Netflix has really done a number on my housekeeping in the past month.
First, it was their movie “Bird Box.”
While the rest of the world watched this Sandra Bullock suspense thriller and thought it would be interesting to try and navigate their homes, local malls or cars blindfolded, I had a very different and less YouTube-viewable reaction. I finished watching this film — about an imaginary present-time world being ravaged by an invisible monster apocalypse — and thought, “I need to stock up.”
Even though I am a mom of two, I still often grocery shop like a single European woman. I may have all of the pantry staples like flour and sugar, but when it comes to meal prep, I buy ingredients as needed. Motherhood has changed some of that, of course. I have way more Goldfish and fruit snacks on hand than I did pre-kids, but if an end-of-the-world disaster hit like the one in “Bird Box,” we’d be donning blindfolds and heading out to feel around for our next bite.
So I took a trip to Costco.
Four tubs of peanut butter, an end-of-the-world-sized package of batteries and a few end-of-all-days-sized bottles of wine later, I was back home feeling that if the civilization as we know it suddenly devolved into spontaneous collapse, I’m at least ready for a flashlight-lit peanut butter and pinot grigio party.
Looking back, I can now acknowledge that holiday stress manifests itself in very interesting and, in this case, expensive ways.
Then New Year’s Day arrived, and with it a whole new engaging product from the good people at Netflix — “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.”
Those clever devils knew exactly what they were doing when dropping a brightly packaged TV series on how to liberate oneself from living space clutter after the holidays. As I fully embraced my last chance at holiday sloth, I watched as couples, families and a widow winnowed away their oppressive belongings with joy and gratitude. I thought, “I need to try this.”
And so Netflix, in the course of one holiday break, had taken me from hoarding to purging.
I’m apparently very suggestible, but I like to also credit both Sandra and Marie as being very compelling. While my kids will not be watching “Bird Box” anytime soon, they did catch a few episodes of “Tidying Up” and were interested in doing some clearing out.
Now, we’re more than two weeks into 2019, and I haven’t gotten too far in my tidying journey without the adorable pocket-sized Kondo rooting us on and keeping us accountable. We did a great job of purging the kids’ rooms, but without so much as one “thank you” uttered to any of the culled items. If Pixar’s “Toy Story” is real and inanimate toys come to life when we aren’t looking, we have A LOT of apologizing to do.
But it’s hard to stay focused and get it all done when Netflix is constantly debuting new binge-worthy content EVERY SINGLE DAY. Plus, I tell myself, “If I do it all now, what will I have to occupy me the rest of the year besides making my way through my stockpile of peanut butter?”
Sadly, the wine didn’t make it too far, but it hung in there as long as it could.
Molly Cavanaugh of Channel 94.1 FM’s “Big Party Show” in Omaha is a mom to two children living in Chicago. She writes weekly for Momaha.com.