Moomah the Magazine
The Dead Of Spring

The Dead Of Spring

- By Kim Korson

Okay Spring, I get it—you’re adorable. You breeze in with cheeping birds and those pink blossomy trees I can never remember the name of. You tease us with fruit that is not an apple, offer a holiday with outstanding candy, inspire us to get flirty haircuts. Well, Spring, aren’t you just terrific. You’re the popular girl in high school who reads to the blind so no one can truly hate you. Even if you deluge us with rain or stay for only a week, people don’t care; they’re just so delighted you’re not the other guy with the ice pellets and delayed school openings. Well, I have news for you, Spring: I don’t care for you. Not. One. Bit.

I should note my hostility toward you has little to do with tulips or fat jellybeans. My spring beef is a little more complicated. To me, spring doesn’t symbolize rebirth or asparagus, it means only one thing: Season Finales. Just thinking about it makes me want to take to the bed. Now fall, that’s a season. The TV lineup is as shiny and new as the red Trapper Keeper I toted around in eighth grade. The crisp air blows in promise of homemade soup and knee socks and fresh primetime programming.

And it just gets better as the months roll along. Come the dead of winter, when everyone else is complaining about frozen limbs and flaky skin, I am too busy gearing up for February Sweeps to notice the wintry mix and seven Nor’easters that have harangued the masses. I like being a pasty shut-in. I am not even aggravated that most stuff on TV stinks. Sure, I have less appointment television than I used to but even bad TV has an upside—it makes for excellent complaining when out in the community. Plus it’s a superior alternative to weather chitchat, which is the bane of my small talk existence. Weather babble is akin to wearing a sweat suit to the movies; you’ve just given up.

Things start to take a turn when the snow begins to melt. Once that cluster of daffodils peeks up, it’s all downhill. In a matter of days, a doomsday voice-over actor will start shouting at me that there is One! Week! Left! He will give warning that we won’t believe our eyes. People will die, couples will split, lives will be altered. More well-adjusted TV viewers get feverish about May Sweeps but I tend to take a more Rain Man approach, twitchy that my routing is being interrupted.

Every six years or so, something worse than the season finale happens, something crushing. The Series Finale. Here, we hiatus not only for the frizzy-haired months, but forever. Change and transition are not my strong suits but goodbyes render me fetal. I was nine when Mary Tyler Moore stood amidst that hug in the newsroom, twenty when the shenanigans ended at St. Eligius. I am still not over Six Feet Under. In between, I have said goodbye to Valene and Abby and Half Pint and my childhood idol, Rhoda Morgenstern. And then there was The Big Ragu and Fonzie and Mr. Kotter. Who could forget Costanza and soon there will be Mr. White and Don Draper. I don’t even want to discuss Freaks and Geeks. They’re all gone now. Sometimes syndication helps with the grieving but only a little. I’ve said so many final goodbyes to expired friends, I feel like my nana.

Movies might have cornered the market on the slow clap but television has its own signature move. You see it all the time: first, a hand turns off the light switch followed by the leading player surveying the room nodding in silence, signifying the end. I know it’s coming, and still, I crumple. Yes, I’m aware there’s more to life than episodes, sure I read books, but I was raised in half hour increments. Most of my childhood hours were clocked in front of that box. I imprinted upon television; I believed it was my mother.

It is not lost on me that spring is ephemeral and before I finish wiping the mud from my boots, summer will show up with its popsicles and sunshine and bad TV. It also means the end of another school year for my kids. And while most are equipped to handle--even celebrate--their young ones season finales, I get dismal. Who can enjoy the cliffhanger when all it does is force me to start counting the years until they go off to college, my very own series finale. So what they are 6 and 8; it’s coming. I can already hear that dumb announcer in my head, broadcasting the weeks left until they are no longer under my roof. Obviously, I’ll take to the bed, with chips. But eventually, like Laverne and Shirley before me, I will stand amidst the duffels and overstuffed garbage bags, watch my hand turn off their bedroom light and survey their unmade beds for the last time. I only hope it’s my character that gets the spin-off.

Posted in: For Laughs   

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Maggie said…

I am not alone! When is Kim Korson’s book coming out? I relate to her so much, except for the part about her being incredibly funny and a fantastic writer. Sigh.

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