Household mysteries

If Robert Stack were still alive, I would totally call him up and ask him to break out his trench coat so he could host a spin-off of Unsolved Mysteries called Unsolved Mysteries:  Home Edition.  I’ve got a full roster of mysteries that are just waiting for reenactments based on eyewitness accounts.

Case #1:  Given that there is at least one inch of fur covering every single surface of my house, why are my cats not completely bald?

Case #2:  Why have my oh-so-quiet dishwasher and vacuum cleaner gotten progressively oh-so-louder?

Case #3:  Speaking of vacuuming, why do I suck at it (no pun intended)?  Even with a fancy Dyson—which I shelled out big bucks for because I thought it would help with my vacuuming ineptitude—a room I have just swept doesn’t look that much different than it did before I started.

Case #4:  What happened to the commemorative t-shirt I got around 1994 at the Western Kentucky University-Eastern Kentucky University football game?  I haven’t seen it since 1997.  It simply vanished.

Case #5:  Why do I always get tiny holes in the bottom front of every shirt I own?  They all look like I tried to make a sieve out of them.

Case #6:  Why can’t my daughter turn off a light?  To my knowledge, she has never in her young life switched off a light when leaving a room.

Case #7:  Why is it that moments after putting away groceries from a huge shopping trip, I immediately run out of something and have to return to the store?

As Robert would say, “For every mystery, there is somewhere, somewhere, who knows the truth. Perhaps that someone is watching. Perhaps. . .it’s you.”

UPDATE:  (Please imagine Robert Stack saying that).  Case #5 has been solved by reader Jenni.  Apparently, the snap on my jeans is rubbing against my shirts as I’m washing dishes, cooking, or otherwise leaning against the kitchen counter.  This results in tiny holes and means that I should immediately cease all kitchen tasks.

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Television interruptus

The Huffington Post ran a story yesterday with the headline “14 Americans Outraged That Boston Memorial Service Interrupted ‘The Price Is Right’.”  My first thought was that this sounded like something from The Onion.  My second thought was that among all the people who were pissed off about their show being preempted, only 14 of them were smart enough to use a computer.

The aggrieved viewers took to Twitter and vented their frustrations with such finely phrased Tweets as this:

– I know damned well CBS did not interrupt Price Is Right for Obama… he’s taking our guns, now he’s taking my shows

– Idc about cbs’s stupid  news report put price is right back on! #livid  #stupidnews  #IDC

– you gotta be kiddin me… got damn boston prayer service interruped the #priceisright

At issue was the outcome of the Showcase Showdown.  How can these people be expected to go on with their lives without knowing if Katrina was the winner?

If the Internet had been around back in 1981, my father may very well have fired up his computer to share similar sentiments.  One evening he had just settled into the recliner to watch The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo when suddenly NBC broke into programming to cover the American hostages’ return from Iran.  My father was livid.

My dad isn’t a heartless bastard at all.  I’m sure he was relieved that the hostages were finally back on U.S. soil.  But to preempt Lobo. . .well, that was going just a bit too far.  He was particularly upset that such a hero’s welcome was not given to American soldiers returning home from Vietnam just a few years before.

As much as he hated missing how that episode of Lobo turned out, I think the real reason for his anger was that interrupting what amounted to mindless entertainment at its best (or maybe worst–did you ever see that show?) forced the sad, scary realities of the world into our living room.  I think the same thing happened to those 14 The Price Is Right fans.  Reality punctured their little bubble of safety, where everything goes according to plan:  Excited folks play Plinko, spin a gigantic wheel, and try to win a car or a dining room set.  There are no bombs, no deaths, no chaos, no surprises.

I hate to break it to those devoted TPIR viewers, but given the insanity that is happening right now in Boston, your show will probably be preempted again today.  So take a deep breath and say a prayer to that little yodeling mountain climber.  There will always be another Showcase Showdown.

An open letter to my depression

But first:

I wrote this several days ago but hesitated about posting it because it’s so uncomfortably personal and because I worried that it might come across as whiny, melodramatic, or crazy.  But after reading the comments made by Mitch McConnell and his aides, in which they discussed attacking Ashley Judd’s mental health as a campaign strategy, I decided to post it.  Not because I think Mitch McConnell or Ashley Judd will read it, of course, but because I was so angered by Mitch’s actions that I wanted people to understand what it is like to be depressed and to know that by openly talking about her depression and getting help for it, Ashley displayed immense courage and strength—two things Mitch clearly does not possess. 

Dear Depression,

Well, hello there.  You’re back again, I see.  I’d like to say that it’s good to see you, but that would be a lie.  But you know all about that, don’t you?  Lying, I mean.  Because that’s what you do.  You show up uninvited and unannounced and start telling me lies.  Only, I never can see your lies for what they are until you’re gone.  You almost always travel with your good pal, Anxiety.  He usually shows up first and then you ride in on his coattails, unpack your suitcase, and make yourself at home.   You stick around for a while, but then slowly gather your things and leave.  But you’ll be back, whispering not-so-sweet nothings in my ear until I pay attention to you.  And then I’ll be all yours again for a while.

We definitely have a dysfunctional relationship, you and I.  I feel like you are an abuser and I am the victim who is powerless to get away from you.  You are a control freak, a bully, a manipulator, and, above all, a liar.

Here is what you tell me:

–          that I am fat, ugly, and funny-looking

–          that I am pathetic, dumb, and weird

–          that no matter what I do, I make a fool of myself

–          that I should have never had kids because I have no doubt passed on my mental illness to them

–          that I should have never had kids because if they somehow managed to escape getting my crazy gene, then my mental illness-fueled parenting will no doubt fuck them up anyway

–          that I have made only wrong choices in my life

–          that it’s too late to try to undo any of those choices

–          that I have wasted my entire life

–          that everybody else has it all figured out but I am too stupid to do this for myself

–          that I should just give up but I can’t because I have kids now and even though I’m a terrible mother, their having a terrible mother is slightly better than their having no mother at all

–          that I have no business being a part of this world

–          that the world is totally screwed up anyway, so why even bother?

–          that people who don’t feel this same profound sadness are living in La La Land and aren’t seeing just how awful the world is

–          that I will never be happy because you will never, ever leave me, even if you go away for a time, you always comes back and always will

–          that I am not—and never will be—normal

When you aren’t here, I can see that these things are not true (or at least are not completely true), but when you are here, it is as if your words are the gospel.  You’re so convincing, often providing me evidence to prove your points:  Remember that time you had a birthday sleepover and nobody came?   What about your son’s continual anxiety about pre-school?  That’s obviously your fault.  How about the fact that the woman you were talking to the other day seemed to think you were pregnant when really you are just a fat ass?  Look at all your friends.  They have all accomplished things in their lives, but you haven’t and never will.

You make me feel as if everyone has an instruction manual for life but that mine is missing some pages and that there is no way I can ever find them and repair the book.  It’s too late, you tell me.  This is just how it is.

I have never given you a name even though a lot of people you visit have.  Naming gives power and you already have more power than I want you to.  You’re kind of like Lord Voldemort in that way:  He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.  Hell, you are Lord Voldemort.  You strike fear into people.  You damage them in profound ways.  You kill many of them.

I guess the fact that you have so many other victims should make me feel less alone, less like a freak, but then you tell me that those people have a reason for feeling like they do.  They have endured a terrible tragedy or suffered horrible abuse or live with constant pain or poverty or fear.  I have no real reason to feel like I do.  I am just weak and pitiful.

I know that you will later tell me that I should have never blogged about this, that I am just giving everyone another reason to think I am pathetic.  Well, if it’s like you say and they think that anyway, what have I got to lose?

Until we meet again,

Shannon