It’s not that I didn’t know. Maybe I was just in denial about the whole thing. Maybe I was unwilling or unable to accept what is.
It was late one evening when I emerged from running on the treadmill in the basement. It’d been an unforgiving and arduous winter, full of sunless days and brutally cold, blustery nights. Being cooped up inside for weeks at a time, solely due to the inability of the human body to bear the merciless and harsh realities of winter, seamlessly cast about by Mother Nature, had caused Clem and I to immerse ourselves in our own individual endeavors each night. I, would go for a run and he, would indulge in the boob tube.
It’s no secret. The signs were all there and I was aware of them. I should’ve clued in, but it’s funny how some things never seem to faze me despite being right in front of my face.
I hadn’t discovered this phenomenon until I was further into our relationship. I’d never experienced anything like it, and found it fascinating, once exposed. You see, Clem and I met when we were younger, but didn’t date until high school. I hadn’t spent much time with his family because we lived in different communities and neither Clem nor I, were old enough to drive. Yeesh, seems like yesterday.
Looking back, I was just blind and ignorant. It wasn’t until I got to know his family that I witnessed his parent’s indulgence, his mother particularly. His father, seemed to be an innocent bystander at first. I thought he wasn’t as caught up in it as his wife, but the more I observed, the more I noticed that he was more than just an enabler. He seemed to thoroughly enjoy every single guiltily pleasured moment as well.
Dirty little secrets
After a run, I’d often walk into the living room to have a drink of water and cool down before having a shower. I’d join Clem briefly, watching whatever he had on TV and chatting during this time. This became my routine, which is pretty much the same to this day.
On that fateful evening many years ago, it was different. Usually, Clem would quickly change the channel as soon as he’d hear me come up the stairs, often before I was anywhere near the living room. And the TV volume, was sometimes so non-existent, that the dog lying nearby wouldn’t hear a thing. But on this particular evening, I must’ve been either super stealthy, or he’d been so deeply engrossed that he didn’t even notice me. I believe it was the latter.
As I came up the stairs, I could just hear the television, not enough to really make out words or sentences, but I could confirm the volume was perceptible. The lights were all off, and the flickering could be seen bouncing across the walls of the kitchen and the entire ceiling, illuminating the dark open space. Suddenly, I heard something from Clem, and thought he’d finally been alerted to my presence.
I stopped dead in my tracks, waiting for him to change the channel and acknowledge me. I waited, but all that followed, was the murmur from the TV. Ugh, what to do, what to do. I kept gliding across the floor, quietly wondering about what I was about to find.
Did I really want to know? Should I make a noise to alert my presence? Pretend to rummage in the kitchen? Could I possibly remain blissfully oblivious? If I didn’t, was I going to be mad? Was I going to be appalled? Shocked? Yes, most definitely.
Then, I heard a sniffle.
What the hell?
As I got closer, I could see Clem in the flickering lights cast from the television. He had tears welling in his eyes that glinted like gems in the darkness from the flashing coming from the screen, and a heart melting smile plastered across his face, one of pure bliss.
What the fuck?
That’s when my eyes quickly darted to the television in hurried horror to see what the fuss was about. Nothing prepared me for this. He had been watching…
The Lifetime Movie Network.
I admit, at first I was a little like, what the holy shitting mother of fuck?! Oh hell no! OMFG I married HIS mother! Overreaction? Yes. And funny as hell! Ahhh, I love him!
I bet you were thinking it was something else!
Wow! Mind in the gutter! For shame! HA HA HA!! Sorry! I had to!
Now, Clem not only watches this network, but I think his all-time fave, is the Hallmark Movie Network.
So I didn’t marry an axe murderer
So, I married a Hallmark Movie man. Yep, I digress, I had been in denial all these years but I cannot deny it any more. He, yes HE, Clem, not only records the diverse and vast array of movies they produce, but he LOVES to share them with me. Thank you PVR.
Honestly, I was kind of freaked out. How did I not see this? Or was I just blind to it all? Maybe I was just in denial?
Too funny! I’m kidding around, it’s not a bad thing, I just don’t know too many who actually watch. I imagine there’s probably a huge following that I’m not aware of because I don’t watch a ton of TV. That said, Clem lives for those movies! He even tears up at the end, no joke!!
I think it’s cute. I’ve known forever that he is a hopeless romantic. He is the king when it comes to all the little things and all those cute sayings that the cute signs talk about from those little gift shops. It often gets to the point where I just can’t keep up with all of the niceties because he constantly bombards me with them on the daily. I wish I could keep up, but I’m so bloody busy trying to keep the daily shit straight, that I hardly have time to look up or create new ways to express my love.
He never runs out, it’s like he’s the Energizer Bunny of Love on crack. I know, it’s from his Pinterest account. At least he spends the time to pick out the ones that have the most meaning in our life. Yes, he has a Pinterest account. He’s like the ultimate main male character that Hallmark fashioned their movies around…I need to turn that into a t-shirt for him…Straight Outta Evergreen…sweet, I like it!
I will never forget the day that I called my sister to let her know what I’d discovered about my husband! Ha! It was confession time. Hurried, hushed conversation followed by a long delay of contemplation and wondering if I should even say. I finally admitted my findings, which was followed by a loud,
“WHAT?! He watches Lifetime?!! No way!! Where’s Wade? WAADDDEEE!! Clem watches Lifetime!! Can you believe it?!!”
It was hilarious! We didn’t come from a Lifetime movie watching family at all, so this was definitely new. We thought it was a network for the very much civilized folk that we had no understanding of (we’re nothing fancy and Lifetime seemed fancy to us). Lea was the most entertained by her newfound information and she used it accordingly.
She would often poke heartfelt fun at him, calling him the Lifetime Movie Guy. She loved to tease him about it. Any time there was an opportunity to trade insults between the two of them, we’d always hear her throw out her shtick when she’d run out of ammunition.
“Okay there Lifetime Movie Guy!” she’d gleefully toss out as her final offering.
It was funny to say the least because Clem didn’t have any response, other than to laugh. Game over. No denial there folks.
The holidays just aren’t the holidays without…
I really understood what I was dealing with around November, when he decided it was time to admit what he had been denying and covering up all these years. During the holiday season, he had recorded pretty much every single holiday movie ever produced by the Hallmark Channel. Now, I’d suspected, that he’d been a bit of a closet watching Hallmark and Lifetime movie channel man, and let’s just say that I’d definitely been suspicious over the many years we’ve been married. It’s just never fully come to light.
As above, I’d usually go for a run in the evenings after the girls were tucked into bed. I’d often return to a living room situation where the channel would’ve been quickly changed, with Clem sitting there with the look of being caught, splattered across his face. I’d often hit the last channel button on the remote to find…the Lifetime or Hallmark Network channels…and you thought it was something else, didn’t you?
I’ve never picked on him for watching this genre, and often thought about calling some kind of scientific community to enroll him as a test subject of some sort because of his closet watching nature. I feel that it’s purely genetic actually. That’s all his mother ever watched when he was at home and those learned behaviors obviously ended up being adopted by my wonderful husband. Yes, he is a very sensitive man, and I feel that that is one of his very best qualities. Awww, he’s awesome!
Needless to say, this November until after the holiday season, I spent nearly every evening watching all of these wonderfully, fluff filled movies with Clem, once the girls were in bed. It became a sacred practice, one that had forbidden consequences, if broken. Once we tucked Caelan in for the night, he even had a quirky little look to him, a sign that meant he was ready for his movie. Sigh. Laugh if you want, it is kinda funny…and cute, don’t forget cute.
I’m laughing as I write…it sounds ridiculous, but I actually really enjoyed those evenings…yes, I admit it, as corny as it sounds. Anyway, he’d cue up the movie, mix the drinks or make tea and we’d snuggle on the couch and watch the movie together. If one of the kids called and interrupted, Clem would get a little huffy. I even had to revamp my running schedule to accommodate. Wintry night after wintry night, we’d sit and indulge in the perfection that is Hallmark movies. How much more festive can you get than that?
And that, is only a part of what makes Clem, Clem. He is the kindest, most selfless, loving human and I’m very lucky to have him. He’s my rock and I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for him.
Today, is that amazing man’s birthday.
I can think of no better way to wish him a very happy birthday, than to smother him in love and remind him how amazing he truly is. I’ve known him for the longest time, and if memory serves me right, I need to cue up a movie for later…a Hallmark movie! Maybe next time I’ll get to pick, perhaps…Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw…one can only hope! Maybe some vintage Silence of the Lambs…we’re a little Yin and Yang over here.
Clem, I hope you have an amazing birthday today! You are my bestest friend ever and I’ll watch those Hallmark movies with you any time. I hope that this decade, IS our decade where things FINALLY go right. I look forward to spending the rest of my life with you and your quirky, love struck and hopelessly romantic self.
I know that life hasn’t always been a Hallmark movie, and I appreciate how hard you work to try and make things better. Thank you for always being hopeful for a happily ever after for us, even after I’d lost all hope. Your never-ending positive mind set and support are what’s kept me going these past few years and I couldn’t imagine having gone through them without you. Our future will be bright, as the best years are yet to come.
So, cheers to your aging Hallmark movie watching ass! Maybe one day we’ll revert back to the days of Vegas, when we tuned in to Bob Ross and his happy accidents, while drinking beer before falling into a deep blissful sleep without a worry or care in the world. Might seem a little less like your old Ma and Pa and more like us! Oy vey, I hope we don’t turn into them!
Happy birthday Clem! May all your birthday wishes come true in nothing less than the Hallmark fashion you love to immerse yourself in! I love you infinity!