In an episode of "Friends" called "The One Where Old Yeller Dies," Phoebe learns that her mother used to prematurely turn off classic movies to spare Phoebe's feelings. She thought "Old Yeller" was a fun family film until her friends show her the ending.
Why, Travis?! Why?
Over the next few days, Phoebe immerses herself in film re-education, watching all her favorite flicks to their true finale -- "Brian's Song," "A Love Story," "Terms of Endearment" -- each viewing further confirming her life was lies. All lies!
At least when it came to entertainment.
Lately, my husband and I have been (reluctantly) participating in a similar ritual of incomplete viewing. Past the series pilot, we rarely watch shows together anymore. Rather, in a pathetic attempt to complete a season, we take viewing turns and fill the other one in. While one spouse works, sleeps or tends to chores and children, the other takes one for the team and engages in 30 minutes to an hour of hilarity and/or deeply depressing and masterful storytelling. The next week, we trade posts.
In the beginning, I was kind and considerate while filling my husband in on what he had missed.
"You're going to need to sit down for this, babe. Last night on 'Game of Thrones,' there was something called the Red Wedding."
I told it to him straight, with honesty and care.
And then I saw a rerun of the "Friends" episode, and I thought, "I want to do that!" Not as a trick to play on my children. Oh, no, that would be cruel. Also, who shows her young child any part of "Terms of Endearment" anyway? But as something to do to spice up my husband's and my boob tube life.
Bearing the weight of adequately explaining the missed engagements, divorces, births of children and unexpected deaths of our favorite characters became a chore. And if I was viewing the show, that meant by default that this was my night free of chores! Something had to change. I was going to take a page from Phoebe's mom's book and put my own little warped spin on it.