I am a child of the 80’s ergo, I love sitcoms and happy endings.
From Cheers to Charles in Charge, Different Strokes, Mr. Rogers, Family Matters, Night Court, to the archetype for all sitcoms, the great, Cosby show.
And now all that is old is new again with Mr. Roger’s release:
Now I grew up overseas, where we did not even have a television for much of my childhood. Not talking about cable, but TV, we did not even have the big black box the cable plugged into. (Yea kids, TVs didn’t always look like giant pizza boxes, before that they were square, like a giant Rubik cube. A Rubik cube is a…never mind.)
So I would not get to watch every week. My viewing of sitcoms went like this. I would go over to my friend Joe Kiel’s house. His dad worked for the consulate. He would get packages from the US. In those packages there would be 6-hour tapes someone had taped off of broadcast TV. Six hours, commercials and all.
We would get to see not only shows we had never heard of but also the cereals that looked delicious but were none existent in Latin America circa 1987. My mom made her own granola, partially explaining my nuttiness (rim shot).
To me the best of all time is Cosby. There was an issue. 30 minutes later problem solved. Love it. Taking responsibility? Solved. Stealing? Solved. Staying in school? Solved.
Although it would be a nice if all my problems were solved within 30 minutes of them being divulged, that has not been my experience.
Talked to an old friend yesterday and as it does, the conversation eventually got to my autistic son.
Him: so what are you going to do?
Me: No idea.
Him: what is the solution?
Me (laughing): Solution? I don’t see a solution.
It seems that way for many of us. There is no concise, sitcom like, solution.
If the Cosby Show covered autism, it might play out like this:
1. JJ, the autistic neighbor kid is introduced
2. Mr. Cosby being a doctor decides to start working at a lab to find a cure.
3. Mr. Cosby finds cure in 30 minutes of TV time
4. Bill makes some faces at the end and does a little dance. Winner, Winner, chicken dinner.
I have to be honest. It sounds great. I love it. It would work. Bill (we are on a first name basis) is a great comedian and would make it work. It would be a great show. I would watch it again and again. (And I found his comment on Autism interesting: http://www.autismspeaks.org/news/news-item/tune-suzanne-wright-cnns-larry-king-live )
But…that is not how most of our lives are. Things are unresolved. Sometimes this is our fault, sometimes they are unresolvable. There are things undone or unsaid that are only that way because of our own timidity, laziness or fear. There are other problems that are not “fixable”, in this lifetime. But there can be a beautiful story unfolding around the flaws of our lives.
(And I say this last part to myself, most of all).
Don’t dissect the pearl to thoroughly inspect the grain of sand.
Don’t allow the present problems to poison your appetite to the delectable wonders you encounter everyday.
Don’t choose a life of quiet desperation.
Ps. Digging the new Mr. Rogers release today.