22 May 2013

Goodbye to The Office

The Office opening music switches my brain into an escape mode.  Those notes calm my spirit with the relief I imagine a drug addict gets from that initial inhalation. 

A bit of an extreme comparison?

Maybe, but The Office came into my life when I needed escape and for a while it was my drug of choice.  I became acquainted with Jim, Pam, Michael, Dwight, and the rest of the gang while walking through dark days of losing babies.  In those long evenings after we put Asher to bed, the hours until I could go to bed seemed to last forever.  

And so Walter introduced me to what he pitched as an American version of a popular British show about an office.  I worked in an office, I got the humor of the cubicle life so we let ourselves get hooked. 

We watched The Office in our upstairs home office next to P.Rick, the adorable hedgehog.  Walter sat in the rolling office chair and I lounged on our nursery chair which had been moved into the office simply so we could watch The Office on our computer.  In those old fashioned days, we only had a desktop and couldn't stream Internet to our tv.  That was the tv that required a risk of electrocution if you wanted to turn it on because the power button had broken off and we had to stick a finger in to reach that little on-off button.  

Ah yes, The Office has been part of us for a long time.  Back then I could easily relate to the drudgery felt by returning to an enclosed office space surrounded by people with all kinds of idiosyncrasies   Of course I was the only normal one in those cubes.  I compared Michael Scott to previous bosses I had endured (of course I am not referring to Bill or Jon) and loved the parody of a life I knew well.

Laughing out loud felt so good.  Somehow the show made me laugh out loud even after Michael Scott left and even when it reverted to low humor.  It was that absence of my laughing that may have cued Walter in to my awake (or not awake) status.  We learned how to watch tv together through our years of watching The Office.  

I will quietly admit here that I sometimes struggle to stay awake through tv shows.  Over the years and depending on his mood, Walter has taken a variety of approaches to this idiosyncrasy of mine. If he is feeling sweet, he will gently rub my arm and remind me to wake up.  But the most common strategy of his is to pause the show and wait until I protest.  If I quickly cry out he knows I'm  awake.  If the pause lasts for longer than 10 seconds without hearing from me he knows it's time to turn the show off.  

At times his strategy turned vindictive when he gave me a brief warning that he planned to delete the show as soon as it was over. This warning was explained as an opportunity for me to watch and not miss out later. It still seems rather cruel though because before the last words of the show are spoken, he has quickly stopped the action and deleted it - hoping to teach me a lesson that I better stay awake or speak up.  Yes, The Office has been part of the evolution of our marriage and how we interact with each other.  

It's a show that now joins Seinfeld as somehow holding a special place in my heart like a childhood and college friend.  Someone who I connected with at a deeper level but for whatever reason the connection has changed and time has marched us into different places.

Emotionally I am in a different state than when we first needed the shot of humor The Office gave us.   P.Rick is no longer around to watch with us, we have upgraded to a tv free of electrocution risk, and we now sit together on a couch. 

Along with Jim and Pam we had babies, learned to work through our marriage, and have come to this point where it is time to move on and say goodbye to The Office.

Thanks for the guaranteed laughs.

No comments: