I am at the point in my life when I do a lot of reflecting.
I have the time for it now. My daughter is an adult and doing her own thing, so it’s just me and the empty nest most days.
Some reflections are on things I should have or could have done. Others offer insight into myself.
One of the latter occurrences happened this weekend. It was a revelation.
In one of those moments that make you go “hmmmm …” I realized I have no business being in charge of the TV remote.
I can click remote buttons with the best of them, and I know what most of them do. I can adjust the volume, skip to my favorite part of a TV show or movie, and turn off the TV.
That is, when I can find it.
I misplace my remote more often than my keys, glasses or cellphone. In fact, I have apps on the latter that control the TV’s functions when the remote decides to go AWOL, which happens at least two times a week.
The most frustrating part is that the apps only work if the remote is nearby. And it’s always nearby.
I once lost a remote for a month. I lost hope and ordered another one. The new one arrived on a Tuesday.
I found the original one the following day.
It’s not my fault. I wasn’t groomed to wield a remote. We had no need for one in the rural part of Fentress County where I grew up. There, we had two channels if the weather was clear. (It was really three, but nobody counted PBS back then.) If we wanted the channel changed, we simply got up and used the switch on front of the black-and-white Zenith.
My first remote came with the VCR my mom bought me for college graduation. It was a big, clunky thing that did nothing more than play, rewind and fast forward the big, clunky VHS tapes we fed into the front of the player. In hindsight, it was impractical because we had to get up to change the tapes, anyway.
I don’t remember when I got my first TV remote, but my daughter’s dad commandeered it early on, clicking his way through cable channels so quickly I couldn’t tell what was on. As our little girl grew up, he most often would hand her the remote as he left the room, as if it was his only child’s birthright.
She guarded and protected said birthright as our family dwindled down to just us two. There were times in both of their reigns that I got my hands on The Sacred Clicker, but that usually happened early in the morning or late at night, when one or both had cast it aside for slumber.
My empty nest now has two TVs and as many remotes. I’m not relegated to being a captive audience to “Cops,” “SpongeBob SquarePants” or whatever Marvel or action movie is the flavor of the month. I can binge on old episodes of “Just Shoot Me” or “Snapped” — or watch “Love, Actually” for the 32nd time in the middle of the summer.
Streaming services are at my beck and call. But first, let me find the remote.