May 2005 Sincerely Sire Newsletter

Taken to the Cleaners

Does it take two years to get your shirts back from the cleaners? The reason I ask is that’s how long Roe says it can take.

Roe has been taking my shirts to the cleaners (me too) for the past thirty years of our marriage, and I really appreciate it. I really do. Anybody who takes your shirts to the cleaners for you for thirty years must love you pretty much, right? But sometimes, darn it…shirts go missing. They randomly disappear out of my closet for years at a time. Sometimes they reappear, sometimes they don’t. “Hey, honey, have you seen my brown shirt with the pinstripes, the one you took to the cleaners back in ‘03?”

“What shirt are you talking about?” she replies. “Are you sure you had a brown shirt with pinstripes?”

And that’s how she gets me…Well, I thought I had a brown shirt with pinstripes. Or did I? I can’t really be sure. She always keeps me guessing. Off balance. Disoriented. Confused. It’s the way our marriage works. Or does it work? I don’t really know. Maybe it doesn’t.

I do have a theory about what happens to my shirts though. I know Roe, and here’s what she does. As soon as she sees a special in the window at a cleaners, she’ll slam on the brakes, screech into the parking lot and unload the laundry. It doesn’t matter where she is or what she’s doing. If she sees a special in the window, right away she’s thinking, “Oh yeah. Jackpot!” (She’s always got a couple of my shirts in the back seat too—just in case.)

Have you ever noticed how many cleaners there are with specials posted in their windows? Need I say more? My shirts are ALL OVER TOWN folks, and she can’t remember where they are!

I bet you this; if you were to randomly stop into ANY cleaners within the city limits (it doesn’t matter which city), and say, “I’m here to pick up a shirt for Sire,” the guy would come back with a minimum ten shirts, probably more—remember, this has been going on for three decades. You might even end up with one of those disco shirts from the seventies, which you’re welcome to keep by the way, but do me a favor will you? If you happen to run across the brown shirt, the one with pinstripes, give me a call. Okay? That was my favorite shirt. At least I think it was—unless, as Roe would have me believe, it was just my imaginary friend.


The Big “T”

I’m fifty-five and there have been certain landmark moments in my life, pretty much all of which revolve around the TV. Oh yeah, I did the usual: got born, fell in love, got married, had a couple of kids and so on and so on, but nothing has really impacted me as much as the TV. I’ve spent more time in front of the TV than I have doing any of those other things. First, there was black and white TV—coincidentally about the same time I was born. Next remote control TV. Next Color TV. Next the VCR. Next Big Screen TV. Next Cable TV. Next the DVD. Next Direc and Dish TV. Next the Plasma TV. And finally the biggy: TIVO.

You think the microwave oven was big?—try TIVO. The big “T” has changed my life forever. I first heard about TIVO a year ago while out to dinner with Roe. A friend of mine I hadn’t seen for over twenty years was there and all he could talk to me about was TIVO. He didn’t want to talk about his wife, his kids, his job or anything else; after twenty years all the guy wanted to talk about was TIVO. I couldn’t believe it.

He told me how you could record programs and watch them any time you wanted. How it was much better than a VCR because it was so easy, and you could record all your favorite programs for hours on end and watch whatever you wanted whenever you wanted. And the best part he said was no commercials. You could zip right by them. I thought he was nuts—until I got TIVO…  

It was everything he said it was and more. I watch what I want when I want. Roe loves it too. She used to miss all the Oprah shows which come on in the afternoon. But now she has a “Season Pass” which means they are all automatically recorded and when she comes home from work, or from whatever cleaners she has been at, whenever that may be, she can still watch Oprah. We also, never miss an episode of American Idol, The Apprentice or The Contender. And for me personally, there’s Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, the black and white Twilight Zone reruns and all the other Sci Fi stuff I can handle.

There are a couple of drawbacks however. Number one, I’m starting to feel guilty about not watching commercials. Aren’t I supposed to watch them? Isn’t that my duty? My obligation for watching the TV programs? I kind of feel like I’m cheating. I mean it’s as if automatically, all the junk mail was removed from your mailbox every time you opened it. Wouldn’t that be great? Oh my gosh—just think if that’s what happened to my newsletter, my scratch pad, and all my “Just Sold” cards. It would be a disaster!

I don’t know what the sponsors are going to do if this trend keeps up, which it will. I understand the cable companies now have something called a DVR which does the same thing as TIVO.

But here’s the real problem around here—then again maybe it’s a blessing, I haven’t really decided yet. Roe and I never talk anymore—ever, because after thirty years of marriage that was the only time we did talk—on the commercials. Oh wait, I take that back, we still share those special moments, in between programs of course, when we passionately utter those special words to each other over and over and over: “Give me the controls.”

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