Do you think I'm a bit strange for saving up last night's episode of Packed to the Rafters to enjoy on my day off? Surely it's light-weight and beneath the dignity of me, an Expert Teacher - well, that's my official designation. And that's an Expert Teacher of English. Would you think I'd have less plebeian tastes?
Well, my tastes vary. I'll happily engage with low brow popular programs, like Big Brother. I'm also extremely partial to a talent competition - The Voice, X-factor, Australia's Got Talent. Whatever. Have to admit to passing on American Idol though. I got bored with the auditions and the almost generic vocal gymnastics of the wannabes. The formula palls and I don't understand the appeal of that Nicki Menaj. Getting old.
I'm a sucker for a good series. I've made Al promise to watch, should he outlive me, Six Feet Under, The Wire, Boardwalk Empire and Mad Men amongst other things. He rarely watches a series with me; says he can't be bothered. He prefers to read whatever SF novel has taken his fancy. Given that I read all day as part of my job, and often into the evening, I prefer to watch something. It really is easier, more relaxing than reading.
The thing with that white-bread Rafters, though, is it occasionally mirrors what's happening in my own life. (I'm taking a punt here, that son Pete's girlfriend, the one who unfriended me on Facebook, and unfollowed me on Twitter, is not reading this. If you are, Mel, hiyee! At least you're getting a pseudonym in my blog.)
Last night's episode saw the return of the second youngest Rafter, Nathan. He's been a bit of a ne'er do well throughout the series. He arrived back at the Rafter's modest home with news of a new wife - he'd been divorced from the first beauty. It became hilarious, and close to home, when Julie and Dave Rafter met their new daughter-in-law - who looked considerably older than their son, Nathan. Because she was.
The expressions on Julie Rafter's face - props to your acting skills, Rebecca Gibney - looked pretty much like mine would have when Pete turned up with Mel a couple of years ago. That combo of trying to look accepting and pleased while masking your disappointment that your son has fallen in love with someone half a generation older than himself. Like Al, at our own terribly interesting meeting, Dave Rafter was much more tolerant and composed; possibly proud of his son snaring such an attractive older woman.
Happily, Mel didn't reveal, unlike Saskia, Nathan's wife at that meeting, that she was pregnant.
Rafters is also dabbling in dementia, given Julie's dad, Ted, is suffering memory loss. This is very close to home for me, given what my elderly mum's experiencing. Not hilarious at all.
So I took an hour out of my busy day - well, I've done a load of washing, cycled 8 k in the heat and made a banana cake for Al - to LOL on my own and shed some tears over Packed to the Rafters. Some episodes are a bit lame, but last night's hit the spot.
BTW, Pete and Mel are still going strong three years down the track and the age diff has ceased to concern me.