July 22, 2004

Rescue Me

Just what I need, another great TV show.

Last night, Melissa and I watched the premier of Rescue Me on FX. It's a NY Firefighter drama/comedy with Denis Leary in the lead role. Mr. Leary played a big role in my influences, and his movie "The Ref" is my favorite holiday movie of all time. If there's one thing Denis can do is play a good, likeable tough guy, and he does in "Rescue Me." This just might be the only show in the police/fire/hospital drama category that I actually stick with.

Whenever "ER" or "Third Watch" comes on, I kiss Melissa's head, tell her to have fun, and leave her to watch it. She loves her "Stress Shows," as I call them, because she used to be a police dispatcher. She thrived on the stress, the frenetic pacing, the lives-on-the-line feeling, the multi-tasking. She was great at her job, and no one was happier than I was, but it started to affect her personal life.

When we first moved out of Athens, we stayed at her parents' house for six months while we looked for a place in Atlanta to live. It was nice, not paying rent for a change, but living with your in-laws right after you get married has it's drawbacks. For example, it was a little hard to be intimate with Melissa when her parents were down the hall. I felt like slipping them a $20 bill and telling them to go catch a movie.

The other drawback was the lack of personal space. We went from having our own apartments to living out of two rooms in someone else's house. The bonus room upstairs was our living room, and contained our TV, computer, futon, and most of our other stuff. It was hard enough compressing our personal space into one room like that, but Melissa's police training made it more difficult.

After a day of answering 911 calls, routing them to the officers on a computer, and keeping in contact on the radio, all at the same time, she would come home to unwind. Her "unwinding" consisted of watching TV, playing solitaire on the computer and talking on the phone. At the same time. Meanwhile, I sat twiddling my thumbs on the futon, able to do nothing but watch Miss Multi-task do her stuff. It was impressive to me, since I usually can't even drve and talk very well, but it got old fast. "Please," I begged her, "The TV, phone AND computer? Just let me have one of them. I don't care which."

Luckily, my new job supported us well, and she was able to quit dispatching. It was scary at the end, though, because she worked part-time as a 911 dispatcher, and part-time as a Disney Store cast member. So she went from answering murder calls to being a shiny happy Disney person. Talk about bi-polar.

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