Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Different Kind of Plot Twist

For the nine years I've known him, I've been telling George that he watches too much television. More like harping about it, really. Don't get me wrong, I adore that stupid talkbox. She's kept me company through illnesses aplenty and bouts of insomnia, even mitigated a few mild cases of loneliness. Sometimes I wish our familial bond wasn't so one-sided.

Back to George. He went off to a conference in Wichita on Tuesday, leaving me to muss the house frivolously until this evening. Have you ever thought about what someone else thinks you like to do when they're not around? It's funny. George thinks I like to eat big salads and steamed broccoli, listening to books on my iPod while I knit. Um. Yeah. None of those things happened, even separately.

What I did do was shutter the television for two days. I was able to finish a book and a half per day, just reading in the evenings rather than knitting through comedies — I've been boycotting crime dramas as the rural crime spree plotlines have lead to uncomfortably realistic nightmares.

Instead I baked a disappointing orange tart with meringue from Cooking Light and spent the next hour writing my complaint postcard about that (it was bad). Then I finished raking leaves from the yard; seeded the grass; mixed and spread 400# of compost/topsoil in the bare spots to coax new grasslings; started my vegetable seeds indoors; made this year's birthday cards; dug up the weedy patches around the porch; and much, much more. In fact, I'm not sure when I've last been so productive. Whether I can attribute this swirl of activity to the dormant television or spring slapping away my winter trance, I cannot be certain.

I do know that this house breathes and sighs, the wood creaking out footstep noises at night. Or else the crime dramas' dark, rural plots are seeping out of the television.

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