It’s absolutely winter. During the post holiday/pre-spring time of the year I have always cherished evenings. They begin early. The sun is still somewhere beneath the equator warming people other than ourselves so it’s dark somewhere around dinner time. As a housewife I earnestly attempt to have dinner served by five or six so I can snuggle baby Lucy in her crib and begin The Evening. Lucy is a miracle child as she is in her bed by and no later than six o’clock. We don’t hear from her again until six or seven in the morning. I know we’re lucky, and we cross our fingers each night in hopes that she remains this content in her slumbers for many moons.
When Lucy retires, we begin our ritual. First, dinner dishes are gathered and placed onto the floor for Dutch, our trusty dog. He eats any scraps and licks any sauces we neglected and then the dishes are stacked next to the kitchen sink. We don’t have a dishwasher. (Well, we do, but it’s occupied the space under our stairwell for nearly three years and I had to stop holding my breath that we would install it because I passed out too many times.) So my revenge for lack of appliances is to claim that washing dishes by hand would wake the baby, so then I do them in the morning. Don’t get all feminist on me and tell me the man can help out, I hate the way Mr. Pilver does dishes. Doing them all myself is far better than witnessing his method.
Since I am currently a stay-at-home wife/mother I have time during the day to ensure that the great room of our home is orderly enough that all can relax after the dish tower has been built. By now it’s around six thirty, homework is done, chickens have been fed, pets are snuggled on the couches, and now we join them in their curled up positions.
The Pilver Family couches never have any less than four or five fuzzy warm blankets folded over the arms. Considering there are three of us who remain awake at this point, the excess creates toasty cocoons surrounding our goosebumps covered bodies. Our heat is iffy, at best. The kids’ bedrooms have heaters and are always plenty warm. All other rooms are at the best chilly, and the worst around forty five degrees. The worst occurs when the temp falls below zero. On a typical winter night, where it may be around twenty or twenty five outdoors, we usually sit at a solid fifty to sixty degrees in the house. Not toasty, but not cold enough to shiver.
So there we are, in our blankets and with the cat and dog cuddling together, acting as though that’s an accident, and then comes my favorite: TV.
Wars erupted when I stated I wanted to subscribe to satellite. Mr Pilver never had purchased such a terrible waste of time in his life, and did not want to live in a house where “the devil” as he calls it (and everything else he is against) was present. I pleaded my case and I won. I love having television. Here is why; Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, Football, Baseball, and The Biggest Loser. All of those mentioned programs are worth forty dollars per month. I won’t knock anyone for their crazy favorite shows, but I feel mine are non-damaging forms of entertainment. The Biggest Loser is border line, but it’s my guilty pleasure. Soon after we had the dish in our yard I realized why Mr. Pilver was against TV. He’s a junkie. If it’s there, he watches it. I spend most of my day at home alone, and if the TV is on, it’s playing music on one of the music channels. Mr. Pilver will sit and watch every episode of That 70’s show, Seinfeld, South Park, etc all…day…long. He rarely actually does this, but he could. I can not sit still in front of the TV for long periods of time, therefore to me, TV is not the devil.
So, being as I won the wars, we watch TV. Wheel of Fortune first. We don’t pay great attention to this show each night. However, when it ends and Jeopardy begins, the punishment is great for talking during the game. We choose our favorite player and smack talk the others when they answer incorrectly. When the music plays and Final Jeopardy answers are revealed The Max cannot grab the remote quickly enough to switch channels to the hour block of The Simpsons episodes.
With hands on his knees and eyes inches from the screen, The Max must see what Bart is writing on the chalkboard and in which formation the Simpson family will create during the credits. Then, I tune out. I like The Simpsons, but I use the time to grab my smart phone and check emails and play games or work on crocheting the blanket I have been crafting for the past two years.
When The Simpson is over, and the clock strikes nine, The Max grabs a book and heads to bed but not before requesting I read him to sleep. I should embrace this, he’s eleven years old and certainly will not allow bedtime stories for long. The books Max reads, though, I really detest. He loves Greek Mythology and Harry Potter and adventure books all of which have character and place names I cannot pronounce. As he hands me an open book, with his finger on the place where I am to start (always in the middle of a sentence in the middle of a paragraph in the middle of a page) I take a deep breath and prepare for his explanations of situations and corrections of pronunciation. I always end, in the middle of a sentence in the middle of a paragraph in the middle of the page by pausing, facing him, and we say together, “bumBumBUM!!!” He lies and reads for another few minutes, turns of his lamp, and falls asleep.
Then there were two. Mr Pilver and I are typically exhausted by this point and often head straight to bed. There are times we find an interesting show the both of us can enjoy, usually a PBS program with an animal topic or a comedian that annoys neither of us.
Finally, it’s time for Mom and Dad to go to sleep. I must read while I fall asleep and because of book apps on smart phones, I can do this without keeping my husband awake. I usually am in the middle of a poorly written cheesy “chick lit” book I bought for ninety-nine cents or even got for free. It must be propped up perfectly so that I can make minimal movements when turning the virtual page. I never remember falling asleep, but I know it was in the middle of a sentence, paragraph, page when I wake up in the morning and see my phone propped up directly in front of my face. I then crawl out of bed and work through my day, the whole time looking forward to the evening.