That Day (Among Many) When Netflix Wouldn’t Obey Me


Hello there.

I realize that I have fallen straight off the blogging wagon this summer, but it’s because I’ve been frightfully busy.  And by frightfully busy, I mean that I have been soaking in the sunshine at the lake multiple times this month, and I’ve been soaking in the sunshine at every single park in town, all in the name of Operation WHO.  This is the term my friend Jessica coined, which is Operation Wear Him Out.  Basically, Operation WHO involves me setting up every form of physical exercise a six year old can get, so that my child’s body is physically exhausted, to the point of craving sleep.

Operation WHO is about to lose its funding and have the plug pulled on it, however, because of its “greater-failures-to-less-successes” rate this summer, as Thing 2 has declared this to be THE SUMMER OF INSOMNIA.  I don’t even pretend to understand our second son’s super power of I CAN FUNCTION JUST FINE AND STILL DO COMPLICATED MATH PROBLEMS ON FOUR HOURS OF SLEEP.  Sadly, I am not one who can function in polite society on four hours of sleep, and I’ve been known to whisper words that are not appropriate to use in front of Queen Elizabeth entirely too many times this summer.

Anyway.  My friend Carrie fell off her own blogging wagon, and I’m happy to report that her wagon crashed a lot harder than mine did.  Carrie hasn’t blogged for an entire year, and she blames the fact that she, too, has been busy.  And by being busy, Carrie means she’s been in Costa Rica and Chicago, and on Florida beaches and traveling with her son’s competitive soccer team.  I guess her excuses are a lot better than mine are, but whatever.  She and I have decided to hold one another accountable for more than two blog posts every week.  Blogging may be a dying profession, but we are determined to go down with the blogging ship.  I’m hoping this means that I’ll feel more motivated to tuck Thing 2 into bed at night and sit down to write something more nights than I don’t.

Also?  Well, I can’t find it now, but I saw a meme the other day that said something along these lines:  “I tucked my children into bed and said ‘See you in the morning,’ and then we all laughed hysterically for ten minutes, because I knew I’d be seeing them nineteen more times before the sun came up.”  Nothing has ever described my life more than THAT meme.

Today, I had a hair appointment, so that I could cover all of the gray hairs that threaten to make people ask Thing 2, “Are you out with your grandmother today?” as I walk beside him.  Don’t think that I’m not above shelling out all of my top dollars for these regular hair appointments, just so this never happens to me while I’m holding hands with Thing 2 on a busy sidewalk.  Grammy took Thing 2 to the lake this afternoon, because she is brave and adventurous, and because she had just bought him a remote controlled boat he was dying to try out on some open water.  Never mind that the dark skies threatened rain all afternoon; those two were on a mission to test-drive that boat.  When I came home from the salon, my house was QUIET.  And when I say QUIET, I mean my house had all the noise of an abandoned church at midnight.  Hubs was at work.  Thing 2 was at the lake.  The boy was out of town on a golf tournament.  And me?  Well, I had the laundry done.  (Yes, I did!  Go ahead and believe it!  I polished off the laundry down to the empty baskets yesterday, and then I texted a picture of those empty baskets to everyone I know, looking for applause!)  I also had dinner ready to go at a moment’s notice.  The beds were made.  And… the kicker… it was starting to rain, so staying indoors was necessary.

It didn’t take me long at all to decide what I could do.

Everyone has been talking about how wonderful the new movie The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is.  Everyone I know is raving about it.  I watched the trailer, and you can bet your favorite vegetable peeler that it’s not something Hubs would be interested in watching with me.  I live in a house of menfolk, and if it isn’t Jason Bourne, leading a high-speed car chase while bullets fly all around him, or a stop-action thriller of Lego superheros saving the day from nasty varmints, those menfolk aren’t interested in watching it.  Even though I have never been a fan of the TV being on during the daytime, I felt that the darkening skies were all the declaration I needed that TODAY was THE PERFECT DAY for an afternoon movie at home… alone.

So I turned on the TV, and that is when I realized that YES!! And also INDEED!!  And even a hearty OF COURSE IT WAS!!

Netflix was frozen on our TV screen.

Now, this might not happen at your house.  Netflix might be all properly bred and raised and mannered-up at your house, so that it never fails to obey the commands of your remote control.  But… for some reason at OUR house… which involves servers and bandwidth and NETFLIX IS AN INFERIOR PROGRAM TRYING TO RUN ON MY HIGH TECH, NASA-GRADE COMPUTER SYSTEM…. Netflix freezes and seizes up at our house, and that means it refuses to play.  And then it basically becomes a project that can only be fixed by laying hands on it in deep prayer and by fasting.  It becomes a TV viewing system in desperate need of a priest.

Yes, Hubs will tell you that he’s told me a million times how to fix the freezes, but what Hubs hasn’t told you is that all I want for Christmas is a TV with a SINGLE REMOTE CONTROL, that behaves as it should.  I don’t want two remote controls.  I don’t want to have to push this button and that button and those two buttons and these three buttons in order to get to the program I desire to watch.  I don’t want to have to pull the computer cords out of the operating system six times a day to reboot it!  Do I even WATCH TV at our house?  No.  No, I do not.  It’s because I feel like I have a learning disability, and I am INCAPABLE OF WORKING OUR REMOTE CONTROL SYSTEMS.


I’ve admitted it in public.

I am incapable of learning how to operate our computerized systems at home, of which Hubs installs on EVERYTHING.  We are the family who puts everything on a computer system to run.

I can’t work the computer that programs our underground sprinklers, as evidenced by the fact that I was actually CRYING the other morning when my mom stopped by, because ALL I WANTED TO DO WAS USE THE HOSE TO WATER MY POTTED FLOWERS, BUT I HAD TO PUSH FORTY-SIX BUTTONS ON THE COMPUTER PAD IN THE GARAGE TO BE ABLE TO DO THAT, AND I HAD MIS-PUSHED SOMETHING AROUND THE THIRTY-THIRD BUTTON.

Perhaps some video clips from the TV show Modern Family will help you better understand me:

I absolutely FEEL Claire’s pain, straight to my bones, as I am also unable to work our computerized thermostat with any success.  I am the wife who tells Hubs, “I am hot to the point of looking like I’ve attended a Native American sweat lodge ceremony.  Please work your magic and make the house cooler, with that little box on the hallway wall.”

And THIS is how I feel about the TV remotes:

Clearly, I need to be put through a rigorous training course like Hailey took, so that I can learn to use the stupid thing and fill my one lone afternoon per year with a Netflix movie:

I just feel like if Hailey Dunphy can learn to use a TV remote, then I should be able to do it, too.

But… Hailey is only working with ONE remote, when Hubs has our family on a double-remote controlled computerized system, so clearly… Hailey had an advantage on me with less buttons to work with.


Y’all carry on.  I hope that some of you are not taking your easy-to-operate TVs for granted, and that your home version of Netflix will actually obey you, when you command it to play The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.  I hear it’s a good movie.  I wouldn’t know, because I haven’t been properly trained on how to operate NASA’s control center alone yet.  As a result, I washed and dried all the blankets at the foots of our beds, for something to do, when I was unable to access Netflix.


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