I remember daytime television back in those early years when I was a stay-at-home mom. Not that I got to see much of it because you don’t sit still when you have young children lying, crawling, toddling, and running about. However, at nap time, I could set up the ironing board and watch a soap or two guilt free. The guilt came later when my three-year-old started singing “Old McDonald Carey had a farm.” Apparently the little darlin’ was not always asleep when the first soap came on, proclaiming, “This is McDonald Carey, and these are the Days of Our Lives.”
The soaps were turned off so I wouldn’t jade the toddlers. I turned to silent books after that for nap time so the kids wouldn’t suffer. The ironing was a different story. You just can’t flip pages and wrangle a hot iron at the same time. Thank God for the advent of permanent press!!
Today I was a stay-at-home. . . person. That’s all. There were no little ones; I just stayed home for a repairman to fix my Internet. I’ve been working for more than 30 years, so being at home during the week is not the norm unless it’s a holiday, which has its own set of chores. I couldn’t get online to update my Facebook page or the website, and I didn’t have a new book to read, so I did a little laundry and started thinking about what I wanted to post on here today. The repairman came mid morning and while he was outside working on the lines, I turned on the television so that when the service was restored I would know, no matter where I was in the house.
I was polishing the counters when programming resumed. Monk was on and I got caught up in the episode. After the first few commercials, I realized they had a common thread. The first commercial was for a GrandPad, apparently a communication device specifically so older folks can communicate with the kids. (Way back when, in olden days, they had this thing called a telephone. Grandma communicated with it just fine.) The next one was for AARP approved insurance. These were followed by Medicare benefits, a portable nebulizer, and a machine that creates oxygen from the air.
At this point, I turned the television off and began to reflect. Who, exactly, is watching TV in the mornings these days? Kids are enrolled in some kind of school by the time they reach nine months, and women are almost pitied if they aren’t pursuing high-powered careers straight out of school, families notwithstanding. Men have never been the day-time television demographic, so who does that leave? Unless I just happened upon the Geezer channel, television programming is geared to people who are sitting at home thinking about getting a ride to the doctor.
I plan to retire soon, so this was a little scary for me. Is this what the future holds? Should I keep on working just to avoid a life of endless sitcoms broken up by Life Alert commercials? I sat gazing at the black screen for a while, then shook my head, throwing off the depressing image trying to take root. No, I am master of my fate, captain of my destiny. I willed the Universe to send me a sign that I was bound for greater things.
Filled with optimism, I turned the television back on and randomly selected a different channel. Judge Judy dismissed a case and a commercial followed. Beano. Apparently my aging system will need help digesting. If I don’t take Beano, I may need my Medicare benefits to provide a ride to a doctor. Otherwise, I could end up using Life Alert to get me some help before I require a portable oxygen machine. Really, Universe? That’s the best you could do?