November 28, 2000
Sometimes I'd Rather Be Wrong

There are times when I hate being right. This is one of those times.

I couldn't even bear to watch "Ally McBeal" last night. Actually, I couldn't "bear" to watch "Ally McBeal" for most of the last two years, but that's because the show has seriously sucked. This is different, though. Lately I'd been tuning in again. I was genuinely enjoying the chemistry between Robert Downey, Jr. and Calista Flockhart this season. There was a connection between the two of them, as actors ... a believable sweetness about their onscreen romance. Almost in spite of myself, I had started to enjoy the show again, after two mostly-unwatchable seasons of cheesy special effects, stoopid stunt-casting and annoying Vonda Shepard "music."

(And those were just the opening credits.)

But even more than that, I was -- in spite of my cynical comments to the contrary, last summer when he was released from prison -- really, REALLY rooting for Mr. Downey to make it this time.

As I've said before, I think he's a brilliant actor. I would pay good money to watch him read eleven-minute voicemail messages all about Offset Barrier Type-Y Crossings With Signalized Crosswalk Indicators. I was happy to see him being given another chance. I was hopeful that this would be the recovery effort that *took.*

(I was thrilled to pieces to have something DECENT to watch on MONDAY NIGHT again.)

So it was difficult -- no, it was downright painful -- to watch the show last night. I only managed to get through the first five minutes or so, just until they got to the part where the Ally character and the Larry character were lugging home a Christmas tree together, and she looked at him with this tenderly hopeful expression and said "You won't be alone this Christmas." After that I couldn't watch anymore. Why invest any further *time and attention molecules* watching someone who isn't going to be around for very much longer?

(I couldn't watch the Vice President's press conference last night for pretty much the same reason.)

Feeling vaguely sick at heart, I turned off the TV and picked up a library book and read for the remainder of the evening. Something tells me I'll be doing a lot of that on Monday nights, from now on.

Don't worry. I'm not overly-investing emotionally in a make-believe TV show. If anyone understands and appreciates the distinction between fiction and real life ... it's me.

(Trust me on this one.)

Neither am I becoming overly-engaged in the life of a famous person with absolutely no connection or relevance to my real life. My days of fixating unhealthily on celebrities ended when they cancelled "The Monkees."

matt lauer: "whew!"

It's just that this whole thing makes me sad. It makes me nervous. It makes me angry.

It makes me feel betrayed, for no logical reason.

It makes me want to write to Mr. Downey and say Jesus H. Christ on a four-edition 'TV Guide' cover, Mr. Downey! You had a spectacular new chance to start all over again ... and you blew it!! What the fudk is the matter with you??

But most of all it makes me remember how very fragile -- and tenuous -- our recovery can be.

(Come to think of it ... maybe that's not such a bad thing to be "reminded" of, once in a while.)

And then again ... there are some occasions when I love being right. Excerpts from an online conversation with one of the Tots last night:
SecraTerri: Guess what I'm eating.
Jaymi: meatloaf
SecraTerri: Good girl. (She's clearly still reading the website.)
Jaymi: i used to pretend i didnt like your meatloaf even though i did
SecraTerri: Really??
Jaymi: yeah
SecraTerri: You devious little s**t!
Jaymi: i LOVED your meatloaf. i just didnt want you to know for some reason

Inside, I was secretly shouting I knew it! I knew it I knew it I knew it!!

All those Frowny Faces around the family dinner table, whenever meatloaf was served?

Play-acting, obviously!

All those complaints? All that grumbling? All the faux vomiting? All those "meatload" comments?

Play-acting again!

All those times I discovered my world-famous meatloaf stuffed under sofa cushions and crammed behind baseboard heaters and buried out in the backyard behind the garage, with a bazillion excited slobbering neighborhood dogs sniffing around, like pigs in Périgord hunting for black truffles?

More of that clever play-acting!

Secretly,  the Tots were loving every delicious bacony/brown sugary/meatloafy bite. They just didn't want to admit it!

I feel so vindicated.

Just for that, I'm gonna run right out to the kitchen and slice off a nice, cold, greasy slab of leftover meatloaf ... toss it into my suitcase RIGHT NOW, next to my travel toothbrush, so I don't forget about it ... and give it to Jaymi when I fly to TicTac for Christmas!

Won't she be surprised?

two years ago: jam-packed
[getting ready to move to california!]

throw a rock