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  • Writer's pictureSusan Gable

This is Us, Washing Machines & Christmas

I have a new favorite television show. This is Us. It's a character driven show, and I love character driven. (I write character driven, so…) The really good character driven shows are rare, and this one is really good.

Generally speaking, I'm also a very linear writer. This is Us jumps around in time, taking us back to the early 80s (perhaps another reason I love the show? ) then to present day in our characters lives, and it does it so well, so seamlessly, that it doesn't bother me at all.

The characters are real. They're flawed people (like all of us) struggling with their relationships. It tells the story of triplets born in the early 80s, so now adults, and their parents/family dynamics. We have 2 fraternal twins, Kate and Kevin, and the brother, Randall, whom their parents adopted the same night as their birth when the third baby in their original trio didn't survive being born. Randall is black, which leads to some interesting emotional dynamics in the story.

Randall is the smart one struggling with his adoption and reunification with his dying birth father, Kate struggles with her weight and trying to connect with her new boyfriend, and Kevin is the handsome actor struggling to be something more.

The parents in the 80s are equally intriguing as they deadline with their relationship and raising these 3 kids.

A recent episode had a scene where the young mom was thrilled to get a new washer and dryer, and that totally connected with me.

When my son was young, and even earlier in my young married life, I didn't have a washing machine of my own. Most of the time, I hauled my laundry to my parent's house every weekend to do it. (Thanks, Mom!)

The first Christmas I was married, my husband gave me a Mr Coffee machine (I don't drink coffee, never have!) and a set of knives. Not exactly what a woman wants as gifts for her first Christmas as a married couple. I threatened to use the knives if he ever gave me appliances for Christmas again.

I should also mention that my birthday is very close to Christmas.

Fast forward a few years. (8 years?) Our son was 5 years old. We'd moved from New Jersey to West Virginia. We didn't have a pot to...well, you know the rest of that saying. But for my birthday and Christmas gift that year, I got a washer and dryer of my own.

They were the absolute cheapest washer and dryer Lowes had to offer...and they were beautiful! I'd never seen anything so beautiful. Best Christmas present ever in the history of Christmas presents!

So I totally understood the mom's delight in her new washer and dryer.

If you haven't checked out This is Us yet...what are you waiting for? It's a wonderful show.

PS - my washer and dryer are now 20 years old. My now-ex has done some repairs on the dryer a few times over the years, but knock on wood, they're the gifts that keep on giving. (Giving me clean clothes every week.) I'm going to be sad when they finally give up the ghost because...well, we have a history, these machines and I, and I tend to get far too attached to inanimate objects like that. Too many memories attached to them. (Plus...we all know that they don’t make them to last like that anymore!)

So with Christmas just a few days away, I wish you a very Merry Christmas, and I wish you gifts you love like I love my washer and dryer.

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