My husband – the sports-obsessed, weather-checking fiend I’ve lived with for 10 years now – is, for the first time EVER, seriously considering taking the long drop down to basic cable.
If it were me, alone, I wouldn’t have a TV at all… I enjoy a lot of shows, true, but can find ample other sources of entertainment, even though I can’t watch movies/shows online (they’re not captioned, I’m hard of hearing). Between my time online, knitting, reading, I’m easily enough entertained when I’m home.
If it were me with just the kids, I’d likely have a TV set with a DVD player attached, for the times when I really need them to tune out for a while. A little Lion King, judiciously applied, can be the difference between amity and resentment, some days.
I didn’t own a television through college and grad school, until I moved in with Willem, and suddenly I was fully immersed back into the wonderful world of television. I resisted, at first, but slowly got sucked into various programs and genres, and by the time we were in our last house, I constantly had the DVR’ed list of shows-to-watch absolutely full. (Even worse, there were periods of time when I had that list almost empty, because I had watched everything on it.)
I didn’t mind it – much – except when the voice of my mother would appear in my head. She insists that she never watches TV, even though she owns a huge new flat screen set and DVR service, and she expresses a vague disdain for people who do watch. It took years for me to stop feeling defensive and guilty about my choice to (and what to) watch, and I still consider it a point of pride that I spent several years without TV, even though it’s not an accomplishment that actually deserves pride in the least.
Television had become a habit, bringing me in contact with things I found interesting or diverting, and I assumed it would remain as a constant part of our household routine. So, when we moved, one of my first calls was to the cable company. In the interests of saving money, we went down a step or two from the 4,000 channel lineup we had before, so that we’re only getting a measly little 100 channels now. It didn’t automatically come with DVR, so we’ve got a service call scheduled for later this week to set that up. If I am going to watch TV, I refuse to watch commercials and be tied to a specific schedule – “Oh, no, it’s almost 8:00, I have to get the kids in bed fast so I can watch my show!”
But last night, after watching our latest Netflix offering, I realized that in the three weeks the kids and I have lived here, I haven’t once turned on the television to watch anything on cable. I’ve watched a few movies, and have helped the kids set up a few shows, but otherwise it has been woefully neglected. I know that getting DVR rolling will change that some, but I’m not sure I really need that to be changed.
Still, I didn’t say anything, because I didn’t think Willem would be remotely (hah!) interested. Not that he’s a total couch potato; to the contrary, I rarely see him sit down in front of the tube for more than half an hour at a time. But he has some firm daily routines tied in with television, most specifically his morning ESPN/Weather Channel visits and then periodic visits through the day to just check the score. (Doesn’t really matter which score it is, I swear that if they made underwater basketweaving competitive and televised it, Willem would watch it. Especially if it was in the playoffs.) It just serves as a larger fixture in his consciousness than mine, though over the past few years I’ve probably spent considerably more time actually in front of the big black box, since I do watch entire, 42-minute-long shows instead of just checking anything.
So you can imagine my surprise when last night’s conversation somehow worked its way around to him saying, “Well, maybe we should just drop down to basic cable, you know, just the networks.” Apparently he can just check the score online and even watch complete events that way, likewise news and weather, and he feels that he’ll be busy enough with his new job and his dissertation over the next several months that he really won’t have time for extended TV watching.
No decisions have been made just yet, but I sent him the link to the various pricing options with our cable provider, and we’ll see. It’s all just amusing to me, because somehow I didn’t expect to reach a point in my life where I’d be interested in having fewer television choices. And, I warned him, I’m completely on board with whatever he decides now… but come spring, as I get bigger and bigger and then semipermanently attached to the couch to breastfeed, I’ll likely want to return to a broader cable lineup.
It’s a small thing, really, but just one more unexpected tidbit as we roll along…