December 13, 2020 – Does your life resemble a sit-com?

Before I begin, I just have to ask. Have you ever heard of the term, ‘famous last words’? When I signed off yesterday, I made a declaration, “And sleep I shall!” Ha! I should have said, “And sleep I shan’t”. As much as I wanted to sleep, as much as I needed to sleep, sleep eluded me for almost the entire night. I had actually gone to bed at a decent hour for once, eleven o’clock at night instead of three-thirty in the morning. I read a book until my eyes grew heavy and then I shut it off (it’s a Kindle Paperwhite), set it down on the nightstand and closed my eyes. But the brain is a peculiar thing. Even when you will it to shift into neutral or park after being in 3rd or 4th gear all day, sometimes it does whatever it pleases. That’s what happened to my brain last night. And after laying in bed for nearly two hours, tossing and turning, fluffing my pillow and flattening my pillow, counting sheep and cows and chickens, I finally decided to stop fighting it and just get up. If you can’t sleep, what is the point in laying there and getting frustrated over the situation? And what better time to work on Christmas cards than 1:30 in the morning?

And now that I’ve slightly recovered and can form a coherent sentence, I thought I had better get to ‘blogging’. And something I’ve occasionally thought about, after I’ve watched a TV sitcom, is how often my life mirrors what happened on the show. Of all of the shows that have ever been produced, the King of Queens comes the closest. There were times when I watched it and actual things that I had done or conversations I’d had (nearly verbatim) were part of the storyline or script. The big difference? I was less like Leah Remini’s character (Carrie) and more like Kevin James’ (Doug). I definitely related to his hearty appetite and ‘knuckleheadedness’. As much as I wanted to be like Carrie, because let’s face it, that lady is not only beautiful, but she is cool and smart, I identified more with her goofy husband. But that opening scene when they buy ice cream from a food vendor and Doug immediately drops the ice cream? That would never happen in my world. If I buy ice cream, the only place it’s going to ‘land’ is in my belly. I hang onto that stuff like it’s pure gold. It practically is when you’re paying $5 a scoop!

There’s an episode called ‘Bathroom Signs’, for example, and unfortunately I did the very thing Doug did. However, when I did it, we were at a casino and while slightly distracted, I walked right into the men’s bathroom. I figured out I was in the wrong bathroom immediately because as soon as I opened the door, I came face to face with a gentleman standing in front of a urinal relieving himself. I’m not sure who was embarrassed more. ‘Slippery Slope’ involved Carrie and Doug going on a ‘ski vacation’. They were enticed by the offer of a ‘free’ TV. As it turns out, the whole thing was ultimately about purchasing a timeshare property. My husband and I got roped into the timeshare thing three times. But those sales agents didn’t know who they were up against. The process generally goes something like this. First, they dangle a ‘carrot’ in front of your face (the ‘carrot’ is something you get for ‘free’ if you attend the 90 minute presentation). If the ‘carrot’ does what it’s designed to do, you agree to attend the presentation. The presentation usually starts with a tour of the grounds. Once you complete the tour, you are brought back to a room filled with tables and chairs with a large video screen front and center. You are then asked to take a seat while they play loud music that makes you anxious. After a short video presentation, they send in their rep. And the rep works on you and works on you to try and get you to sign up. And when he or she cannot close the deal, they send in the ‘big dogs’.

It is 10x worse than what you deal with when you buy a car at a dealership. I’m telling you my friend, don’t do it! I don’t care how big or beautiful that ‘carrot’ is, do not sign on the dotted line! Those timeshares are a total rip-off! Aside from bathroom mix-ups and several close calls involving timeshares, I’ve/we’ve experienced more things than I’d care to admit to that have happened on the show. As I said, I identify more with Doug’s character because sometimes I do things without thinking them through. One such instance involved the main bathroom in our old house. It started out innocently enough. It was on a weekday when my husband was at work and I was looking for something to do. I noticed the caulking needed to be redone in the bathroom (around the shower/tub) and I figured I could knock it out in under an hour (while my son was napping). I got all of the caulk removed but when I started to reapply the fresh caulk, I noticed some ‘give’ in the tiles. And for those of you with filthy minds, I know I’m giving you a lot to work with here, but that’s not my intention. I’m trying to be serious, for crying out loud! Anyhow, upon further investigation, I discovered that the entire wall (all 3 sides) of the shower/tub was wet. How did I figure this out? After the initial tile came loose, I was able to effortlessly peel the remaining tiles away, one by one, until I had removed every single soggy-backed square.

Once I had all of the tile removed, I couldn’t leave it in that state. Oh, no! I had to remove all of the wet sheetrock, too. Imagine my husband’s surprise when he walked in the door and saw that I’d removed everything down to the studs. I was so pleased with myself because of what I had done; however, he was not. I don’t think he smiled for at least a week. A project he hadn’t anticipated landed firmly in his lap that day when he already had his hands full. I honestly don’t know why I do stuff like that. Two years ago, he was trying to feed the cable from the outside of the house up through a hole in the attic in order to connect it to a digital antenna (because I didn’t want to pay for cable any longer). While he was crawling through the attic, which was around 100 degrees that day, I got a wild idea! Rather than waiting for him to reach the spot where he could pull it through, I would go ahead and feed it into the hole so it was ready to go! What I didn’t realize is that when I fed it into the hole, I thought I was pushing it into a large vacuous space, but I wasn’t. It was going into a very tiny space in the narrowest part of the attic and as I pushed it through, it formed into a tightly wound ball of cable and became permanently lodged there.

I don’t think he smiled for two weeks that time. I don’t know why I do these things. They always start out with the best of intentions. Imagine what it must have been like when we’d go out on formal occasions. Later in his career, when he’d climbed the ladder all the way to the top, we were expected to attend numerous ‘balls’ and ceremonies. Most women would have loved to get dressed up in a fancy gown and eat at a table where there are multiple glasses, multiple forks and not a paper napkin in sight. I didn’t. I’m a t-shirt and jeans kind of gal. You want me to wear a floor length ball gown? That’s just downright cruel! The last ceremony we went to, I was so uncomfortable that I felt physically ill. Between the girdle crushing my abdomen and the itchy panty hose and the painful shoes, I was beyond miserable! I couldn’t get out of there soon enough!! A really lovely couple asked if we wanted to hang out afterward and I turned them down because I didn’t bring a change of clothes and couldn’t spend one more minute in that dress. What is really funny is that they always had us take a professional photo at each of these events. And in every single photo, I look so unbelievably awkward that it’s comical.

When my husband retired from the military and I knew I didn’t have to attend another military ball or awards ceremony or promotions ceremony or whatever-else-kind-of-ceremony they could dream up, I ditched those dresses so fast, it would have made your head spin! My tummy and my feet are so much happier now. They used to get so angry when I’d squeeze them into things that weren’t comfortable. I’m really ok not pretending to be Cinderella at the ball. I thought my feet were uncomfortable in 3 inch stilettos. Imagine how incredibly painful a glass slipper must have felt! Anyway, before I go, I have one more thing to say. I brought up Leah Remini earlier and how I admired her character. But the real Leah Remini, I have to say, that lady is a rockstar! She is beautiful and cool and smart, but most of all, courageous! She grew up in a cult and once she recognized it for what it was, she defected. And then she started educating people about it to steer them away from it. And then the cult went after her with nearly every resource they had (and still continue to), and despite how much they harass her and try to smear her name, she soldiers on! And I have to applaud her for that. That girl’s got some moxie!

We could all use some of her moxie. But before I entertain the idea, I’d better get to bed. Because I personally could use some sleep! This girl’s running on fumes. And before my tank runs dry and I end up stranded somewhere on the side of the road, I’m going to try and get into a nice deep REM state and stay there for a while. Until we meet again, my friend!

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