When I was fifteen years old, I had an unhealthy obsession with The X-Files.
I wanted to marry Fox Mulder and I imagined an entire forty-five minute episode in which I played Agent Dana Scully’s pregnant teenage sister. I was an artist who painted canvases inspired by the devil and I was carrying his demon baby. I’m sure this had nothing to do with obsessively watching Rosemary’s Baby at that time in my life. Nothing at all.
In any case, things did not end well for me in this fake episode. There were sleepless nights of creative frenzy in which I destroyed the walls in my home with gruesome paintings (all intercut with scenes of Scully struggling with her Christian faith and her love of science.) And, despite countless exorcisms, I didn’t make it, because carrying a demon baby can really take a toll.
I tell you this, not so you can go running from this blog begging for mercy (though if you must, I understand), but so you know how deep the obsession for X-Files really went.
I used to tape X-Files episodes on VHS tape on the basement television because I had a very intense TV schedule at that time in my life and this was before DVR and Tivo.
One fateful night, the night of the season finale to be exact, the episode did not tape. Do you hear what I am saying? The season finale of The X-Files did not tape.
Well. You can imagine what ensued. I went into absolute hysterics, shouting expletives no one would have ever imagined could come from the nerd girl who barely spoke, and I physically hurled a VHS tape across the room. My parents stood back wondering, My God, where did we go wrong?
I told Tyler this story the other night in case he wanted to reconsider his future with me and his first thought was not about my insanity but about the VCR malfunctioning.
He’s practical that way.
We began talking about the ways in which all the tech in our lives have malfunctioned over the years and then Tyler said, ‘That’s what is so great about books. They are reliable.’
That was a lightbulb moment for me. Unless you physically set fire to a book, you’re guaranteed a story. For a lifetime. What other products can boast that?
It’s even more reliable than the story of the devil paintings and the demon baby. Which, fortunately, exists only in my mind.