I looooove television. Not just any kind of television. 60s, 70s, and 80s television. You can take your reality shows and stick ‘em where Sonny from Bosom Buddies don’t shine. I would rather stare at a blank screen all day than watch a reality show.
Okay, fine. Unless it was the first or second season of Bret Michaels “Rock of Love” on VH-1 because that shit was genuinely entertaining. #TeamHeather
I totally want to party with her, get arrested together, break out of jail, and live life together on the run. Or at least break out of Catholic school with her.
Then we’ll get free stuff from gas stations and happen upon a strip club that has an amateur night, and I’ll dress up in a men’s business suit and hat, except I’ll be wearing carefully applied lipstick. She’ll wear a white bellbottom outfit with a sparkly bra and enter the stripper competition. I’ll pull off my hat at some point during her routine, revealing that I’m actually Alicia Silverstone. Biker guys will swoon. We will win the competition and use our prize money to get a motel room for the night. The next day we will taunt a handsome man on a tractor.
I realize this is actually just an Aerosmith video that I’m describing, which doesn’t make it any less important as a personal goal. Don’t shit on my dream.
When I went through my Howard Hughes OCD psychotic break in 1994 and stopped leaving the house for a few months, the one thing I looked forward to more than anything was when The Love Boat would come on at 3am. I love that show so freaking much. The problem was that between midnight and 3am, there was jack squat on TV. I could buy some time if there was a good guest on one of the late night talk shows, but for the most part, it was a lot of sitting around and waiting.
I suppose I could have done, I don’t know, something besides sit around and wait for a television show to come on, maybe read a book or “think about the future” or whatever, but I had fallen so far down the well I couldn’t even be bothered to shower more than once every two weeks at that point. Reading a book or doing anything constructive might as well have been climbing a mountain. Everything was too daunting.
I would get so anxious in those hours waiting for The Love Boat to come on, wishing and praying more than anything that time would just move faster. This was before I got any kind of treatment for my OCD, so when I got anxious like that, I got extra compelled.
Obsessively compelled, that is. Black gold. Texas tea.
Shut up. You don’t have to quote The Beverly Hillbillies theme song. We get it. You like TV.
Hang on, though. This one’s my favorite. Perfect Strangers theme song:
🎵 Standing taaaall on the wings of my dreams. Rise and faaaaall, on the wings of my dreams. Rain, thunder, wind and haze, I’m bound for better days. It’s my life. Myyyy dream. Nothin’s gonna stop me now. (Harmonica part.) 🎵
You are the literal worst.
Every four minutes between midnight and 3am, my OCD would make me do a security check in the house where I would go room to room to make sure all the windows were closed, all the doors were locked, and all cabinets, closets, bathtubs, and under-bed areas were free of psycho killers. Light switches, door knobs, anything along the way had to be touched between four and sixty-four times until it felt “right”.
At every four minutes, this translated to fifteen security checks per hour. But the number fifteen was deemed “bad” by my brain, so I had to do another quick check right before the hour was up to make it an even sixteen times.
Sixteen was a really good number that gave me momentary mental relief. Nothing felt as great as the number sixteen. Bad numbers included all prime numbers, particularly the number three, and anything that wasn’t divisible by four.
Bad numbers? Oh man. Bad numbers just simply could not be tolerated. If someone on TV said the number thirty-one out loud, I would have to whisper, “Thirty-two,” or else I’d become extremely uncomfortable with that thirty-one just hanging in the air.
If someone else happened to be in the room, they would say, “What? Did you just say something?” and then I would say no and tell them that they must just be hearing things.
Most people with OCD will tell you something similar to the above. There are totally innocuous things that are arbitrarily classified as “good” or “bad”. Numbers in my case, obviously, but I had certain electrical cords that I deemed bad for no reason. Round foods were deemed good. Square foods, bad. Knocking on doors, good. Doorbells, bad.
This is because the very technical scientific term for OCD is “broken-assed brain”. Thankfully in my case, I was able to get it fixed later down the road (mostly). My therapist said there was probably a reason buried deep somewhere that I had assigned good/bad to certain things, but that it ultimately didn’t matter. OCD is illogical, and trying to apply logic to it is a waste of energy.
It was a shame I never had the cleaning compulsions that some people have or else my house would have been museum-spotless every night before The Love Boat came on.
Don’t get me wrong. People who have the cleaning compulsions will often scrub floors until their fingertips split with gangrene and their nails crumble and rot down to the cuticle, so it’s no picnic, either, but at the very least you get a clean floor out of it. The most my compulsions were doing for me was making sure that there wasn’t a miniature psycho killer crouched in my bathroom cabinet. I mean, it’s a good thing to know there wasn’t one in there, but at the same time, the odds were generally pretty slim of one actually being in there to begin with. My time could have been better spent, especially given the filth I was living in.
So I would do my routines for all those hours in anticipation of The Love Boat every night, night after night. Walking around the house in my filthy Nirvana tour shirt with the glow-in-the-dark seahorses on it, checking and touching and checking and touching, and then I’d eventually put some nice, round Crispy Crowns in the oven around 1:32am (around means precisely or else you have to wait until 1:48am). I would eat the Crispy Crowns in even numbers, making sure to chew each one sixteen times on each side of my mouth, and get ready for my show to finally start.
The show was about to start!
It was finally about to start!
I was so happy as the ending credits rolled for the show that was on before The Love Boat. Yes! My show was about to start!
Then the clock would strike 3am and the theme song for The Love Boat would come on.
🎵 Love…exciting and new…come aboard…we’re expecting yoooooooooou…. 🎵
I would be so elated, so relieved, and so relaxed it was finally on, that I would fall asleep halfway through the opening credits and sleep through the entire show and then be furious I had missed it.