by Richelle Putnam
In my second life I want to come back as a TV remote control.
If you’re a woman, need you ask?
Better yet, if you’re a man…well...duh. Especially a Southern man, who, surrounded by car magazines, pretzels, and ice cold beer (all man’s best friends—sorry, Fido), snuggles 24/7 around a big-screen television, hoarding the infamous “remote control.”
Yes, my dear women colleagues, wives, and mothers of all ages, you know exactly what I mean. So close your eyes, if you will, and for a moment imagine this scene in your second life, reincarnated as a TV remote control:
Your husband steps through the back door, and the first thing he does is look for…YOU. Yes, YOU. Not a cold, frosty beer. Not the newspaper. Not the latest streetrod magazine with Betty Bikini on front. YOU. And when he can’t find you, his heart begins racing, his hands sweat, and the thought of not having you at that very moment causes his eyes to tear up and a bullfrog to leap into his dry, thirsty throat. He calls everyone into the den, children, dogs, even the neighbors, and pleads as he wrings his hands. “You have to help me find her. Without her life is meaningless. She is everything I need, all I desire.” (Sorry, kids and poor Fido, you simply can’t compare.)
Every night, he will want you right beside him, in his chair and in his bed, and he won’t be able to keep his hands off you. He may not ever be satisfied with one television show as he flicks, flicks, flicks through the channels, but YOU, well, you’re more than enough and he’ll never stray from you, not for one second. He’ll even fall asleep with you held tightly in his grasp, and he'll awake still holding you.
But you know what? In your second life as a remote control, even your kids will ache to be with YOU. That’s right. When they return home from school, do you know what will be the first thing they'll do? Fight over who gets to have…YOU. Because after Dad gets home from work, well, you’re all his.
Remember all the intimacy your kids refused you in your first life, like those motherly pecks on the cheek or hugs before you dropped them off to meet their friends. From those very ones you persevered hours and hours of hard labor so that they could live, from those darlings for whom you scrimped and saved to buy outrageously expensive clothes at Abercrombie and Fitch, Bebe, and expensive specialty boutiques, came mumbles through hard, locked jaws, “Mom, please. Not here.”
But that was in your first life. In your second life, they’ll shower you with love and attention. And that’s not all. When your batteries run down, they’ll sacrifice the ones in their Walkman or cameras… for YOU. It’ll be like taking care of you in old age. Speaking of which…they’ll never put you in a nursing home because, well, they’ll always need you.
So, yes, a second life as a remote control would be fantastic. Simply fantastic. Wouldn’t it, ladies?
But alas, that dream will never come true, as sad and depressing as that may be to all the neglected wives and mothers of the world.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, my husband and the kids will be home soon and…I have to go hide the remote control.
Richelle Putnam is a former writer for All Headline News. She has been published in print and electronic publications, including E2K Literary Journal, World Wide Writers, Orchard Press Mysteries, Southern Hum, The Copperfield Review, Cayuse Press, Writer’s Journal, Obadiah Press’s Living By Faith Anthology, A tribute to Mothers Anthology, A Cup of Comfort for Mothers and Daughters, and more.
Richelle's children’s literature has been published on the Institute of Children’s Literature’s website, Writing Korner, and Wee Ones, and in print publications, such as Boy’s Quest, Appleseeds, and Hopscotch Magazine for Girls. Her middle-grade fiction, Fallout, was released in 2000. She is a creative writing instructor and Founder and President of Mississippi Writers Guild.
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