Monday’s Mommas: Melinda Ziskinder

It’s a new year and that means more mommas to introduce you on The Mommy Rundown! We’re kicking off 2015 with Melinda Ziskinder.

melinda picMelinda is an attorney, wife, and mom to three boys. Since 2013, she has written about parenting and modern life on her blog,There is a Season. When she and her family aren’t watching Glee, they enjoy playing Catchphrase, reading J.R.R. Tolkien books, and gathering in the kitchen for family meals.

Do you and your spouse agree on TV shows? If you do, I think you’re one of the few.

Check out Melinda’s story here in her guest post.


“Newly Discovered Evidence”

Think you know your mate from every angle?  Confident you would take the disco ball trophy on the Newlywed Game or pass the INS toothbrush test?  Think again!

I’ve been married for more than a decade to my love.  Not so long, I know, but surely long enough to know what he enjoys and what he would use scorched earth tactics to avoid.  One thing I thought I knew for sure:  he doesn’t like music.  Disco, 80s greatest hits albums, yes.  Music?  No.

Case in point, a handful of years ago, I purchased tickets to see Paul McCartney with my mom and brother.  My brother couldn’t go because of a last minute work schedule change.  I asked . . . ahem begged my husband to go in my brother’s stead.  Mainly so I wouldn’t have to drive in the dark.  I hate driving in the dark.  My husband declined.  Years later, a friend of his heard this story and pronounced my husband an “a%$%$e” for not going.  Say what you will but my husband relayed his friend’s pronouncement to me and agreed, without any trace of shame, that he was an “a#$#$#e”.  What’s that line from Sex and the City?  He just wasn’t that into Paul McCartney.

At least not live.  My husband enjoys music, but it has to sound the way it sounds on the radio or on the album.  No improvisation allowed!  And original music by unknown artists?  He’ll pass.  Anyway, through the years, he has been subjected to the Paul McCartney concert guilt trip on many occasions.  It must have been a gift from God that he didn’t go.  He has paid for that decision many times.

For instance, the other night I decided that it would be fun and meaningful for our family to watch some television together.  Miracle on 34th Street?  You must not know my family.  I settled on Modern Family. But the series wasn’t on Netflix.  Grrr!!!! So I asked my son to scroll through the television series options and I spotted Glee.  I had never seen an episode but I had a vague memory of Facebook friends losing their minds over the show.  And I am a music geek.  I decided my boys, all four of them, needed to be exposed to the arts.  Since I’m too lazy to schlep them all to a museum during the weekend, Glee would suffice.

The menfolk all grumbled but they ceded to my offer:  “We’ll watch ten minutes.  If it sucks, we’ll find something else.”

The show began with a scene of a puppy-eyed young guy with a hairy chest agonizing over how to help his students.  I was sold.  Hairy chest? Tortured teacher type?  Sign me up!!!  My husband muttered, “This show was made for you babe.”  Yes it was!!  How did I never watch this?

A half hour passed.  My sons were watching.  They were not complaining.  It was a pre-Hanukkah miracle!  My husband was laughing.  At the end of the episode, he yelled (my husband yells a lot – in a non-threatening way):  “Let’s watch another one!!!”  He adored the characters, who he labeled, “really great,” especially “that neurotic lady.”  I was worried he might cry when Kurt’s father, a stoic lumberjack lookalike, revealed that he had known his son was gay since he was a toddler and that he still loved him.  I made a mental note:  Force husband to watch Mr. Holland’s Opus.

I’m not a big TV person.  My husband and I usually have one TV show that we watch together.  When we were dating, it was Ally McBeal and at some point, South Park.  After we married, we moved on to (of course) The Sopranos.  Of late, we have looked forward to Mad Men and Homeland, and my husband – a history buff – has convinced me that there is value in Pawn Stars.  Glee’s whimsical quality has reminded me of Ally McBeal and of the first years of our courtship, when I hung on my husband’s every word, and he believed I was an angel.  Things have changed for sure but apparently some things are still the same.

I was surprised that my husband, in short order, became an avid fan of a show about musical theater dorks, but on another level I was reminded of his soft heart, his love for underdogs, his inability to steel himself against 80s schtick.  There is plenty of 80s schtick on Glee – Journey songs abound.  We should watch TV shows more often.