Yesterday I optimistically cleaned the house, sanitizing all the surfaces and disinfecting doorknobs. I baked muffins and indulged in such self-care rituals as applying moisturizer, blow-drying my hair, and shaving my legs for the first time in many days. I just finished reading How To Be A Woman, and while I enjoyed it, and felt a strong and hearty agreement with it, I also feel that there are many nice things in life, and having smooth legs, underarms, and bikini line after days of achieving yeti-like status is one of them. Relatedly, I realized as I plucked them that my eyebrows would, if left unchecked, morph into a blend of Frida Kahlo and Martin Scorcese's on my face. There's nothing like a few days of stomach flu and no sleep to make normal daytime rituals seem like the epitome of luxury.
Oh! But I was too optimistic too soon, because my remaining healthy child took a turn for the worse last night, causing me to pull a very gross all-nighter with him. I'm doing a lot of laundry, is what I'm saying. My husband is also feeling nervous, like there is ominous music playing just for him. If you hear a strange noise, do not leave the campfire. Do not go into the dark woods.
The funny thing about kids is how quickly they bounce back, eating freezies and playing video games. Even while sick, in the middle of the night, Mark both maintained his polite manners - "Please may I have a tissue?" - and his incredulity about the whole situation. "I think I have the barfing flu" he said after heaving into the toilet for the seventh time in two hours. Yeah, maybe. Jake, on the other hand, maintained sunny optimism: "Every time I barf I feel a little better!" he said after the tenth bathroom visit. "I think I'll probably feel better tomorrow!"
And he seems to be correct. Yesterday, while attempting to find a suitable children's show on television, I came across The Price Is Right! I was so excited. The kids enjoyed the show in the same way I did when I was a kid. The prizes and games were all so exciting! A barbeque in the shape of an egg! A new car! A trip to New York! A freestanding sauna! I was kind of disappointed that there were no dinette sets to be won, as in my youth, but maybe I need to watch more.
When I was a kid, I loved that show. I used to want to be a Barker's Beauty, and this wish also coincided with my idea that I would, one day, be crowned Miss Canada. My mother even made a Halloween costume to that effect, complete with red gown, crown, and sash proclaiming MISS CANADA 1982. But the idea that a whole career - such as it was - could be built out of being pretty, wearing stilettos, and showcasing RV's and sectional couches was fascinating. I didn't know about sexual harrassment, obviously, so it seemed pretty prime to me.
Of course, the Price is Right that my kids are now happily being exposed to has 100% less sexual harrassment - I THINK - and also has a male, um, Barker's Beauty. I guess they aren't called that anymore but I cannot imagine what they might be called. Anyway, this guy is disappointingly modestly dressed and also, it appears, in charge of driving the New! Cars! to be won. What's up with THAT? The women can still drive cars in the presence of a man, thank you very much.
In any case, I'd like to thank The Price Is Right for the much-needed entertainment for me and my recovering children. One episode had almost every single audience member in blocks of colour-matched t-shirts, which made Mark think that the audience was made up of "teams". "Oh, the red team is up." I guess it's kind of true. We also saw a woman win $1000 spinning the big wheel, whereas she promptly fell on the floor and rolled around. "Wow, she's REALLY happy." Mark said. "What would happen if she won one million dollars?" I'm guessing she would probably die, but die happy, I suppose.
One of the best parts of watching The Price is Right is the commercials. You have to hand it to the TV executives; they know their prime audience, and it isn't me and my kids. In one hour we saw two separate commercials for motorized scooters, several for Ensure, laxatives, and other supplements for Colon Health, and one featuring Henry Winkler advocating for reverse mortgages. FONZIE. Have we learned nothing? Reverse mortgages are a very, very bad idea. NOT COOL. Stick with the Colace.