Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Betty White Saturation Factor

You may or may not have noticed, but Betty White is hot lately.  This 88 year old former Golden Girl (who had seemed impossibly old to me back when she was on that sit-com, even though, by my calculations, she would have only been in her 60s then) seems to be legally mandated to be in every comedic endeavor on the large or small screen.

I must say, at first I was charmed.  Really charmed.  Isn't it awesome that an adorable old lady is having such a comedic renaissance?  And it was deserved, too.  She's really funny, with impeccable comic timing.  Her Super Bowl Snickers ad and SNL appearance both genuinely made me laugh.

But unfortunately, I feel like the Betty White comeback tour has now jumped the shark.  My reaction has gone from "Tee hee, it's Betty White" to "Oh, for heaven's sake, it's Betty White again."  I'm not proud of this reaction, but I think I've just reached the saturation point.  The point at which a good thing becomes too much of a good thing.  It's the fourth chocolate chip cookie and the final hour of Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.  I may still be enjoying it, but it's just a little too much and I'm starting to think of what else I could be doing.

I've been thinking about the Betty White Saturation Factor for a little while now, because I'm afraid I have reached it with some of my enthusiasms.  Those of you who are regular readers of this blog know that I am quite the fan of the film The Big Lebowski.  This enthusiasm had gone from a funny little quirk of my personality to something by which I am defined.  I don't know when it happened.  Maybe when I decided to watch the film as I went into labor.  Maybe when I started blogging and mentioned it every 2.3 posts.  All I know is that I've reached the saturation point, and I'd like to go back.  (And unfortunately, I don't think there is any going back.  Just as there is no way to erase the one cookie too many).

The only remedy for the Betty White Saturation Factor is to cultivate other quirky interests.  If I start quoting another movie regularly, Lebowski will fade somewhat from the forefront.  Unfortunately, this is like when you've put too much salt in the soup.  It takes a hell of a lot of broth to tone it down.

Now, I do have a recent interest that might help my Lebowski saturation problem.  LO is endlessly fascinating (to me), adorable (to me), and at some point, I suspect he will be eminently quotable (to me).  My problem here, though, is that other people's saturation threshold in hearing about my child will probably be a great deal lower than my saturation threshold in talking about him.  Basically, I will be serving a big heaping portion of salty soup to my listeners.  When I talk to people who are not directly related to me and LO, I try very hard not to let my newest enthusiasm take over my conversation.  I have no idea if I'm succeeding.  So far, no one's eyes have rolled back in their heads, nor have people faked phone calls to get away from me.  But Lafayette is in the midwest, and people are particularly friendly and polite here.

One lovely realization that I have recently had, however, is that my saturation threshold for spending time with LO is astronomically high.  Even after a tough day of crying, I'm still unbelievably thrilled to see LO's bright eyes looking at up me the next morning.  I smile while I sing to my boy and make corny jokes to him while I change his diaper.  Though there are certainly times when I've gotten to the point where I've had enough of babycare and I need to pass LO over to J and take a few minutes for myself, I've never had enough of LO.  Last week, when I took a much needed mom vacation to Barnes and Noble for two hours, I actually found that I missed him.  It was lovely coming home to see him after my time away.

I am starting to understand why it is that toddlers feel that the world revolves around them.  It does!  I just hope that by the time LO is a toddler, he can handle being the center of all things with the same grace and humor that Betty White does.  LO may soak up the love, as our favorite old lady does, but hopefully he'll also humbly inform us that that's not what our girlfriend says.  Cause that would be hilarious.

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