Moms Columns & Blogs

"House of Cards" puts us on shaky ground

I broke down. I got Netflix. All the hype and binge-watching by friends got the best of me and I have to see what all the flix fuss is about.

I like Kevin Spacey and White House dramas, so I watch the first episode of “House of Cards.” And then I watch the second one. Just because I can. The third one plays while I fix dinner – I figure what the heck, I can sit and watch pasta boil, or I can turn on the burner and watch as “Zoe negotiates the politics of being a journalist on the rise,” as the summary says. Ziti with Zoe.

Not quite tired, I watch one more before bed. But at 2 a.m. I have a sneezing attack and get up to take allergy meds – think I’ll watch one while the pill takes effect. Zoe and Zyrtec.

The next morning, I don’t know if it’s a Netflix hangover, but I do feel like if I could have just one episode this morning, it would take the edge off. Gripping the remote, my hand shakes a little as I hustle kids out the door toward the bus. I figure I can get one or two more in, and then that’s it.

My son gets home from school, turns on the TV and Netflix pops up. “Episode EIGHT?!” he yells. “How can you already be on episode eight, it’s been TWO DAYS!”

I tell him it got a little out of hand, but that I’m done now. It’s a lie, and I know it. I’m hooked and I can’t curb the cravings. Or turn off the TV. I’m drunk with political drama, and I’m high on Kevin Spacey. Robin Wright’s wardrobe literally calls to me, luring me to her awesome D.C. apartment.

“Mom, if you can’t control yourself, I’m going to take it off the TV!”

I’m angry and ashamed. Angry to be this vulnerable to an 11-year-old, and ashamed I don’t know how to run Netflix through the Wii.

I beg, just one more episode. Zoe’s in trouble and I just want to see she’s OK. He tells me there’s only one way to find out. And in one swift motion he grabs the remote, points it at the TV, and pulls up all the summaries for the rest of the season.

I slam my eyes shut and drop to my knees, covering my ears. He reads – louder and louder as I beg him to stop. “NO! Please don’t tell me what happens, please! Stop, I’m your mother! I can’t live like this, I’m begging!”

Sooo … with the coming of Lent we gave up electronics, Netflix and dramatic torture scenes in our living room. Television will be watched live – on the television, in real time – or not at all.

But if anybody’s on Season One, Episode Nine, I’d love to come join you for dinner.