05 September 2005

The Fellowship of TV Watchers on a Saturday afternoon

I finally changed the channel. For the first five days or so after Katrina hit, I felt bad every time I switched from watching the latest headlines to a channel where a sitcom was on and people were laughing. It was as if I was letting myself forget what people were going through, turning away from them. My usual favorite stations, the Style network, Food channel, and E! quickly lost their luster and seemed much more indulgent than usual, (even though a girl does need to be well-clothed, fed, and up to speed on what’s happening with Brangelina.)

But finally on Saturday I changed the channel. I just couldn’t watch anymore of the wreckage across the Gulf. So all afternoon and evening, after taking Jeremy to the airport for his Delaware concert, I nestled down on the sofa with some leftover brownies, the remote control, and Sam and Mia on my lap.

Sam is our Jack Russell terrier and Mia is his reluctant half-sister, a long-haired calico cat with quite a bit of attitude. Normally “the pets,” as we call them, stay on their respective sides of the house, crossing paths only by reason of necessity, or a daily chance meeting in the kitchen where both their food bowls are located. If Sam ever gets too close, Mia will reach out with a swift paw and give him a little swat. Sam ignores her and keeps walking smugly by, and it’s hard to tell if deep down his pride is hurt or if he’s merely thinking, “Thank God she doesn’t have claws.”

Whenever Jeremy travels though, the barriers dissolve like magic and the three of us form a little union. A union of the “we are sad” variety. Or maybe they are just being compassionate because they sense that I miss him. And maybe they’re a little bummed that there is one less person in the house to give them treats. Regardless of their motive, on Saturday, as they often do when we’re alone, Mia settled down on my chest and Sam sprawled across my legs (their backs were even touching a little) and they slept for hours upon hours while I absorbed myself in mindless entertainment under a blanket of animalia.

I watched Sleepless in Seattle for the umpteenth time, parts of U-571 but that got me in a funk again, so I switched to an Ashley Judd/Hugh Jackman movie where she compares men to cows. Marisa Tomei was in it. I like Marisa Tomei. She is under-utilized as an actress in my opinion.

I also watched several episodes of The Look For Less, and half of Mystic Pizza which made me hungry, so I flipped between it and Alive, a movie about a soccer team who crashes in the mountains and has to survive by eating…well let’s just say I lost my appetite at that point. Sam and Mia remained loyally by my side all evening.

Now Jeremy is home from Delaware (rejoice!) and the pets are back on “non-speaking” terms... but all is well, except that now we have returned to watching the news again. And Sam is eating a pair of socks.

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