I wrote the following story in my weekly column when I worked for the Register News.
A few years back I was celebrating an anniversary- or birthday-(or something really special that I can't remember)- and my husband decided that he would be extra sweet and treat me to some good old-fashioned royal treatment.
He's like that sometimes-(way out of character).
He made me morning coffee, let me sleep late, and cooked me French toast like my mom used to make.
That afternoon as I relaxed in front of the TV on my recliner, he handed me a strange item.
"What's this?" I asked him, examining the black devise with lots of buttons.
"The remote." he answered.
"The remote to what?" I questioned.
"The TV, silly!"
"Really? You're kidding me! You mean we actually have a choice of programming?"
"Yeah, just push the channel buttons up or down or enter the number."
"But I thought we had the economy package- with just a handful of selections," I said mesmerized- watching the screen change to 150 different channels.
My husband seemed genuinely proud that he had introduced me to one of his most prized possessions. He instructed me on how to use the controls and watched me lovingly as I played with this new toy.
"This is amazing!" I said, "You're telling me we can actually watch channels besides Outdoor Life, History, and SciFi? We don't have to watch football, deer hunting, Civil War reenactments, or Pamela Anderson?"
"Ugh...er...it's a special today only...yeah, that's it- a one day special." he stuttered. "I ordered it especially for you. Tomorrow it goes back to the budget programming."
He left me with my new found joy while he loaded the dishwasher. So! This is what being a queen felt like! All snuggled up with my feet propped, served hot coffee or ice tea on demand- not having to worry about what to fix for supper or if the toilet needed scrubbed.
"Could you fix me a sandwich?" I asked, focusing on the Lifetime Network and pushing my special treatment to the very fragile edge.
What I really, really wanted to add was- "Plus some fresh cole slaw, fries, and some nice hot brownies for dessert."
(But I knew that was crossing the line. I may have been Queen For A Day, but not Dead and Gone to Heaven!)
He served me a nice sandwich, cranked back his recliner, and smiled over at me adoringly.
"What'er we watching?" he asked, getting in his comfort zone.
"Oh..." I said, selecting channels, "I thought from four o'clock till five o'clock we'd watch reruns of The Golden Girls. From five to six- a movie about childbirth. From seven till ten, I've got HGTV picked out, and from ten o'clock through 1 a.m. is a Happy Days marathon."
Even to this day, I don't know what happened! The only way to explain it is that I was instantly dethroned! I had to give the remote back- no!- it was actually snatched from my unsuspecting hands before I could blink an eye! The entire day of being pampered suddenly shriveled into a normal day. The clock must have struck midnight because I wasn't Cinderella anymore.
I dream sometimes now. About a day - a long time from now probably- when the years pass and his memory has faded- that maybe I'll get a chance to use that remote again. That I'll push buttons and change channels and feel the rush- the exhilaration- of having total control.
But for now, I'm sure there's a toilet somewhere that needs scrubbing.