Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Light years ago, there were four channels on television...ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS. Because I grew up approximately an hour and fifteen minutes from Atlanta, sometime in junior high school we got WTBS - Channel 17. It was Ted Turner's cable network, and it ran movies and reruns of programs including The Beverly Hillbillies, I Dream of Jeannie, Gilligan's Island and Bewitched. Within a few years, there was an explosion of cable options...but I remember when...

In fact, one summer, I got into "Lillias, Yoga and You" on PBS out of complete and total boredom. I was thirteen. Had I known then what I know now...I'd have paid closer attention and would be slim and teaching yoga somewhere right now.

I also remember watching until the national anthem was played and then being devastated that I had to go read or something instead being the little night owl that I was. I don't hear any station go off the air anymore. Now they just fill the time with infomercials and heinous crime shows.

I used to be quite the TV hound when bored, and can still tell you the Friday night lineup from sometime in the early 1970s including The Brady Bunch, The Partridge Family, Room 222, The Odd Couple and Love American Style. Stupid shows...all of them. But that was my sad little life at the time. Later on, football games replaced my Friday night television watching. I've never looked back...

But then and now, I am always captivated by "Bewitched". I didn't know anyone named Samantha, Endora, or Tabitha...nor did I know anyone who had so many nutty relatives who was clearly not a Southerner. The relatives got on my nerves, but Elizabeth Montgomery was always so put together that I just bought that she was the "black sheep" of her family for being normal much like Marilyn was in "The Addams Family."

I didn't even mind the interchangable husbands...both named Dick in real life but neither of which I particularly liked a whole lot. I was more partial to Dick Sargent...primarily because he wasn't as annoying as Dick York but I couldn't see her settling for either one of them. Someone like Gerard Butler? Yes. These losers? Absolutely not.

But what I really loved...was her clean house. And that she chose a nice, normal existence (such that it was) over the alternative. She seemed to be really and truly okay with it. The fact that she wanted to do her own housecleaning meant that she was a little touched. That one thing alone probably sealed her as a shoo-in for that Lizzie Borden role that my mother has never forgiven Elizabeth Montgomery for...since she could obviously do crazy. I only know one person who keeps a house like Samantha Stevens did. ONE. I like to go there because it is the house I'd like to live in if I weren't so hopelessly domestically challenged.

I think now about what I would change if I could just wiggle my nose and make things jump in line. First to go? The extra weight, the junk in the bedroom that refuses to stay straight, and President Obama would be back in Chicago working as a community organizer. I'd have the driveway in front of the house fixed, a new puppy (potty trained of course) and I'd have Merry Maids in every day. I'd have the dogs groomed, my hair perfectly coiffed, and I'd be traveling...DAILY...without the hassles.

And that's just for starters.

But I'm old enough to have realized that if you make one change...then there are consequences that follow. And where Samantha could figure out away to tie up all of the loose ends (in 30 minutes no less), I just don't think I have that in me. Which would mean that someone would try to have me committed. There are days that I might qualify as it is without the nose wiggle.

So, I'll just imagine a life without hassles or messes, dust or drama, and I'll appreciate when things actually work out right. Sometimes they do when we least expect it or in spite of our best efforts.

Plus, I've tried to imagine my life as Samantha...and it is quite comical. Rememeber how Sam would be surrounded by monkeys tearing up her living room while Aunt Clara was trying to remember what she did to get them there in the first place?

Believe me...had they been monkeys in my living room, they would have been leaving monkey bunk everywhere and throwing it on the walls...or it would be mating season. Aunt Clara would be menopausal and mean as a snake instead of just cute and bumbling. Uncle Arthur would be having issues with his new husband and there would not be enough alcohol in the state of Alabama for me to have the ability to deal with the likes of Gladys Kravitz. And Serena? She'd have her own reality show along with the other skanks. I won't even visualize issues with Tabitha and Adam...especially because Tabitha had that whole nose wiggle thing going on as well...and she looked like T-R-O-U-B-L-E standing in that playpen back in the day as it was.

Oh well, my bedroom is a mess, my driveway needs regraveling, and I'm overweight. Big whoop. At least I am conforted by the thought that there are no monkeys in my living room. Not today anyway. And for this...I am grateful.

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