Some of you already know this, but I spent some time this summer at home, struggling to stay sane in the presence of a two-year old.
In those few months, I discovered a much-loved program in reruns on cable: Dawson's Creek. God, how I loved that show. After growing up with the kids on 90210 and maturing with the folks on Melrose Place, viewers and TV networks longed for the next generation of teen soap operas. Dawson's Creek came along on fledgling WB network, and saved my Tuesdays with their wordy dialogue and crazy antics. Rarely witty, with razor thin plotlines, the show relied on gorgeous high-school kids, tunes from stellar singer-songwriters and a constant question of whether the characters would ever get together. I watched several seasons religiously, and even bought the soundtracks. It was my guilty pleasure, and I didn't care who mocked me. I was hooked.
Once I found the reruns, I couldn't resist seeing them again. So, my morning would start with Helen's breakfast routine, followed by a steady attention to The Creek, while Helen put together Legos or played with her Little People, and ended with Helen melting down over getting dressed. Usually, she picked the climatic final scene to have her meltdown, which would send me into a meltdown, and by the time it was over, the two of us were panting and wiping away tears in our separate corners. (And yes, she was dressed.) I never knew how the episode ended, but thank goodness the next day had a neat little wrap-up to replay before diving right in to the next one.
And then suddenly, my leisurely summer schedule ended. I would be without the Creek at a crucial moment in the Dawson-Joey-Pacey story. (For the interested, Joey is played by Katie Holmes, the young lady who recently married Tom Cruise. She spends several seasons going back and forth on her feelings for both Dawson and Pacey.)
Never fear, dear reader - I have Tivo. (Hallelujah forever and ever, amen.) Now my Tivo faithfully records each episode daily. Whether it's after dinner, or during a bout with insomnia in the wee hours of the night, The Creek is there for me.
The other night, after I had put Helen down, I quickly got engrossed in that day's show. For fellow fans out there (and knowing my friends, there are not many), I'm at the end of the season where Pacey has figured out he has feelings for Joey, and is trying very hard to let her progress in a doomed relationship with a college boy in Boston. Pacey has from the beginning, been the character I've most liked, and always hoped that Joey would choose. He's a smart aleck, quick with a comeback, fiercely loyal, and generally the life of the party in a show chock-full of people with a tendency to talk everything to death. He's always gotten the best lines and the funniest moments. He's really the best person to both challenge and appreciate Joey, and since I had a wee bit of a crush on him, I wanted them to get together. Plus, Dawson had turned into kind of a peevish little wuss, a wholly unsympathetic character. So, at this crucial point in the season, I really paid attention.
Brian, on the other hand, would probably prefer I spend our Tivo's energy on History Channel shows. He doesn't openly mock me, except to sort of roll his eyes, and comment on how unrealistic it is that these kids talk like they do. I admit, sometimes the dialogue reminds me of the vocabulary on the SATs. Why use one or two syllable words, when five will do nicely? But I'm hooked.
Anyway, he worked on the Mustang for several evenings this month in preparation for trip #2 to the paint shop. It's been so hot, it's not any fun to be in the garage, so he brings small parts in the house to tinker with and fix up. So, he's been in the living room while I watch, and sort of caught on to the basic plot lines. I realize he would much rather watch something else, but he indulges me. I love him for that, but I never suspected he even paid much attention.
Until the other night. There was a short scene with Pacey and I don't even remember what was happening, but Brian said, "I have that shirt." I looked at him, like, "Huh? I don't think so." Brian said, "Yep, I have it in the closet. Have you seen it?" I said, "No" and went back to the show. (I figured he had something similar, but I hadn't seen him wear it, ever.) A few minutes later, he came out of the bedroom wearing the exact same shirt.
Ladies, at that moment, I have never been prouder of my husband. There have been moments I've been proud, sure - but they're things you'd expect, like on our wedding day, and the day Helen was born. Both times he didn't run away screaming. So I was proud. But when he came in the room with that shirt on, it was like, wow. The football-loving, Mustang-fixing man I married dressed up like a soap opera star for me.
What a man. And he's all mine!