Dear Charles Shaw Fine Wine, Lost Television Program on Netflix, and Now-Missing Kitchen Timer,
I know. It's been a long time since we've seen each other. But please don't let that lead you to believe that I never think of you, or that I didn't value our time together. You've got to believe me when I say that you were my everything for the short time we knew each other so well.
I know what you're thinking. We were together every night for a week and then I disappeared. How could I just break it off like I did? The long and short of it is that you all got me through a really awful transition in my life. To be blunt, I used you. I needed you so much and then all of a sudden I didn't. Please let me explain.
You may vaguely remember that during our whirlwind romance, there was a lot of crying. Some of the tears were mine (frustration, rage, exhaustion) and some of the louder shrieks of anguish were my infant daughter's. I know -- I never told you I had kids. I wanted what we had to be untouched by the complications that children bring.
Childfree as you are, you may not be familiar with the cry-it-out method. It's a thing where when a mother has a 6-month-old baby that only sleeps for two hours at a time in a baby swing that eats D batteries like skittles, a husband who's gone a lot because he's in graduate school and a job where she must teach 50 5th graders how to dance in a gymnasium all by herself while intermittently pumping breast milk in her car, she decides that her baby is just going to have to take one for the team and learn to sleep in longer intervals in a crib. In order to get the baby to do this, the mother enacts a Ferber method-inspired program whereby her kid screams it's head off, and the mother checks on the screaming kid at graduated intervals so the kid doesn't feel like it's been abandoned to it's suffering forever by the mother. OK fine, the mother comes in so SHE doesn't feel like she's abandoning the kid. WHATEVER -- you know what, Charles Shaw Fine Wine, Lost and Now-Missing Kitchen Timer? I don't have to explain myself to you. Don't look at me like that.
I want to remember us as we were. Charles Shaw Fine Wine, I want to remember the way you helped me stay calm after one small glass and made me feel like I was hilariously funny, even when reading back over blog posts that I wrote while I was with you were deemed "nonsensical." Thank you, too, for being such a cheap date. It's no secret that I was pretty low on funds when we were together, and you never made a big deal out of it. You also never called me out on drinking alone out of a jelly jar in my sweatpants. You're a real gentleman, Charles.
Lost, I want you to know what a blessing it was to wonder whether my anxiety was coming from my daughter's shrieks at the twp-hour mark or the fact that HOLY SHIT IT'S THE SMOKE MONSTER! I also want you to know that I appreciated the way you never judged me for turning your volume up to 11 in attempts to block out the screaming in the other room. You really helped me to lose myself in the psychotic twists of your plot and the sheer terror of your anything-goes narrative style. Thank you for giving me what I didn't even know I needed. And thank you for naming a couple characters after philosophers, so I could smugly think to myself "yes, Locke WOULD say that" and recall almost nothing of my college education but yet somehow still feel like my brain might not all have turned to mashed bananas.
Kitchen timer, first of all, I'm sorry that I threw you away in a fit of rage after you failed to ding, thus ruining a dinner party pot roast. That was harsh, and after everything we'd been through, you deserved better. I can now admit that it could have very well been user error. I want to thank you, wherever you are, for diligently scaring the bejesus out of me every 5, 10 and 20 minutes for the several hours that it took each evening before the "out" of cry it out arrived. You were a game-day player and helped me to feel like less of a terrible parent for getting slightly tipsy and watching seemingly endless hours of television every night.
I was as surprised as you all were when it ended. Suddenly one night, there was just no screaming. And that's when I knew that the sun had set on our romance. I'm going to be honest with you and say that I always hoped it would end. I never intended our time together to be more than a fling. But please know that I will always cherish your contributions to my wellbeing. I think it's safe to say that you kept me glued to my couch and away from any ledges or speeding cars that may have been looking the tiniest bit attractive in my sleep-deprived state. And for that, my loves, my dear companions, I'll always remember you fondly. I hope this finds you well.
This post originally appeared at rebelliousmagazine.com