I don’t watch TV anymore; I used to say it’s because I don’t have time. It’s really because I’m in love. His name is Toshiba; he’s in Japan. He’s also here, beside me, in my bedroom. He spins my DVD of choice ’round ’round like a record player. And he responds to the push of a button, if only he could stimulate mine. I’m addicted to my DVD collection. It’s not alphabetical, but instead it’s housed in an enormous black case, and the discs are grouped by leading actor. The leading actor’s role usually determines the genre, of course not always thanks to Sir Anthony Hopkins in Meet Joe Black and Howard’s End and Ed Norton’s role in Keeping The Faith. But then there’s Sandra B., Meg R.,and horse-mouth Jules; they’re pretty reliable for a chick flick, despite The Net of Flesh and Bone exceptions like Mary Reilly (I own none of those).
In my small one bedroom apartment, I’ve made room, for not one, but two TVs that I no longer watch, complete with working Tivo. So tonight, I made it a mission to watch everything Tivo had saved for me. Oprah, Dr. Phil, Desperate Housewives, Ebert & Roeper, The Gillmore Girls, Nigella Bites. Okay, I didn’t watch everything, but I watched enough to know I now need to Tivo "The Dog Whisperer" since I’m clearly to blame for Linus’s self-esteem issues. I need to be pack leader first, mommy second.
I thought I’d cry through an episode of Dr. Phil about meddling mother in laws. Husband admits to his wife he has cheated on her. He doesn’t set boundaries with his intrusive mother, and like a coward, he sneaks around doing what feels good. I didn’t cry, despite the fact that I felt like I was living through the "right before you die montage in the tunnel heading toward the light." I heard something no one ever told me and it made me feel empowered.
"It’s not your fault he betrayed you. Nothing you did or could ever do is any part responsible for his decision to lie and cheat."
It’s such an after school special. Parents divorce, and the first thing a kid hears is "it’s not your fault." No one ever told me that. Not one person. "He’s an asshole." "You deserve more." But I never heard, "it’s not your fault." Maybe it was said, but until now, I couldn’t hear it. I didn’t really believe I had no part in it. Now I realize, while I certainly wasn’t perfect, I am not to blame for his decision to behave cowardly. I am not to blame, not even in some small part, for his decision to lie, repeatedly.
You can decide you’re unhappy and choose to do something about it. He chose to lie instead of be truthful. Maybe the truth was, "I don’t love you anymore, and I want a divorce." Or maybe it was, "Something doesn’t feel right, and we need to work on things before I do something I can never take back." He chose deceit and the layering of lies. He was a cowardly boy in a man’s situation. Nothing I did made him choose deception. He did that all on his own. Well thank God!
Now I can fall asleep watching French Kiss, dreaming of a man who will one day want to plant some roots and watch them grow…with me, and only me, ’til death do us part. ‘Cause I’ve got baby envy. First Britney, now the Garner girl… even my very own agent! Something is in the water, too bad I’m all about Poland Spring.