Holiday Bingeing

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BEFORE: Partying with the ladies on Thanksgiving.

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AFTER: Hanging with Rachel Bloom, binge-watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (Season 1).

I just watched 17 episodes of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend in 24 hours. And you know what?  I’m feeling a little crazy too.

This is what happens with an unexpected chunk of free time. We find a show we’ve never watched, and gobble it up like contestants in Nathan’s Hotdog Eating Contest. Like binge drinking, eating, gambling, and shopping, we know it’s decadent, but we don’t care. We’re all in, and dammit, we won’t stop until we watch a whole season.

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Some of the kids. I had to crop out a beer can on the kids’ table.

My latest binge was triggered by a nasty flu-like virus (notice I did not say flu) which took hold about 24 hours after the last of my 29 Thanksgiving guests left. I blame the woman (jerk) in Stop & Shop who hacked without covering her mouth on Wednesday afternoon as I picked up last-minute items. “Oh, that’s just great,” I thought. “Get everyone else sick for Thanksgiving.”

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THE AFTERMATH: The Adults’ Table.

I woke up Friday night barely able to breathe, and fumbled around for a thermometer. I was running a slight fever that spiked to 101 degrees by Saturday night.  I felt queasy and exhausted, chilled but sweating. The worst of it was the malaise. I didn’t feel like doing anything.

I have no idea how I picked Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, but it was a solid choice. Rachel Bloom is hysterical as a hard-charging New York attorney who relocates to West Covina, CA., to chase her teen-age crush Josh. Peppered with musical numbers that are absurd yet entertaining, it keeps you laughing through the sneezing, coughing and misery of being sick.

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Carving master: My brother-in-law Dewey brings gloves, his own knife and apron.

OK, I had another reason too. I know a thing or two about crushes. My first was on an elementary school teacher who wore knit ties and drove a green Mercedes coupe. He was my first male teacher, a rarity in the teaching profession. Junior high and high school featured crushes on some pretty cool dudes. That’s what happens when you have six sisters and go to an all-girls Catholic high school.

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FOUR AMIGOS: My brother-in-laws John, Bob, Rich and Matt.

What I like about Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is it acknowledges – even celebrates – the insanity of crushes. Sure, lots of shows center on unrequited love, but few explore the nuttiness or obsession of a full blown crush.

I knew a girl in college who had an incredible crush on a star athlete. I understood it – he was handsome, smart, charming and had a twinkle in his eye. We all had crushes on him. Problem is, she took it a little too far. She stalked him, and embarrassed herself. Definitely a case of carrying things a little too far.

Men can be just as bad. I used to work with a guy who had a serious crush on a girl. We’d spend hours every week  (between work, of course) discussing strategy. When this dragged on for a year, I cut the cord. It became clear that the relationship was all in his head. His crush was standing in the way of true romance, and I refused to be part of it. Besides, it was giving me a headache.

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I hope this guy doesn’t get sick too. He’s my dentist.

The thing about crushes is you know they’re stupid, but you can’t help it. Even when you get over a crush, they’re in there somewhere. Years later, you find that your heart still quickens with the mention of his name, or you’re incredibly sad to learn that he died. Trust me on this one.

Though I’m not proud of binge-watching, I make no apologies. You can’t do much with a fever except roll around in bed, pity yourself and wonder if it’s possible to feel any worse. I take comfort in the fact that lots of other people spend (squander) their time binge-watching. Netflix numbers show that nearly 65 percent of us binge-watch at least once during the year (I suspect it’s when we’re sick, our kids are sick or we’re trapped by inclement weather.)

Here, in no particular order, are my other binges. Honestly, this is it:

  • The Affair: OK, maybe I was interested because the main character went to Williams College and was on the swim team like The Curmudgeon. Hopefully, that’s where the similarities end.
  • This Is Us (Season 1):  As I’ve mentioned before, I didn’t really get on the bandwagon until the show ended, and caught up in about two days. Now, I try to watch every week. It’s my favorite show.
  • Grace & Frankie: A high school classmate (thanks Kate) recommended it on Facebook, and I gave it a look. Before I knew it, I had watched every episode. Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin are great as two older women whose husbands leave them to become a gay couple. June Diane Raphael is proof that you can be beautiful and funny.
  • The League: I didn’t learn about this show that’s been off the air since 2015 until my son came home college last spring. Yes, I felt like I had been living under a rock, but that’s not unusual. It’s really funny, and addictive. The cast is so great that I’m not going to single anybody out.
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My sister Janet and brother-in-law David. J is another casualty of the sickness.

 

6 thoughts on “Holiday Bingeing

  1. Two crushes, both teachers: Miss Misenti, Kindergarten, Mrs. Bergman, Third Grade.
    Have binge-watched The Twilight Zone and Star Trek, the original series, of course.

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    • Yes, it seems like teachers are the focus of our earliest crushes. They’re really the first adults we’ve seen for any length of time besides our parents, so I guess it makes sense. Happy you still remember them. Then again, we never forget a crush, do we?

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  2. This is timely. We finished watching all of Madmen a few weeks ago and I wondered what I’d do with my evenings…But we immediately started watching the Sopranos. Dating myself, I guess. I never watched all the episodes of either series and all those you list are new to me (the living under rock syndrome). We’ve finished 2 seasons and I’m worried it will take all winter to watch the rest. But, enjoying quite a lot! Fall/winter is the perfect time for this splurge.

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    • Yes, I don’t watch much of anything when it’s nice out. I watched every season of the Sopranos, but sometimes I wish I hadn’t so I could binge-watch it. Not any fun when you know what’s going to happen.

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