On the Sounds of Nothing, or Why I No Longer Hate Seinfeld

My husband is putting the kids to bed tonight. It’s my night off, a New Year’s gift of calm, rest, and relaxation. A night off. Many parents don’t get this luxury. I am savoring it with the coffee my Reddit Secret Santa sent me. I’m with my kids every minute of every day, but tonight I’m spending New Year’s Eve on my own. Bliss.

The toddler doesn’t see it that way. She’s completely weaned as of a month ago and is currently going through some hardcore attachment shit. She won’t leave me alone for a minute. It was cute at first. Now it’s mildly grating. If I hide in another room, she’ll find me. She’ll hear me. She’ll sniff me out. I swear she’s got a bloodhound’s gift.

But my husband is taking care of the kids’ bedtime tonight and I’m off duty. She’ll survive.

So I’m hiding in the stairwell of my building; laptop on my knees, coffee at my side, wi-fi in the air, and the sounds of a Seinfeld episode drifting up from the apartment downstairs. I hate Seinfeld. Rather, I hated Seinfeld. A program about middle-aged, privileged, whiny, dubiously employed Upper West Siders never appealed to me. And the fact that the characters supposedly lived in the 70s or so but went up to a diner in the 110s bothered me to bits. Toms isn’t even that good. I’d see the diner scenes and be all, “Ugh, bad burgers and generic ‘diner flavor’ potatoes. Pass.” But I digress.

I have no clue as to which episode my neighbors are watching… The one where Jerry needs to get something done and the programmer from Jurassic Park ruins his plans, I guess. I can’t distinctly hear what the characters are saying, but the show is providing a nice, calm background noise. There is no screaming, squealing, high-pitched wails or the clangs and crashes of toys being flung around the room. It’s just some privileged people whining about who-knows-what. It’s the chatter one would hear in on line in Starbucks or in the elevator bay of any office building anywhere. It’s the random, bland bullshit that would waft over from the table next to yours at some crap diner on West 112th Street.

While I love my kids and think 9/10th of their chatter is adorable, it’s refreshing to step away from time to time. I miss random adult bullshit and banter. Sitting here on the steps outside my door, soothed by the sounds of nonsense, I am having a good New Years Eve. And that is why I no longer hate Seinfeld.

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