I like to pretend that I am one of “those” people that doesn’t watch T.V.
I tell myself that it’s not important – that it is not a mainstay of my life. That certainly my own life is much more interesting than anything that is on the tube. (Or maybe I should say flat screen now?)
Truthfully, that really is what our life is like half of the year. Honest. When the weather is warm, we are always outside, chatting to neighbors on the porch, drinking wine by the campfire, walking the ‘hood or eating outside – al fresco. No time for television. We are too busy “living”!
But the other half of the year is another story.
Our (one and only) television sits in what we call the parlor. It’s a very cozy room in our very old home. It has a fireplace (complete with a 200 year old mantle) and a comfy couch sectional, worthy of both of us stretching out. (Quite a feat since my husband is 6’6”.) There is plenty of room for both of our four-legged furry friends to cuddle with us, and a nice table and ottoman for snacks and wine. It’s so comfortable that we could live there for days. If our TV aerial broke, I know we would have someone from aerial installation Manchester come out within a few days, if not hours. We love watching TV all snuggled up, it’s the best. Especially when it’s pouring with rain outside. I say this because this past winter we kinda did. Our lovely room is the perfect room to hibernate in. It has pocket doors and when they are closed the room stays toasty warm. There were a few times the outside temperature measured well below zero, but it didn’t bother us – we were happily nestled in our cozy hideaway.
We spent the evenings snuggled under blankets watching the goings on of zombies,
Olivia Pope, Mrs. Hughes and Anna Bates, Rachel, Kurt and Santana, Reylan Givens, and Ryan Hardy. We binge watched shows and made mini-marathons out of the long cold days. Until the unthinkable happened. Our television went kaput. It stopped. It died. It didn’t even cough or give us a clue – it just left us.
Thinking this was a sign, I refused to purchase another one.
We were still cold and we were still holed up – but we made good use of the time. We read, listened to music, and talked. I know, right? I was enjoying being the pioneer woman. Until I started going through withdrawals. Facebook posts drew me in on updates of Walking Dead and Downton Abbey. Friends would talk about American Idol at dinner, asking us what we thought of the cute little blonde country singer. Finally, we caved and watched a few episodes of House of Cards on our iPad with Netflix. When friends came over for dinner and wanted to catch the score of a game, they gasped when I said our TV died and we decided not to get a new one. They felt so sorry for us that the next day they brought over one of their spares. And so it began – again.
The weather was still bitterly cold.
We still hibernated in our comfy parlor, doggies lounging on the top of the couch or in front of the fireplace. But there was one difference. This television was small. It was the size of a small desk top computer screen. We had to pull it up close to the sofa so we could see it and hear it. I realized then I was an addict. I’d complain about the tinny sound. (“Leah Michelle sounds much better than that when she sings!”). I complained about the small screen. (“Downton Abbey really is so much larger than that!”) I never realized I was a TV snob pretending to be a free-spirit that could take or leave the antics of Modern Family. I thought I could live without knowing what crazy things the Chance family would do on Raising Hope. And I really didn’t think I’d care if the walkers took over the entire state of Georgia. But oh, how wrong I was.
I guess the clincher was when my three-year old granddaughter was over and we were watching her favorite Disney movie for the thousandth time. “You have a really small TV, Mimi. I like ours better. It’s bigger.” Seriously? From a three year old?
That led to the breaking moment.
A moment that I may live to regret – for – well – at least 8 years or however long a new television lasts. We were sitting in our cozy room, watching the falling snow outside (yet again) and squinting at Ryan Hardy trying to figure out if Joe Carroll was really alive, when I spoke up.
“Sweetie, I want you to get us a new TV. And when you do, get the largest big-ass screen TV you can find that will fit in this room, complete with an Android box!!!”
He fell off the sofa. After all, these words were coming from the “we really don’t need a TV” girl. The “I want to make sure our TV can hide in a cabinet so nobody can see it” girl.
When he got up off the floor, he asked if he could A) get that in writing, and B) have me speak into the record feature of his phone and repeat what I just said.
I went on a short girl trip last week.
It didn’t take him long. I had a quick lay-over in Atlanta when I got the text. He’d bought his dream TV. He’d even taken a look at some new wooden TV stands to go with it, but decided that that would be too much. After all, we have just brought a new TV and we can’t go to crazy. The “stars and moon aligned and it was on sale” television. The big-assed screen TV I told him to buy. I’d been gone 4 hours. I had no intention of telling him that I smiled when I read the text. I never shared with him that I wanted so badly to call my son and tell him to tell my granddaughter that our new TV was larger than her daddy’s.
A part of me wants to stay smug and pretend that television still is not a part of my life.
If this Ohio winter will ever actually end, I won’t be watching it for at least another 6 months anyway. But in the meantime, I am thrilled that I can actually see the Dowager Countess of Grantham’s nose hairs and Reylan Givens crinkly, sparkling brown eyes. I can hear the cast of Glee sing Foreigner songs in surround sound, and savor the crispness and color of the Disney cartoons. However, I vowed I’d never admit to my husband that I am thrilled to death with our mammoth big-assed screen television. I refused give away the fact that I was in awe at the new technology that has invaded our household. I thought I had him fooled. At least until last night. I was busted. My husband got home late from work and walked in on me as I was lounging on the sofa, snuggled with the dogs, watching Oprah interview her latest guru. I was enthralled. (I also wanted to call her and tell her that she should not allow her shows to be shot in high definition TV, because they make your look twice your normal size, but hey, it seems she’s past that weight obsession.) I had the sound up and I was reveling in the colors. (Her show was shot on location at her home in Hawaii. Of course it was.)
“What are you doing?” Dang, busted. I shot straight up out of the couch.
“You were enjoying our new television set, weren’t you? You love that big-assed screen, don’t you?”
“Nooo”. That came out much whinier than I intended.
Of course I started to get defensive, but then I caved. “OK, I confess. I am glad you bought the big-assed screen television. I am glad that I can actually see that Jennifer Lopez has wrinkles. I love watching the life-like zombies shuffling across the screen like they are right here in our room. You did good, honey, you did good.”
What I may never live down is not the fact that I now own a small movie theater, but that I admitted to my husband he was right. Maybe, once the weather turns warm and we let the TV rest for six months, he will forget that I caved in. Right. And Mary from Downton Abby is actually nice. Sigh.