That’s that then

18 Apr

I said to the mister the other day, ‘You know, I’m sick of taking up so much of this family’s oxygen. It’s too much, I’m tired of my tiredness dominating everything.’ It’s time, it really is, to move on, to be grateful for what life gives me instead of mad becuase of what it takes away. I know that. And I’m trying, I really am. If I knew a counsellor here, I would have gone to one, and I’m sure they’re out there, but honestly, I wouldn’t know where to look, and I don’t know the right questions to ask, and so I’m relying on books and the internet and lessons I’ve learned.

Now, all sorts of books and websites and people say you should keep a gratitude journal. Every day you should write down, three or four or ten of the things in your life that you feel grateful for. Honestly, that’s a bit…well, let’s just say, you couldn’t grow up with my mother and take such a thing seriously. Cynicism? We haz it. In bucketloads.

Don’t get me wrong. Lots of my favourite bloggers have done it, and I’ve always loved reading them, and I’ve sometimes thought, Maybe I should. But then, the blogger moves on and so have I. However, I’ve been lurking at Anita Heiss’s blog for a long time now, and she keeps posting post after post after post of the things she is grateful for. It is such a gloriously warm and generous blog…I challenge you to read it for a couple of days and not feel good about life, the universe and everything. So the idea of a gratitude journal has been growing on me.

And then, last night, I found myself with a random half an hour of nothingness and I thought, I shall sit and watch television and knit another few rows of this beautiful but mistake-prone silk, the first skein of silk I’ve ever bought.

And anyhoo, and moving on, it came to pass that what I watched was Scrubs, and I thought, What would I do without this show? And then I thought, There’s my Answer.

So here it is. My gratitude diaries. It’ll be a bit half-arsed, because I am my mother’s daughter and that’s something about myself I don’t want to change. Something considerably less than a gratitude diary then. A series of occasional posts about things in my life that rock.

Things that rock #1
Scrubs
The day after my father’s funeral, I lay on the lounge, a pillow, a quilt, cups of tea, glasses of wine, toast and cheese, and I watched an entire series of Scrubs. I chose it because it was simple, easy to watch and would help to pass the day. But it was more than that. There was something perfect about Scrubs.

Scrubs is funny. Hilarious. It always makes me laugh. To do that, it relies on silliness and character quirks. Now, myself, I’m not much into a quirk for the sake of a quirk. Quirks, in the wrong hands, can encourage lazy writing, readership and viewing. I blamed the late-nineties, when the quirk became everything. But Scrubs takes quirks and uses them to give the characters depth. I have tried to write ‘my favourite character is…’ but I can’t. Perry of course, because he has the best lines and because of his humanity. Carla because she’s sassy and I like the way she twirls her hair. Janitor, though I wish they’d kept him imaginary. Elliot. JD. Turk. Kelso. Whoever I’m watching at the time, that’s my favourite character. These characters are flawed and they make mistakes (in my mind these are two separate things). Their lives do not go smoothly. But they keep on keeping on. With humour and empathy and humanity and grace.

Scrubs was the perfect choice for a day when, despite it all, life goes on.

And that is why I say, Scrubs rocks.

(PS And I know I should be grateful for skeins of silk, but I dropped a stitch and had to spend half an hour finding it, so I will have to write that another day or it will defeat the porpoise somewhat)

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14 Responses to “That’s that then”

  1. Pavlov's Cat April 18, 2010 at 10:38 am #

    Well I’m grateful for ‘defeat the porpoise’ (instant, vivid mental picture, as with ‘ironing out a few bugs’ and ‘striking a happy medium’) which, although it’s very hard to believe, I had not ever heard till this very minute.

    • ThirdCat April 18, 2010 at 11:39 am #

      Yes, the word purpose must always be substituted with porpoise…it just makes for a happier, funnier world.

      (SQ will vouch for that if she’s around at the moment)

  2. kate April 18, 2010 at 3:44 pm #

    The porpoise of knitting, particularly of knitting with tricksy yarns like silk, is to force a cynical person to meditate. That is, one has to focus all of one’s attention on the dropped stitch, one can’t mope or self-flagellate or anything else when one is hunting an AWOL stitch.

  3. SQ April 18, 2010 at 4:44 pm #

    Here I am. You’re right, and just reading the word ‘porpoise’ made me smile straight away. And remember.
    On knitting with silk – I am knitting dishcloths at the moment, with cotton. It’s terribly easy and you can watch the Forsyte Saga at the same time.

  4. The Coffee Lady April 18, 2010 at 9:17 pm #

    I’ll bet The Mister and Mr Coffee would have a lot to talk about. Because you ARE me.

  5. Isabelle April 19, 2010 at 2:21 am #

    Goodness, what a lot you’ve been writing when I wasn’t looking. And how interesting the things are that you say about writing blogs.

    Scrubs: love it.

  6. Mindy April 19, 2010 at 2:59 am #

    I am grateful that I’ve never had to eat cheese popcorn.

  7. Kath Lockett April 19, 2010 at 3:53 am #

    I’m with you re Scrubs and the gratitude journal, except mine was online and two years ago. My telly day even included a few quotes from Scrubs – http://blurbfromtheburbs.blogspot.com/2008/08/day-twenty-two-appreciative-august.html

    And I don’t knit with silk, just $2 ‘wool’ found in second hand and bargain shops, done in long scarves of seven squares that are then stitched together as blankets for the homeless shelter. Nothing better than sitting next to Love Chunks on the sofa, watching a DVD (currently The Big Bang Theory series 3) and knitting mindlessly.

  8. franzy April 19, 2010 at 6:50 am #

    I remember The Wave of Scrubs that swept through my friendship circle (half of whom are doctors, adding an extra obsessive dimension). We all loved it and laughed did we.
    But an odd thing began happening and wasn’t entirely pleasant: we all began talking like the characters.
    And it was nasty.
    Scrubs dialogue is not hilarious to be in. Funny to watch, funny to listen to, but on the receiving end of that acerbic wit is a pointy, uncomfortable place to be.
    I remember quite clearly going to a BBQ, eating some food and sitting down to watch a few episodes of Scrubs after tea. When we turned the telly off, suddenly we were at each other’s throats. Every comment was fodder for shooting someone down.
    As we went to bed after that night, Mele and I asked each other “Why are we treating each other this way?” and it took quite some searching to work out that we’d started copying the characters on the telly.

  9. Helen April 19, 2010 at 1:56 pm #

    That’s really interesting, Franzy.

    • ThirdCat April 19, 2010 at 2:42 pm #

      Isn’t it fascinating? I’ve been trying to work out what I think about it, and I can’t.

      • franzy April 20, 2010 at 8:25 am #

        Bear in mind that we didn’t just watch one or two episodes. This was a concerted effort by the entire group to consume as much Scrubs as was available at the time (five seasons). We watched the entire first season that night and over the next week or so, traded and rented and copied DVDs to each other until we were all done. And “different”.
        The change was noticeable even at the BBQ.

        I think it says more about the quality of Scrubs – at least the first four seasons – than about our susceptability to copy-cat behaviour. The dialogue is SO rich and SO full that watching more than two episodes concurrently is approaching the same kind of sensory deprivation/stimulation that they use to hook people into pokies with.

        I still like it. I would watch those first seasons again! But I would carefully watch my mouth afterwards.

        ps. I saw something from season 9 recently and I felt like I was watching a rough draft of a pantomime version of Friends. Perry was just standing there delivering his lines with what’s obviously become a trademark pause …… mmmbefore he swings into whatever snide little quip at JD’s expense has appeared on the script that week.

  10. suse April 20, 2010 at 9:20 am #

    I’m knitting with two kinds of silk at the moment and I can’t watch A THING.

  11. Kath Lockett April 21, 2010 at 5:29 am #

    Yeah Scrubs from around season six is pretty awful, with JD now hamming up it all the damn time and Perry on auto-pilot. Still love The Turk though!

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