Couch time: quality time I spend sitting and/or laying on my couch. I need a little bit of couch time everyday in order to function like a normal human being. Couch time relaxes, rejuvenates, revitalizes. Couch time is ME time. Couch time is also TV time.
On weekends, couch time inevitably increases exponentially, invoking the theory that it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Too much couch time can cause side effects including, but not limited to: hours wasted watching marathons of True Life, The Hills, The Janice Dickenson Modeling Agency and other reality shows that even I, a self-proclaimed crappy TV-lover, think are complete crap. I get dumber by the episode. So dumb, in fact, that I actually spelled dumber D-U-M-M-E-R and couldn't figure out why it was coming up in spell check. True story.
This Sunday—the day after St. Patrick's Day, in case you're counting—I woke up with a mild hangover ready to nurse myself back to health with a solid dose of couch time. I spent the morning watching the movie Just Friends—approximately two hours of my life that I will never get back. In case your wondering… Just Friends is just about the worst movie I've ever seen… it's up there with Raising Helen. Just FYI.
The movie ended, and I realized it was a beautiful day. Now, in general, an argument along the lines of "it's a beautiful day" never really convinces me to curtail couch time in favor of sunshine and fresh air though admittedly, I do feel an occasional twinge of guilt when I neglect the few nice days we have in the winter. Regardless, a hangover is a perfectly good excuse to barricade oneself in ones apartment. But as I laid there wondering if it was worth standing up to try and block out the few rays of light that were streaming through the slots in the blinds, I had a thought… the thought went like this:
I should go running.
I know… crazy, right? Trade couch time for a jog around the 'hood? That doesn't sound like the Lou I know.
Then something amazing happened. I skipped the mental debate over the pros and cons of couch time versus running (it's likely that couch time would have prevailed), got up, got dressed, brushed my teeth, chugged a bottle of water, and left my dimly lit apartment for 40 degrees and not a cloud in the sky.
I only ran a mile (to be fair and, in an effort to maintain my street cred, I logged four miles on the treadmill on Saturday). But it didn't matter. I went outside. I did something different. I saw parts of the neighborhood that I had never seen before. And everyone smiled and said hello as I passed by… because it was a beautiful day. Beautiful days (and temperatures above 30 degrees) make people in Chicago happy.
I returned home after about an hour of jogging, walking, and patronizing my local CVS for eye makeup remover. Sweet eye make-up remover. Immediately I resumed couch time until I went to Tank for 1/2 price sushi at 5pm. But somehow, couch time felt more meaningful. I could embrace couch time guilt-free because I had gone outside. And finally, after all these years, I understood what those hippies in college meant when they rambled on about trees.