- learning why one shouldn't just let a fire in your car engine "burn itself out"
- eating two eggs
- sitting on the toilet, lid down, fiddling with a funky toenail and thinking about important things
- helping Quinn and Madeleine retell the story of The White Lion (happy that Quinn didn't cry quite so vigorously in the retelling) while Jim flipped pancakes
I'm not used to having more than 5 to 15 minutes of time, and so my day-off activities are scheduled like commercial breaks. Fifteen-minute increments of my Saturday are stretching ahead of me right now, and I'm already planning how to fill those bite-sized snippets of my completely unscheduled day. Because, hoo-boy, this past fall and winter, they were full. In a way that put undue stress on everyone in our house. Even the hermit crabs were filled with deep sighs and eye-rolls.
To note: I have a permanent eye twitch and tendinitis in three separate joints. Madeleine may or may not have a spider nest somewhere in her room. Quinn has been having nightmares about the mummy, and the best we could do was rearrange the junk on his shelf so it didn't look like a person in the dark. I haven't seen the surface of the dining room table, my dresser or the front passenger seat in my car since before the world knew what Brett Favre's weiner looks like.
Poor me. I'm busy. (You have to say that in Squidward's voice, by the way.)
Everyone's busy. Everyone does a lot of stuff and gets tired and doesn't clean behind the toilet and then feels guilty about it. Most people want to re-read the books they hated in high school English and finish knitting that Scandanavian sweater. Everyone wants to teach their kids to like kale and figure out what's going on in Libya. Every person in the world wants to be better.
And that is why Al Gore invented magazines. The world will always need quick, glossy verification that there is a 15 minute solution to all of our problems and that tell us what music we're supposed to be liking. There are millions of people who need a quick way to hem pants or give a handjob, and pretty recipes that will make us fit into pants we bought 12 years ago. Sure, the internet provides that as well, but most of us can't read the internet on the toilet or while we're waiting for the kids to finish gymnastics. Because we're all trying to better ourselves in the commercial breaks. The internet gives us google, imdb and song lyrics. Magazines give us therapy.
And it's fine, actually. It's not always condescending and Oprah-y, and I'm happy with the guilt and frustration driven by excessive dog hair and dried out mascara. Because magazines also give us Lindsey Lohan and Mel Gibson. Magazines are the tactile yin and yang that keep our ships upright. While the internet screams at us all day, all bright and pixelated, up in our grill, magazines snuggle up in our laps and stroke our egos and gentle nudge us towards being better. ... Evidenced by my 15-minute break in which I now know that Dennis Hopper has a son who is an actor and that cute lesbians are the only people capable of sporting "The Bieber." See, my life is a tiny bit better, isn't it? Isn't it??