I am not much of a TV watcher.
Or rather, I am not much of a TV show watcher. My ideal situation with the big flat screen is simply this: Turn it to the HGTV channel and leave it there, while I’m bopping around the house. In 30 minutes, I can see a room completely redone; I can see a home office completely reorganized; I can see a home completely decorated, staged and sold. And I don’t have to pay attention to which characters are which characters, and try to keep up with what happened last week, and feel remorse when I’m busy chatting on the phone with one of my girlfriends and actually MISS an episode, and then low! I’m forever lost, and I have no idea what’s going on in the series any longer.
All of this holds true, with the exception of The Office. I’ve already prattled about my apparent addiction to that particular series, but Hubs and I have yet to actually watch it on syndicated television. We finished Seasons One through Five on the laptop, through the glory that is Netflix, and now we’re quickly trying to catch up with Season Six through Hulu. Which is, you know, also done on the laptop. It’s so easy to watch The Office this way, because, when the episodes are commercial-free, they’re twenty-one minutes long. Twenty. One. Minutes. Quick and easy.
And, my goodness! The Office is some kind of funny, but I might have mentioned that once before. Or eighteen times before. I’ve sort of lost track. It’s just that this show makes me laugh out loud, and sometimes Hubs and I have to replay part of a scene (notice that I didn’t say rewind out loud and totally stamp an expiration date on my forehead), so that we could hear the dialogue that took place after we burst into hysterical fits of giggles, until I wheezed and snorted like an unladylike princess.
Last night, we watched Dwight Schrute dress up as Recyclops, which made me grin from ear to ear, and then, after that, we watched Michael Scott get the fine folks at Dunder Mifflin to participate in a little Murder Mystery game. People, I howled with laughter. In fact, I’m giggling just thinking about it, especially when Dwight announces, “You can all have jobs at Schrute Farms as human scarecrows, although it doesn’t pay much, and you can’t unionize.”
I guess you had to be there! But mercy! That one was some kind of funny.
But now, I may have a brand new show to watch. Shocking, I know, given that my weekly intake of minutes spent in front of the actual television set probably totals fifteen. Fifteen minutes per week! Thirty-two, in a crazy week.
A few weeks back, as I was glancing at Facebook (which, I must apologize to everyone, I always end up forgetting about, as I suffer from sheer Facebook ADD and check it twice a month, when I remember), and I noticed that my sister-in-law, Rachel, had posted a little blurb that said, “I just watched an episode of Hoarders, and I’m going to go throw something away now.”
I had no idea what Hoarders was. I’d never seen it. I’d never even heard of it. But, I can use my gift of logic fairly well, so I decided that it must be a show about (drum roll, please) HOARDERS. And because Rachel said that she was going to throw something away, it must be a show about hoarders who fail to throw things away.
It was just a guess.
Last Wednesday, I ran into my friend, Melanie, at the local discount store, and she was grabbing up several little bottles of fingernail polish, which just happened to be on sale. Melanie said, “My girls cruise through fingernail polish like it was water! I have to hoard it whenever it’s on sale.”
And when she spoke the word hoard out loud, she immediately asked me, “Do you watch Hoarders on TV?”
No. No I don’t.
I confessed that my only frame of reference for the television series was from a blurb on Facebook, posted by my sister-in-law, so Melanie gave me the full blow-by-blow. She gave me graphic descriptions of people who had been featured on the show, who have piles of garbage from their floors to their ceilings, and who simply have trails through their homes to walk in. She went on to say, “It’s my favorite show ever! I’m addicted! It’s the best motivation I’ve ever had to get up and clean and scour and throw things in the trash! I almost wish I could be on the show as someone who comes in and cleans the hoarders’ houses. I just want to clean everything up whenever I see that show!”
I went home and told Hubs, “I think I might check out a new show that Melanie told me about. Can you set the DVR to record Hoarders?”
Of course he could. The DVR is an electronic device, and Hubs speaks the language of electronics fluently.
On Friday night, while the boy was off spending the night with his buddy Enzo, Hubs and I watched our very first episode of Hoarders, on a rerun.
People, the only word I can use to describe my reaction is this: SHOCK! I honestly had no idea that people could live with garbage piled in rotting heaps to their CEILINGS!! Can you imagine the smell? Can you imagine the mold? Can you imagine the bacteria, and the bugs, and the grossness? One lady had to shuffle sideways as she ambled along the one trail through her house, because the trail itself wasn’t even wide enough to accommodate a normal walk. She had half-cooked meals from months and years previously, which she’d never bothered to pick up off of the floor, because she didn’t want to throw them away. She was convinced that she’d eventually eat these petrified casseroles. However, most of the half-eaten casseroles were buried underneath four feet of garbage. I’m not sure that eating them, in all their moldiness, was even an option, because she would have had to FIND them first.
I think I said the words, “I need to get up and throw something away” about twenty-nine times during the hour-long episode. My Type A personality simply couldn’t take it.
Hubs, who has a Type R personality and is perfectly content to watch the laundry pile up on the closet floor and see dirty dishes on the kitchen counter once in a while, even shuddered and said, “How on earth can you watch this show and not go gut your closet and throw half of your belongings away? This is sick.”
It was kind of like watching a horror show at the theater — you didn’t want to watch, but you were sucked in to the horror of it all, and you HAD to find out how it all ended.
Hubs and I have always teased the boy that he has some hoarding tendencies, as the boy enjoys seeing his bedroom floor littered with Legos, and finding a Pop Tart wrapper flung into his closet is not an usual sighting. Of course, it’s just the little boy tendencies to be more interested in playing than in cleaning up after himself. Hubs and I told him all about the hoarders we saw on TV, and he was fascinated. He asked if he could watch it with us.
And so tonight, we had a bit of family time in front of the DVR, and we introduced the boy to Hoarders. And he watched it with his face wrinkled into a mess of a frown and kept asking, “Mom! How do those people live like that? Why won’t that woman throw her garbage away?”
I had no answers for him.
When the show was finally over and we told the boy that it was time for bed, Hubs and I broke out giggling, because the little man dashed off to his bedroom closet and came out with a small cardboard box. It was a box about the size of a dollar bill. He looked at me and said, “I was going to save this to put tiny light sabers to action figures in, but I’m going to throw it away now. I don’t need it at all.”
He’s definitely my boy, and he makes me proud!
And it just furthers the concept that you cannot watch an episode of Hoarders without immediately throwing something away. Rachel and Melanie were absolutely right.