I sat there, watching him cook pancakes. He wasn’t whistling, but in my head he was. I felt like his dreams had been fulfilled and he became content with that. It was like he was living his big dream each and everyday; so happy to be making carrot cake pancakes in his Joe Boxer, smiley face boxer briefs.
Any other child actor would have spiraled down a rabbithole of self-destruction by now. I have secretly been waiting to pick up the pieces of it, hoping to wipe off his tears and remnants of cocaine from a framed picture with Tim Allen, just so I know that he’s a real human being with feelings of accomplishment, shame, and fear. I would sit by his reclining chair and read his old fan mail to him, gloating the fact that I had essentially won. I had essentially beaten every one of these tweenagers with an aching heart. I had won the prize. I had won Jonathan Taylor Thomas.
It’s like he wanted to be a stay at home dad with a women’s perfume line he doesn’t do anything for but give his name and likeness to. Who buys a perfume called “JTT All Over” anyways? A girl still living in her childhood fantasy. A girl who couldn’t move on with her life. I guess I could thank those girls for supporting my humble Sherman Oaks abode. I keep waiting on him to cheat on me, it would be so Randy Taylor of him.
“Pancakes for my babycakes,” he said as he delivered pancakes with a whip cream smiley face. It was like he thought of that clever babycakes phrase when he started making pancakes, and held on to it excitedly until his delivery. I watched those stupid words part the lips I had always imagined I’d kiss when I was 8, staring at the poster on my wall and getting as perverted as an ignorant, suburban white girl could. He was so proud of himself when he said it, as if the phrase rhymed. It didn’t.
“Thanks bitch,” I said jokingly. I often made harsh jokes, waiting for him to get offended. Pretending I was joking while also bringing him down a little was a coping mechanism for my seemingly perfect life bubble I couldn’t wait to pop.
He waddled over to Jillian, our 3 year old, hiding his face behind the plate.
“Peek-a-boo!” He said to her as he delivered her the pancakes that now seemed like an overboard expression of his soul. He should’ve called her babycakes. It would’ve made more sense.
He started to make ridiculous faces and voices to Jillian. He acted like the dad that was barely around, trying to make up for lost time, squeezing in daddy moments every minute he could. He was around though. He was always around.
I ate the smile off of the pancake first. I imagined 8 year old Bridget, staring into the eyes of JTT every night before bed. I had hoped a day like this would come, married to JTT, watching him make smiley face pancakes in his smiley face briefs. Childhood Bridget would be so proud of me right now. She wouldn’t even believe it if I told her.
He walked over to me with a huge cheesy grin. He started to kiss my cheek, then my neck. He put his arms around me and whispered in my ear, “Let’s go make love.”
“But then I won’t have it in me for the pool boy,” I replied, taking his overwhelming love for me down a notch with a snarky remark I played off like flirty banter.
He started laughing, and to my surprise it lasted almost 10 seconds.
“You’re so funny,” he said. His laughter was such an overkill I could barely believe he wasn’t being facetious.
I never passed up a chance to make love to J. I imagined child Bridget along with millions of tweens glaring at me, like I’m some ungrateful prude.
“Ok babe, let me take a quick shower.” “Of course, lovebug” he said.
He also called little Jillian lovebug, but who am I to compete with my own daughter on adorable nicknames?
I ran the shower, smoked a joint and washed myself where it counts. I liked to imagine us in Randy Taylor’s room in the Home Improvement house when we made love. I would imagine we were about to get caught by Tim Taylor or the creepy neighbor. Sometimes I imagined the neighbor was watching the whole time.
I wanted him to rush in, grab me and make hard, passionate love to me against the sliding glass door to the backyard. The thought dwindled as he tiptoed into the room.
“Jillian is in her playpen and I’m about to make love to my beautiful wife,” J said in a giddy whisper.
“Yay,” I said at a loss of words. Whenever I was high, my life seemed like such a big, funny joke. It felt like a joke when I was sober too, just not a funny one.
He slowly crawled on top of me, making the same “mmm” noises he made when he was eating the jovial pancakes. He kissed me on the forehead, the nose, the cheek, the other cheek, and then on my chin. I couldn’t figure out if I was really stoned or if it was a ridiculous overkill. I made a mental note to think about it again when I’m sober, I definitely needed to write about it in my journal.
He started going down on me and I went into a hazy, dream-like trance. I was thinking about all the times I watched him on TV, how I stared at the cutouts of his face on my trapper keeper, when we met at a craft fair, and when he asked me out. I stared at him in disbelief of his existence the first four months of our relationship. I remember us taking pictures together and being weary of posting them on Facebook in disbelief that he actually existed. I started getting deeper in this trance. I saw myself, trapped in my child body. I was trying to run away, but my child self wasn’t budging. She was just sitting there, gazing into his eyes like a little puppy, laughing her way through dinner, meeting the humans that created him, saying I do, and…and….
“Baaaaabe! Are you sleeping?” J said in a tone you’d taunt a child who was being naughty with. I was too overwhelmed to get words out of my mouth.
“It must’ve been the pancakes,” I said, not really knowing what I was talking about.
The Home Improvement theme song started playing. It seemed like a mean joke from the Universe until I realized it was my phone ringing. I reached for my phone as J started kissing my inner thigh. It was my annoying friend Becky, coming to my rescue.
“Hello?” I didn’t feel bad for answering my phone with J between my legs. In fact, I felt awesome about it. J started going down on me to distract my phone call, but I kept myself straight. It was all I could really do at the moment.
“SO???!!!!!” Becky yelled in my ear. I was already regretting picking up the phone. What the fuck was she talking about anyways?
“Dude, what?” I said not caring that I sounded like I was annoyed.
“Is Jonathan going to do the Home Improvement Reunion show on Netflix or WHAT?!” I paused without thoughts. Then I immediately hung up on Becky and shot J a look that I didn’t know I had in me.
“What it is lovebug?” J said, also shocked by the look.
“Why didn’t you tell me there was a Home Improvement Reunion show?!” I was so mad. I’m the one married to Jonathan Taylor Thomas and fucking Becky finds out information like this before I do?
“Babe, I’m not sure if I want to do all that. I’m really happy where I am in life. Just with you and Jillian, I don’t want to be on set all day,” he said unconcerned that he didn’t mention it to me.
I searched for the right words to express how bad I wanted him to do this reunion without begging. I couldn’t find them.
“Please do the show! That would be the coolest thing ever. EVER!” The outburst felt like the first thing I had gotten excited about in a very long time.
“Yeah, we’ll see,” he said nonchalantly.
The anxiousness, excitement and anger built up inside of me and it was more than I could handle.
“We’ll see? WE’LL SEE? You don’t even care about my opinion enough to run the news by me? You don’t even want to know MY thoughts?” I could feel myself morphing into my mother as he said the two words that flipped the switch.
I proceeded to let out all the anger, tension, and animosity that built up inside of me for last 4 years, 2 months and 8 days since our marriage began. For 20 minutes I ripped into his soul, his habits, his thoughts, his lack of real emotions, his life and his contentment with everything. I ended it with, “when I look at you, all I see is a big, giant, pussy.”
He stared at me surprised. I didn’t care. I was hoping that anything I had said would spark some kind of negative emotion in him, just so I knew he was really alive, really human.
“I’m starting think that you only loved me for my role in Home Improvement,” he said staring right into my eyes. It was the smartest thing he had ever said. I didn’t even think he had it in him to put all of that together. I was searching for words.
“I’m just kidding babe!” He laughed. “I’m sorry, I do want to be a man for you. I thought I was being a man for you,” he said, basically letting me trample him with my bare feet.
The days went on while I tried to slowly find myself, impatiently dropping not so subtle hints about my thoughts on him doing the show. I found pictures of him on the show on the internet and sent them to his cell phone saying “Look what I came across!” I broke things in the house, made him fix them and said things like, “Oh wow, who is that sexy toolman’s son, fixing up the house?” Then I’d slap his ass real hard. Which, looking back, kind of startled him.
I’ll never forget the seven words that saved our marriage.
“Babycakes, I’m going back to Home Improvement!” An overwhelming, fierce, horny love took over my body. I attacked his face with my vagina. Which, again, looking back kind of startled him.
featured image — Wikimedia /MavsFan28