Aussie refuses to binge-watch

I have discovered the joy of binge-watching.

“Just plop down in front of Netflix, or whatever you have, and stay there,” warned the doctor who saw me on Zoom. “Give your body a complete rest.”

I plopped myself in front of my big TV, which is so old that Hulu recently informed me it can’t supply content to it anymore because the technology is from a different era, and started binge-watching. My first time ever.

I binge-watched The Crown. Why? Because watching The Crown means I don’t have to think or worry, all I do is appreciate the gorgeousness of the production and the fun of seeing actors take on the roles of people you read about in the paper. At this time of covid, when I have no energy or desire for anything but sleep, I sit passively on the black chair with a footrest that leaps up to meet my legs and there I lie, lazy, half-conscious, and very self-indulgent.

I don’t have the energy for meditation or for reading. The world of work seems distant and irrelevant; big questions seem to have receded into the distant mist, leaving me with vaguely admiring how Elizabeth Debicki copies those Princess Diana mannerisms with the lilt of her face and opening wide her eyes. More important, how does she do that thing with her eyelashes, that are ever so black and ever so long?

And who knew about revenge dresses? Did you? Evidently, they refer to very sexy dresses that the Princess started wearing after her separation from Charles. If you’re going to do revenge, I tell myself as I watch her, a revenge dress is the way to go.

A revenge dress is the very opposite of what the sovereign wears, suits and dresses that remind me of what my mother’s friends used to wear, only theirs were polyester with zippers while Elizabeth’s are expensive fabrics with ornaments for buttons, and aways, always, the pearl necklaces. For some reason, the series makes her look terribly dowdy and elderly even when she’s supposedly in her 60s. Or maybe that’s their comment on the monarchy, who knows?

Eye candy, is what it was, and I ate and ate for 10 glorious episodes. I binged!

Aussie looks up at me from the sofa and whines; she’s not used to seeing me watch TV except on weekend nights, and here I am wasting precious sunlight on binge-watching. At this time of winter, you barely need two hands to count the daylight hours.

“I know, I know, you want to go out walking. I can’t, Auss, all I can do is binge.”

“Is that a new dance?”

“No, Aussie, it’s when you do things to excess. There’s binge-watching, binge-eating, binge-reading (all of Dickens’ novels?), binge-chocolating and icecreaming, binge—”

“How about binge-walking?”

“Not this time, pretty girl. It’s got to be something that doesn’t take any effort at all. You know, Aussie, I’m getting a taste for all this indulgence. Not raising a finger. Do you see me throwing toys for Henry?”

“I do not.”

“The only time I get up is to get another dose of Paxlovid, which is supposed to get me on my feet pretty quickly, and right now I’m not sure that’s such a great thing because then how would I binge?”

“You could binge-feed me. I’ll do all the work.”

“Aussie, once I get on my feet the world looks different. Everything becomes more vertical, which for some reason reminds me of all the things I have to do. There are different forms of binging and I’m only a beginner binger, but I believe that true bingeing requires a prone position.”

“What happened to the compulsive worker who’s always busy busy busy?”

“Bingeing makes you very busy, Aussie, you can’t let up. There’s always another episode, and another, and when that’s done there’s another season. I don’t worry about walking you, I don’t worry about filling the birdfeeders outside or Donald Trump or what to teach, all I think about is whether England’s royal family will make it to the next millennium. Between worries I nap. What a life! Who knew?”

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