I can only imagine what kind of mood Grandma Walton would be in the first time her bladder didn't hold out. Can you even imagine her shrilling voice? "John Boy, get over here right now and change my diaper!" Ugh. Keep writing, John Boy, and get yourself out of that house. Because up on those mountains, my friend, you wash the diapers by hand. In the cold creek.
The biggest hit for my kids, though, was and still is "I Love Lucy." Although I didn't see this one coming, my wife did. My daughters, 13 and 8, love everything about Lucy. And my son, 11, cheers right along with the girls. The candy factory line, the grape-stomping, the vitameatavegamin commercial--you know what I'm talking about. We all have our favorites--are you thinking of yours right now? Just hearing my kids gut-busting laughter from a show that is 50+ years old is a miracle in and of itself. It's hard to believe, but the episodes only seem to have gotten funnier.
We recently traveled to Hilton Head and instead of playing music overhead in the car, my wife and I listened to the episodes that the kids were watching. Better than music, I tell you, better than music.
And I know what you are thinking--NO, we are not pathetic!
I think a visit to Lucy's museum in her hometown of Jamestown, N.Y. is going to happen someday soon. I just need someone to promise me that it won't be a bust.
Okay, so maybe that's a little pathetic. But they just might have a picture of Lucy in pigtails wearing a red-checkered tied-at-the-waist shirt. Then who's going to have the last laugh?
Now, pass me my clicker. Peter's just about to say "Porkchops...and applesauce."
Thanks for reading...next post will be Monday, November 30.