Actually, yes, Netflix. I am still watching The Office. I’m still watching it now and I was still watching it every time you asked me during the two and half miserable years when we were trying and failing to have another baby.
I couldn’t stop watching.
When I was watching Michael stumbling and flailing about in the bathroom after he cooked his foot on his Foreman Grill then I wasn’t panicking about how long we’d been trying to have a second child. And then Toby would say “you only grilled your foot” in that very Toby Flenderson-like way and I would laugh so hard that it didn’t mater that the Clomid was making me feel like a lunatic.
When I was giggling at Angela as she was chucking poor Bandit up through the ceiling then I wasn’t mindlessly scrolling through my news feed where <insert name here> had just announced that she was pregnant. Again.
A rousing rendition of Ryan Started the Fire was often enough to make me forget that I was supposed to be obsessively tracking my ovulation. A Jim/Pam air-high-five helped me relax when it would occur to me that I already had been obsessively tracking my ovulation for years and it hadn’t mattered at all.
It was much harder to feel depressed about our treatments failing when Dwight was screaming “BUTTLICKER! OUR PRICES HAVE NEVER BEEN LOWER!!!” or when Kevin was splashing around in his ill-fated chili.
It was easier to keep from crying when my daughter would ask why she was the only one in her Pre-K class without even one brother or sister when an hour earlier she had just skipped into the kitchen singing “Fashion show! Fashion show! Fashion show at lunch!”
The day I made it to episode where Jim and Pam find out they are pregnant and I just let it play was the day I realized I was learning to deal. When I didn’t turn it off or skip it I realized I was learning how to live with our situation. It was our dealio. Our Dealio of Life. And I just couldn’t control it.
Without my favorite fictional people to fall back on I am not certain I would have made it through secondary infertility. Okay, that’s not true. I had my husband. My mom. My best friend. My precious little girl. My family. I am beyond blessed and I would have survived. But The Office helped. Oh, it helped.
The actors and writers who made this show so great will more than likely never know that I even exist. They’ll likely never know that there were really hard days when I felt so lost and so sad. They won’t know that they helped make it better. But they did. And that is no small thing. They helped me be the smiling mom my little girl deserved on days when it felt like smiling might kill me.
So thanks, The Office. I’m still watching. My oldest already knows each character by name. And my baby (yes, we had a baby!) is perhaps your littlest new fan.
Yes, I’m still watching. Stop trying to shame me, Netflix. It’s 3 AM and I’m feeding my three month old.