Tiny signs of acceptance

Last night I didn’t have a snack in front of the TV before bed.

This would not be noteworthy in any way except that this is the first night in about a month that this has happened.  We’ve been snacking.  Popcorn.  Ice cream.  Chocolate.  This has been an adult time ritual that has made the day feel more manageable.  You made it through another day in quarantine.  Here, treat yo self.  I haven’t even been hungry some of the time, but that isn’t even the point.  It’s like an adult pacifier.  I do this, and I feel soothed.

And I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that.  Not in the slightest.  As a wise friend said, we need ALL of our coping mechanisms right now.

I just thought it was interesting that I was able to pull away from it.  Even a tiny bit.

We’ve also ventured into new TV.

Again, whoop di doo, but this is the first time in weeks.  We’ve been doing a ton of rewatching.  And rereading too, for that matter.  I’m not entirely sure why.  Maybe it seemed like more information would be too much.  Maybe we weren’t sure we could count on new shows to be the calming break we needed.  It seems crazy to say that we didn’t have the mental bandwidth to invest in new programming, but that’s exactly where we were.

We’re still doing some rewatching.  But some new shows and movies are starting to slip in.  Nothing too crazy.  I don’t know that we’ll ever get around to watching Mad Men.  But we did watch Ladybird and Logan Lucky.  We saw the first episode of Sex Education and will go back for more.  We’re starting to put ourselves out there again.  Mentally speaking.  Definitely not in a physical way.

These are pretty tiny examples.  Maybe they mean nothing.  Maybe I’m grasping at any sort of pattern or normalcy or anything to make sense of all this.  But I do think that they show signs of acceptance.  Of making a tiny bit of mental peace with the situation.  We still have plenty of anxiety and rage and sadness.  Just existing, however, isn’t fully taking up all of our mental space.  At least all the time.

I don’t think this is a linear process.  I may feel despair this afternoon.  I may be snacking tonight and every night this week.  That’s OK.  I just found it interesting that maybe there is a tiny mental shift.  Maybe.

Aristocat Fan Fiction

We’ve been sick around here.  3/4 of us so far.  James is still standing strong.  I hope he stays that way, but I fear it is only a matter of time.  The rest of us are a snotty, feverish mess.

Stage right, enter the TV.  Because we try not to watch too much generally, I feel no guilt about employing this weapon in survival mode situations.  TV, chocolate (mostly for me), PJs all day.  Nothing is sacred or off-limits if it will bring us closer to the goal of renewed health and good moods.

One of the fun things about being a parent is revisiting old favorites from your own childhood and sharing them with your children.  A less fun thing is realizing that many of these films just aren’t very good.  And I’m sorry Aristocats.  You just aren’t very good.  There isn’t that much going on, there is only one kind of good song, and that one cat is, dare I say, a little racist.

This does not bear on my assessment of the film’s merit, but I did not notice as a kid how much Disney was into recycling in the 1970s.  It feels like half the cast of Robin Hood (a film that does stand up IMHO) is voicing the parts here.  Also, the wicked stepmother from Cinderella looks almost identical to Madam, the cats’ owner.  Right down to her hairdo and brooch.  This is just bizarre.  How am I supposed believe that this lady is nice and caring when all I can think is evil Evil EVIL??  Does Disney really only know one old lady hairdo?

But I digress.  I found it interesting that absolutely no mention was made of the kittens’ father.  I mean, kittens must come from somewhere.  They didn’t throw in a line about how the father was gallantly killed in the cat war of ’23 or how Duchess went to the sperm bank and looked at Grade A cat sperm for philosophers and chemists.  Nothing.

So I present the following backstory on Duchess.  A classy cat who mysteriously ended up with three kittens.

Duchess gazed moodily out the window, twirling her diamond collar.  Madam was talking about something again, but Duchess couldn’t make her mind focus.  She took in the room with its plush upholstery and ornate furniture.  It was nice.  No, much more than nice.  It was every cat’s dream.  Or it should have been.  Duchess knew she was lucky, but she couldn’t shake this dreadful feeling of ennui. 

Duchess longed for a cigarette, but she knew Madam wouldn’t approve.  She’d have to wait until after Madam went to sleep.  Duchess had taken to roaming the streets at night.  She no longer bothered to stick to their well-lit and posh area of Paris.  She just wanted something different.  Something to shake her out of this dreadful rut. 

Something outside twitched and drew her attention.  It was that cat again.  That was the third time this afternoon he had stalked down the street.  Oh, he thought he was something, didn’t he.  That swagger.  That cocky swing of his hips.  Even though he clearly thought too highly of himself, Duchess surmised he was probably the kind of cat who could help her find a smoke.

You get the drift.  Or maybe it wasn’t like that at all.  Maybe Madam fixed her up with a nice doctor cat and they were very happy together until he died of Feline AIDS.  (There was random “Feline AIDS” graffiti near our place in Columbia Heights.  It cracked me up every time.)  Or maybe the kittens just showed up on their doorstep and they took them in.

I don’t know.  But I won’t be watching again any time soon to look for more clues.

Image via IMDB