I'm obsessed with Netflix's House of Cards. Partly because I have over the years inherited my sister's respect for Kevin Spacey and his I-look-perfectly-normal-and-now-I-will-eat-your-face acting and partly because I've adored Robin Wright since I first glimpsed her cheekbones in The Princess Bride. She's got an uncanny poker face; she had it then, and she has it now.
I've discovered something about myself, too. I think I love House of Cards and Mad Men and Downton Abbey and pretty much anything featuring the Tudors because I'm fascinated by a society of people who hold their cards so close to their chests. I mean, face it, here I am writing on my public website about my feelings for actors whom I will never meet. Imagine if I were to hold my feelings in! I might explode.
There's something else: Last night as I watched the season finale (sob) of House of Cards, I was struck by how many people those characters came in contact with on a daily basis on The Hill. Much like the vast number of people on Madison Avenue in Mad Men, the show that makes staying married look like a full-time job. Or Downton Abby, where you get dressed even if no one's coming over because SERVANTS.
It's an interesting scenario to me as I sit here typing this post in my workout gear because heaven knows I'm going to work out sometime today, but even if I don't, nobody but my husband and daughter and maybe the drive-through pharmacist at CVS (gotta pick up that prescription today) will ever know. Weeks can go by without me seeing anyone else if I want it that way. People do not expect me to show up well turned-out. The people I interact with on a daily basis are behind screens. My tailored oxfords are nouns and verbs, because that's really all I have to show for myself most days.
I've had jobs that required daily pantyhose and the 'L. I've had jobs that required security swipe badges and pissing contests to see who could use the coolest pen. I've had this job working from home for going on five years now, and it wasn't until last night at Zumba when another WAHM asked if I would meet her at Panera one day a week because she talking to the walls that I actually realized how little I physically interact with other adults on a daily basis, especially when Beloved is traveling. That it never bothered me before is also interesting, because I've always considered myself an extrovert.
Does it matter that I'm rarely seen? Not my outfits, or my hair, per se, but my facial expressions? My persona?
As I watched last night's House of Cards season finale unfold, Kevin with his pull-out-the-stops ambition and Robin with her show-nothing-but-wear-clothes-requiring-shapewear cool, I realized maybe I'm just not capable of hiding my emotions like that. Of course, they are actors. Maybe normal people can be actors, too, which is something I hadn't really considered before. Playing daily life on stage could be fairly exhausting. Though being completely authentic and therefore vulnerable is exhausting, too.
These are the moments when television adds rather than detracts from my life. Because I'm still wondering this morning -- would I be different if I were more often seen?