Monthly Archives: June 2018

Re-watching TV

Fact about Jared: he does not prefer to “re-view” media. TV, movies, books — he enjoys them once and then moves on. This does not apply to music. As evidence, I’ll point to the extended period of time in 2009 when I was forced to listen to Paper Planes by M.I.A. once a night, immediately upon returning to our musty studio on South Huntington. That he wanted to re-experience. But rewatch Parks and Recreation? He’ll pass.

You may be shaking your head because this is something you struggle to relate to. I hear you! I heartily defend my many re-watchings of the fine programing that make up this golden age of television. During those viewings I have learned new things, laughed new laughs and cried the same tears, again. Some of this may be due to the oft-inebriated state I was in during my initial viewing, but hey, that’s college. Or as I like to call it “My 20s.”

Now that we are both 30, there has been enough distance between us and, say, That 70’s Show, to have little to no recollection of the series’ events. Also, it’s summertime so there’s not a lot on the TV. Point is, I have finally been able to convince Jared of the value in rewatching a pilot of a long loved show to really study the way it captures the entire series. You see what I did there? I gave a relaxing pastime a value element that made it a kind of work so he could engage with it in a way that agreed with his soul. Marriage is tricky but I’m winning at it.

Although we enjoyed revisiting the first episode of That 70s Show, we declined to view any additional installments. After that we started Frasier for the first time, which I think best illustrates the depths of our desperation for some light evening entertainment. I knew this was the vulnerable time to strike. And Netflix knew it too. As we scroll, scroll, scrolled, Ms. Netflix recommended The Office as a program we might enjoy based on our previous viewing. I flashed Jared my big toothy smile and he, captivated with love for my crazy eyes, relented. We watched the first episode and cackled. I mean REALLY lost our shit. My bowels shook from the giggles and Jared nearly threw up. That day was my favorite day.

This is the first time we’ve watched The Office together and we’re on episode 5. In addition to the intrinsic value that exists in rewatching this treasure, we’ve also learned that working for Michael Scott would not be funny in real life, BJ Novak never ages and everyone wants someone to love them the way Jim loves Pam. Everyone.

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Torres del Paine. Day 1.

“There you are!” Jared appeared around the corner and walked down the grocery aisle toward me. “I’ve got a bag of lentils, five packs of minute rice, peanut butter, a loaf of bread and a dozen eggs. What did you get?” I said nothing but held up a box of red wine. He furrowed his brow. “Lea, it’s five days. And we have to carry everything.” I put the box back.

“Good point. Five days is a long time.” I picked up the larger, 2L box and put it in my basket next to a bag of dried kiwis. “I’m ready.” Jared frowned and tipped his head to one side. “I’ll carry it!” I proclaimed and promised, “You’ll be so glad we have it.”

Neither of those statements proved true. Less than half an hour into our five day hike of The W in Torres del Paine I was sure of only one thing — I could not do this.

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We had completed a three month circle of South America and this was to be our story’s climax. I did not pack appropriately. I carried actual dishes with us, packed an extra pair of shoes, insisted on scrambling fresh eggs every morning and let’s not forget the aforementioned wine, which I drank from a travel wine glass. Because that’s a necessity. I will say this for 26-year-old Lea, she had class.

She lacked foresight, however, and among her many luxuries, failed to pack her poncho. In Patagonia, there are two cardinal rules — you say “buenas” to other travelers on the trail and you never forget your rain gear.

So there I am, drunk and wet. Just kidding, I was sober and the sun was beating down on my tender Irish skin when I shouted “break” for the 11th time in under an hour, the first hour, of what was to be a 5 day, 50ish mile hike through the mountains. Jared stopped 20 yards ahead of me and sat down. I inched my way to him, cursing every cigarette I ever smoked. When I finally arrived, he insisted on taking the wine out of my pack and carrying it, in his hands, for the next 8 miles.

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We eventually made it to El Chileno, our first camp, just before sunset. Jared rushed to set up the tent while I prepared our dinner of lentils and rice, pesto flavor tonight. We are a divide and conquer couple, functioning at our best when we have separate tasks to complete. I poured a glass of wine and offered it to Jared, who shook his head. “I think I’m getting sick.” I worked to contain my eye roll because OF COURSE HE WAS SICK. Jared has always, since toddlerhood, been an extremely clean child and has grown into an adult with the immune system of a homeschooled preteen. I used to put pennies in my mouth.

More wine for me, then. So much more wine that I fell asleep without brushing my teeth and woke up in the middle of the night with a bladder too full to ignore. Reluctantly, I ventured into the darkness, fumbling with my flashlight as I wandered toward the outhouses. While I grew up camping in a world where you can just pee in the woods, etiquette on the trail demands the patronizing of facilities where available. So to the spider den I went. Upon hearing a rustle among the silence, I instinctively turned my light toward the noise and saw two steely blue eyes staring at me.

My heart started beating in my chest and the sensation from my bladder dissipated. I knew there was wildlife in these woods, just as I know snakes live in Texas. I still wasn’t expecting to see a wolf on my way to the toilet. In my still-tipsy stupor, instead of doing whatever you are supposed to do in the case of dangerous wildlife encounters, I ran back to the tent and decided my bladder could wait until morning.

That was Day 1.

Day 2 began 45 minutes later as we rose to hike, in the dark — almost vertically, to see the sunrise over the Towers.

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Worth it, right? Just kidding, this is from Google images. We hiked for 2 hours in the pitch black to see this view as the world got lighter but the sun never rose.

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My sweet partner, in all his joyous glory, would be deterred neither by the cold nor the fog, nor my profligate disregard for luggage space. We were energized and ready for the rest of the hike, which would prove to be a beautiful if painful stripping down of the material self and absolute reliance on one another. Day 2 was the best and the worst day. It was the day I finished the wine.

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