No, it’s not a battle cry for the oppressed or downtrodden. It is . . . literally . . . the name of a new comedy show on NBC featuring former Friends star Matthew Perry. Seriously.
I say this not to give you a review of the show or what it’s about, though I’ll touch on that, but because of the comments it derived during our watching of it.
Tuesdays are one of the nights I get to sit and watch television and not be up making tomorrow’s breakfast, dinner, kids’ lunches, etc. I do that after. For one hour, after Hannah, Noah and Sam go to bed, Abbi – my oldest – and I sit up and watch comedies that the little ones should not watch and could not understand. The key one – for Abbi in particular – is the Zooey Deschanel vehicle New Girl. I know what you’re about to say: “you’re a guy, what?!” “How could you like that?!” “It’s ridorkulous?! Really?!”
But secretly, I have to admit, I like it. The writing’s clever, but more importantly, the supporting cast is pretty damn amazing. The premise is ridiculous and there’s no real events happening but I could honestly care less. It makes me laugh and it makes Abbi laugh, and anything with a “douchebag jar” is worth watching for my tastes.
Tonight, though, we got past New Girl and moved on to the new Perry show Go On. Perry plays a sports radio host who is back at work too early and has to go to group therapy with a bunch or miscreants after suddenly losing his wife – in just a few short weeks – to cancer. We watched the premier a few weeks ago and found it both poignant and appropriate, at least for me.
But the interesting thing to me was watching this episode . . . where the dead wife comes back in a hallucination – wearing nothing but Perry’s dress shirt (and I have to admit, I wondered the same thing he asked: why do women always look so damn amazing wearing only a guy’s dress shirt?!) and prodding him to survive. He needs to cook for himself. He needs to go shopping. He needs to go through the basic survival techniques.
It was a tribute to my upbringing, I think, that my daughter watched a scene where Perry follows a guy around the grocery store trying to copy how he shopped . . . because he’s apparently that inept. (never mind how he could possibly have lived before he met his wife.)
Abbi looks at me when it hit commercial and says “well, you’d be the guy shopping everyone copies at the store, Dad.”
I was proud. I really was. In one sentence . . . just one . . . she’d summed up that she was okay. Sure, there was the line there, where Perry looks at his wife’s ghost and says “we were supposed to get old, in our nineties. You’d be spry and spunky and I’d have great Robert Wagner hair . . . ”
Should that have hit home really hard and hurt? I suppose. Did it? Well . . .
I guess it’s a tribute to the last year that it didn’t. Sure. I thought that a lot over the last year. One of the lines in a song for my brother’s forthcoming album – a song I wrote – uses the line “it wasn’t supposed to be this way!” That’s true. I could sit now . . . for weeks, months, who knows . . . and bemoan that I didn’t get old, obtain more grey hair, and look like a olive-skinned version of Robert Wagner (my daughter said I have the hair for it) and be alone, but what good will that do?
It may be, perhaps, a tribute to our tenacity that we didn’t have to learn how to do the basic daily chores. I did have to learn to do laundry right, and I still shrunk a sweater of Abbi’s because I didn’t realize it had gotten into the wash one day last year. But dinner? I already cooked most the meals. Birthdays? I make homemade cakes all the time. I’m no fancy Food Network Cake Boss, but I do OK. It still tastes good. The house has its moments of being a horrendous mess, but it can also look very good.
It’s amazing how you work out your life when you don’t have to simply survive.
That, and the kids are amazing. We’re better together than when we’re apart.