Interesting weekend. I’m thinking of having seatbelts installed on my sofa to keep me from falling off when my world starts making 45 degree turns to the left. Amazing that this state of vertigo, which in my youth I would have pursued with some enthusiasm via assorted chemicals is so completely double-plus un-fun now.
Good news is I have moments of normal interspersed with my vertigo. Better news is the current condition is nowhere near as ugly as it was last Wednesday. I’m up and around, you might not even notice except for the occasional death grip on stationary objects or my very stylish bike helmet. I have started wearing a domestic helmet around the house and have learned the wisdom in protecting oneself from the dangers of open cupboards, overhanging lamps and other domestic hazards. It also makes life simple and quiet as I don’t have to worry about being asked to go out with family on errands.
And it’s easy to line my helmet with foil, which in turn protects my brain from the mind control apparatus that the neighbors next door have installed. I can hear it working at night when they’re influencing my dreams. As a matter of fact, it’s worked so well that now I’m in the market for a down lined sleeping helmet, something I can also line with foil, which will protect me from hitting my head on the bed frame or the window sill. Getting up these days involves a step where right after I sit up, I have to grab on to something as the bedroom goes into a power dive for a few seconds, everything falling forward at breakneck speed.
Maybe I need a new gyroscope installed.
Pulled the plug on Netflix streaming this weekend. Can we talk about that service? Netflix aka the company that hasn’t found a bad decision they won’t try, has been pushing subscribers to the streaming model for a couple years now. That was the idea when they were splitting Netflix into two subscription companies. After a year or two of messing around with Netflix streaming I’ve come the conclusion that even at $8.99 a month, it’s too expensive. Mrs S has also come to this conclusion, but for a different reason. She more in a general media and entertainment charge discussion than one specific to Netflix content. And, with Showtime and HBO she asks “do we need it?”
Need is an interesting word. Where do you draw the line on “need”. But in the hierarchy of human needs I suppose that Netflix Streaming is pretty darn far down on the pyramid. Somewhere between “have a pet raccoon” and “buy travel insurance.” Fact is the content on Netflix streaming.. I’m thinking that a long weekend is about all you need to get through the content on Netflix streaming I would classify as “good”. Fact is 99% of the time I go looking for movies on Netflix, they’re not available for streaming.
So, I cancelled it.
18 minutes after I pulled the trigger, and feeling pretty good about just how fiscally responsible I was, college boy, should say college man, the eldest, well he made an usual appearance in my throne room, where he found me reading a library book. Sank version of the “Discount Double Check.”
“Somethings wrong with Netflix”
I lifted my foil lined earmuffs, they could be getting in through my ear canal after all and looked at him and replied. “Canceled it”.
“why?” Ahh.. white lies. Which aren’t bad when they are designed to protect the ones we love. “because you’ve applied to Stanford for grad school, can’t do both”. A better answer than “’cause Mom said so”. Which she really didn’t but you know if I say that she did she’s going to be pissed and I’d like to avoid that situation a bit. Not that it’s altogether possible sometimes. I dropped the ear muff back into place and went back to my book. My way of saying “dismissed”.
“Can’t we talk about it?” We don’t talk about anything in our family, scratch that. Mrs S and the children talk about a lot of stuff, like where to go to college, what their hopes and dreams are, what they want for dinner. I am typically not privy to those conversations until I’m directly involved in some way aka there’s an “ask”.
Kid was joined by his mother. “What the hell dude.”
Now, I was totally confused. Confused but not surprised. Marriage is like that: confusing. Some people, like my old man, would say “can’t win for losing”. Some, like my good friend Monica, qell she taught me almost 20 years ago to remember that “no good deed goes unpunished” and some, like my neighbor Don he would say “start with ‘I’m wrong’ ‘cause that’s where you always end up.” I knew where we were headed. Thank goodness for foil.
The kid admonished me. “Can’t we have it for one more week?” Apparently he’s in a series or something. Mrs S also had words “do you have to be so black and white on everything?” And stopped there, rather suddenly too. She looked around the room, shook her head “this is where all the foil went…” The son, who’s getting pretty smart these days had the following insight to share: “there’s like two months’ worth of Netflix streaming in foil wrapped around his head”. I explained to her, and him, that the problems with vertigo haven’t resolved and that the neighbors are putting thoughts in my head, blah blah blah.
Her response was predictable, “you need to go to the doctor, maybe a couple doctors”. This was based on what she called my “decent into insanity”. I reminded her that our health savings account doesn’t recharge until April. She thought about it, “foil is cheaper than a doctor visit, knock yourself out.”
So I tell this little tale to educate other men, especially young men who might be new to this family dynamic thing. At the end of the day:
– Conversation on Netfix is long forgotten as a conversation on my sanity has replaced it. Best outcome Netflix remains cancelled.
– I won’t be bothered with trivial requests for consultation on home décor, party planning or dresses and shoes that go together. Huge-ass win because even though my fashion sense is impeccable, it sometimes clashes with hers. Especially her sense of modesty when it comes to that.
– Matter of fact, with right helmet and foil accessories I won’t ever be asked to attend certain events, specifically any showing of Les Miserables or The Hobbit, or have to watch any episodes of any PBS show with a house full of prissy English people.
– Being shunned by the family does buy me a lot of peace and tranquility around the house as family members are genuinely afraid to talk to me.
I’m telling you, whom ever it was out there that implanted these ideas in my head; neighbors next door, aliens, kids or dead relatives, it’s all working out for the best.