From Netflix, with love

Oh what a happy day it is for me when I get a red Netflix envelope in the mail!

I didn't watch t.v. for over 10 years. Of course I watched some of it...Big Daddy and I rented movies and there was always the infernal drone of Disney Channel, PBS or Nickelodeon. But I didn't watch any series type t.v. Who had time? Either there was a baby to tend to, a toddler to avoid selling to the gypsies tend with or a husband to please. My brain was never capable of storing much more than a day's or so worth of information, forget trying to remember what was happening from week to week in some fantasy world.

All of that changed when I suddenly found myself with QUIET TIME. It's the curse and the blessing of divorced moms everywhere. Well, at least it's both of those things with me. I mean, if you are a married mom, and you're reading this, think about the last time that you had your house utterly and completely to yourself for more than an hour. More than a day? Try a weekend. Every other weekend.

At first I didn't know how to fill the time. I'll be honest: I did the lay in bed and cry thing for the first few. I quite literally did not know what to do with myself. Falling asleep was agonizingly hard, staying asleep once I did was even harder. I'd "hear" a kid murmuring or whimpering in their sleep, a noise that was as ingrained in my heart as the settling sounds our old house made at night. The sleeping part cleared itself up eventually, the not knowing what to do with these magical/evil 48 hours proved to be a more daunting issue.

You imagine the wild divorced mom, liberated from The Man, out on the town getting all of her ya ya's out and getting her groove back and all of that I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar stuff. Trust me, that's not how this chick rolled. After I got tired of crying, I realized that there was this whole world out there, a world full of stories and plotlines and actors I'd read about in Us and People but had no idea why they were famous...a world that I could find with the help of Netflix.

Netflix was just a fledgling little company when my marriage started disintegrating. I had signed up for a membership during my frantic "keep Big Daddy happy" phase...figuring that if I had a movie waiting at home it would save us a trip to the video store. After he was gone, I had used it primarily to get movies for the kids, and more often than not, completely forgot I had it at all.

Then I discovered that there were years and years worth of t.v. shows available. In the blink of an eye, I had found that elusive "something to do"! It had been years since I had been able to just sit my ass down on the couch and let the boob tube entertain me. And now, it was time.

I remember that I started out with CSI. A plethora of other crime/detective shows followed (who knew that Law and Order had been on for almost 2 decades?), then came Sex and The City, then the comedies, and then...Dear God, then came the reality shows. Bravo combined 3 of my favorite things: gays, food and clothes in Top Chef and Project Runway. I fell into deep geek lust with the Ginger half of Mythbusters, and really went off the deep end with Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs. Thank you, Mike. Oh how I thank you.

Anyhoo. There were also weekends that I jumped into bottles of wine, weekends that I went to Ikea and spent money I didn't have, and weekends where I did things that I look back at now with lots of shame and a little bit of wistfulness. But we'll get to those eventually.

Right now I'm watching NUMB3RS from Netflix. I haven't seen so much swarthy mathleticism since 10th grade algebra back at St. Louis Park High School. Good show, though.

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