“We’ve hit rock bottom,” my wife Anna groaned. “Sitting on the couch watching other couch potatoes on television critiquing reality shows like we do, it’s proof positive we have no life.”
“When did we die?” I played along, but Anna frowned.
“Okay, we breathe, eat and do other things that mirror life but we’re just making a mockery of it. Pass the popcorn,” she groused.
I took a sour bite of reality chewing Anna’s words. I mulled over the touchstones we should’ve heeded as our world shrank: living vicariously through reality stars like the Kardashians, Saturday date nights becoming a toss-up between doing laundry or grocery shopping, the family barbecue three years ago when my father-in-law started making sense. Even the dog stopped chasing balls instead lolling on the couch with us barking at the canine stars of Pitbulls and Parolees.
“How did we fade away, Anna?” I sputtered but my wife, paying rapt attention to our new flat screen TV, silenced me with a finger that zipped both our lips.
Bookended by births and funerals, we first ran circles around our parents then our kids ran circles around us. We became chauffeurs and coaches. We spent Fourth of July on our front lawn gleefully watching our neighbor across the street light off illegal fireworks. Our aging parents sandwiched us as caregivers, and the death of the 9 to 5 job killed any free time and passion to live life on our terms. Ground to a powder, we burrow into the couch to escape reality by watching and parsing reality shows. And now we watch our proxies do it for us.
“Pass the popcorn, Anna,” I shrugged and slipped into my Snuggie.
Marc Litman is from Granada Hills, CA