My friend Stacey Gustafson is my guest on the blog today. I'm sharing an excerpt from her hilarious and heartwarming book, Are You Still Kidding Me? It's the sequel to her #1 Amazon bestseller Are You Kidding Me? My Life with an Extremely Loud Family, Bathroom Calamities, and Crazy Relatives. Stacey tackles the foibles of modern family life—from toddlers and teens to empty nesters—with wry wit and plenty of humor. Are You Still Kidding Me? will be released September 18, but you can pre-order it now for $0.99. Here's one of my favorites:
I Netflix Cheated on My Husband
I tried ways to end my deception, but nothing worked. To protect my indiscretion, I routinely deleted my Internet browser history, shredded phone bills and swore my friends to secrecy. I Netflix cheated on my husband.
How did this begin you ask? I blame it on the old-fashioned dinner-and-a-movie routine. Our choices had boiled down to The Lego Batman Movie and Fifty Shades Darker. Why were we wasting our money on this crap? So, we traded a night out for a night in.
It all started so innocently.
Cable television options are limitless. Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, the list goes on. No need to go to the theater when you can indulge in more than fifty hours, or five seasons of thirteen episodes. Intriguing shows like Shooter, Stranger Things, Dexter, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and House of Cards sucked us in faster than a fur ball to a Dust Buster.
Netflix, where’ve you been my whole life?
We clicked through cable channels and realized we’d only scraped the surface of the Netflix barrel.
On Saturday night, we trolled the channels and found The Killing, a crime drama based in Seattle, featuring homicide detective Sarah Linden and her sidekick, Holder. It had more red herrings than a fish farm, and we were addicted by the first hour.
“Man, this is good,” I said, after three episodes. “One more.”
“No can do,” said my husband, shaking his head. “Got to get up early.”
“Come on,” I said, batting my eyelashes. “Please.”
“Fine, one more. But that’s it.”
Season One, Episode Four, here we come.
By Sunday evening, we squeezed in Episodes Five and Six.
“Got to call it quits now,” he said, rubbing his eyes and giving me a glassy stare. “Up for work by six.”
“Okay,” I said, fidgeting on the sofa. “I’m going stay up a little and read. Night.”
“No cheating. We agreed to watch this together.”
Think again, sucker.
The glow of the television beckoned. What would it hurt? I slammed shut The Girl on the Train and clicked on Episode Seven. I snuggled into my soft throw blanket, popped a can of Coke and let the drama begin. Heck, I’d rewatch it the next time we were together. He’d never know. But I knew I’d crossed the line.
I had become a Netflix cheater.
After he left for work the next day, I thought, “What would it hurt to take a little peek?”
Bam, hooked again, and I binged-watched five more episodes.
Around 6:00 PM, I texted him, “What time you coming home for dinner?”
Oh crap, he’ll be here soon.
“Can you pick up some milk and…um…um…pimentos?”
He’ll be searching for hours.
I needed to buy some time to finish Season One. I couldn’t stand not knowing what was happening. Would they catch the real killer? What’s that new evidence they keep talking about?
Suddenly, I detected the slow hum of the garage door. How the hell did he find the damn pimentos that fast? With a loud bang, the door clanged shut on the concrete floor. I hit “off” on the remote.
He strolled into the room, and his green eyes scrutinized the screen.
“Were you watching The Killing?”
“No way. We promised to watch together.”
“Where did we leave off anyway?” he said, trying to trip me up with probing questions. He clicked on the three-way light on the end table next to me.
“Hey, turn that off,” I said, holding a hand to cover my eyes. “So bright.”
What is this Guantanamo?
“Well?” he asked again.
“I think it’s the one where they discover that kid in the teacher’s apartment,” I said, wiping my sweaty hands on my pants.
“Um, I’m not sure,” I said, as I leaned in and heard the distinct drip of the kitchen faucet. My armpits sweated more than a hot flash.
“Did you watch more episodes?” he said, eyebrows pinched together, as he squeezed in between the arm of the sofa and my body until our thighs touched. “You can trust me. I won’t get mad.”
“Fine,” I blurted out. “I couldn’t help it. I Netflix cheated.”
Seriously, dude, you’ve been out of town so much I had to get my fix.
“I’m sorry,” I said, staring down at my feet. “It’s just so good. Never planned it to go this far.”
“Promise not to watch anymore?” he said, cocking his head to one side.
I vowed to keep my promise, turned on the television and started scrolling for something else to watch. We’d considered binging on Shooter after watching the previews on Netflix, a drama series based on a former military sniper called back into action to prevent a plot to kill the President.
But when I clicked on it, I noticed that the red bar underneath, the one that indicated if it had been recently viewed, had disappeared.
What?! Holy cow, he’s Netflix cheated on me!
I lost all sense of remorse and settled in for hours of binging on Shooter. Two can play this game.
Read more about Stacey at http://staceygustafson.com/