Some 20-odd years ago, before HGTV became the 24 hour House Hunters channel, there was a block of shows on the weekend called Design Time Saturday Night. Mental and emotional pablum, that handful of home shows was just what the psyche needed after a long week of living. I remember crashing on the futon on Saturday nights, my legs draped over Tom, and mindlessly watching how to design the house we didn’t have. They were soothing, in a late-90s cable TV show kind of way.
Around the same time, there was a Friday night series on TBS called Dinner and a Movie. Two hosts would “show” an old movie, usually from the 80’s, while making a themed dinner with a guest. Tom and I would watch it from our teeny tiny apartment in Boulder, usually dashing out during commercial breaks to change out our laundry in the adjacent building. The show was fun and funny and lighthearted.
These shows keep coming to mind because I need a return to that kind of lightheartedness. I’m sure I could find them out there if I went a’searchin’, but it’s not quite the same. I’m nostalgic for a kind of societal and cultural peace that didn’t exist, but for a short time we could pretend.
I also feel a familiar urge from roughly that era to, I dunno, create or do something new and fun. Blogging was that for a long time. I would get the boys to bed and hop onto Blogger (and eventually WordPress) to throw a few words into the void and then read what others had shared. It was something I’d do on a random Saturday night, because it was fun and hella cheaper than getting a sitter. That fun and supportive writing community is long gone, replaced by the social media that is now so hateful and polarizing. I miss it. Again, nostalgia.
Today was a rough day, one of the hardest parenting days in a very long time. Now, before I have family and friends calling and texting to see what’s up, everything is fine. The four of us have been cooped up together in the house since mid-March, and it was simply a matter of time before our personalities and intensities just couldn’t handle it anymore. We’re fine, we’ll be fine. I promise I won’t run away, but that’s only because I don’t trust anyplace to be sanitary and safe at this point. But today reminded me of the days of yore, when shit was so tough and incessant that I’d make it to the end of the day and just sit as though I were stunned with a cattle prod.
So now I’m holed up in my bedroom, hiding from the world, nostalgic for things long gone, simply because I need a return of lightheartedness in my life. I’m tired, so very tired, of so very much, for so very long. I need mental and emotional pablum as entertainment. I need something new and fun. I need…something that no longer exists. And I don’t know if there’s anything out there to replace it.