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Julie Gerstenblatt Headshot

To Netflix, With Love

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Dear Netflix,

What can I say? These last few years together have been amazing. Really. Ever since you showed up that first time at my house, I knew. To quote one of our all-time favorites, When Harry Met Sally, "I knew the way you know about a good melon."

I mean, the doorbell rang, and there you were, dressed to impress, immediately standing out from the crowd.

You had me at "hello."

And then you stuck around! I'd send you away, but you'd always come back with something new and thrilling to share. Steadily, our relationship grew and blossomed and expanded. Over the years, we've gone places I never imagined: that hotel room in St Louis, the cute restaurant in the West Village, even a lounge chair on the beach in Boca. And we'll always have Paris.

Usually when I'm with you, I just want to relax, but at other times, I feel the need -- the need for speed! The entire sagas of Breaking Bad, Friday Night Lights, House of Cards, Gossip Girl and Orange is the New Black -- whether you send me a thoughtful gift through the mail or just provide instant gratification on my iPad, you are literally always there for me.

Sometimes, you're the only one who gets me, you know?

You're so money and you don't even know it.

Remember that hellish evening of recovery from my root canal? You took one look at me and prescribed the perfect medication: A John Hughes movie marathon.

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around every once in a while, you could miss it. But, if you do happen to miss it the first time around, you can always watch it later on Netflix.

And, my dear red friend, you sincerely cheer me up. If I see dead people, you reach out your hand and grab mine, because no one puts baby in a corner.

Remember when the economy crashed and I was out of work and my husband was looking for a new job and I went shopping even when I shouldn't have because department stores make me feel less depressed? Remember how a pile of bills arrived at the door a few weeks later, and my husband saw the one from Bloomingdale's and was like, "What's this? Are you friggin' kidding me?"

And I was like, Houston, we have a problem. I began racking my brain for a solid retort: Love means never having to say you're sorry; frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn; and... you can't handle the truth!

Well, Netflix, you were there in the kitchen with us that day, and you made a suggestion: "Why don't you just watch Mad Men for the next 10 hours straight and forget about your shitty lives?

My husband cocked his head sideways as if to ask, "You talking to me?"

And so we made popcorn, not war.

Remember when I was feeling so down after Christmas a few months back that I couldn't even get out of bed? The snow kept falling and the day was so dark and I had to make several major life-altering decisions by the first of the year. Say Anything, you whispered. So I did. With a 13 Going on 30 chaser. I'm not ashamed to admit it: I got punch drunk on romantic comedies that day, and, by 4 p.m., so buoyed was I by saccharine scripted love that I was able to get up and take a shower before returning to bed to watch more romantic comedies.

Many a time have I turned to you, Netflix, for solace.

Right now, my beautiful home is to be sold, and I am preparing to move out-of-state with my family. As well we know, there's no place like home.

This turbulence has called for a special kind of doctor's care -- namely, the care of concierge medicine's Dr. Hank Lawson, played by the very cute Mark Feuerstein. I have binged on all four seasons of Royal Pains, and, though I tried to keep my drugs away from my family, I'm afraid that my children have noticed my addiction and rapid decline.

"Go get ready for bed," I'll tell my 11 and eight-year-olds as soon as 9 p.m. strikes. "If you need me, I'll be -"

"In the basement," they'll say. "Watching Netflix."

What can I say? For some, there's marijuana, and for others, there's Hulu.

This mommy needs her flix, kids.

The bright screen in the darkened room, the stream of never-ending entertainment, the lull of theme songs and the hum of voice-overs soothes me like nothing else (except, perhaps, a cheap sauvignon blanc and chocolate-covered gummy bears, but that's for another article entirely). Sometimes the only certainty in an uncertain world is to know this: There will be more, there is always more, and, with you, it will never end.

Thank you, Netflix. I Love You, Man. Happy Valentine's Day.