TV in general. Who knew I would grow up to be such a TV “ho”? (It’s such a ugly term that the quotes help me deny that I’m using it.) Growing up, when we were living with my aunt, my cousins and I were FORBIDDEN from watching any boob tube. My aunt never let us watch TV because she noticed it made all the kids fight more.
And long after I moved out of my aunt’s house, I still showed little interest in TV, just didn’t have a taste for it. So why am I now mesmerized 24-7 by it now? Maybe it was the influence of roommates who grew up in households with different TV attitudes than ours. My husband’s taste for taste for ESPN, ESPN1, and ESPN2, among other sports channels leads our tube to be on like on ALL THE TIME.
At first, it started with telling myself that there is truly great storytelling going on TV today. There are more interesting writers and actors working in TV than even in film, and sometimes theater. And initially, I think my tastes backed up that take on the situation — 24, Lost, Grey’s Anatomy’s, Six Feet Under. I had weekly appointments with all these shows, I shaped my socializing around them, and experienced great agitation and restlessness when a friend would not realize I had to go RIGHT THAT MINUTE if I were to get home in time for the beginning of ER (I think that friend no longer talks to me b/c I ditched her for ER. I might be the only left who still watches it. Okay, she should ditch me.)
And then as these programs began their slow descent and inevitable decay, I didn’t quit. Somehow, over the years, I developed a voracious appetite that had to be fed almost every day. It’s like the plant Audrey II in “Little Shop of Horrors.” I’ve watched American Idol, So You Wanna Dance, CSIs, Law and Orders, and even Medium to satiate this endless hole! And as the program quality worsens, so do my standards. I have even teared up at Medium. (Though in my defense, the guy who plays Patricia Arquette’s husband is a really good actor, and it was a very moving episode, okay?)
But when I stop and think, I wonder, what would I be doing if I weren’t watching these shows? Maybe finishing my novel draft? Or the play I owe at the end of June? Taxes? (Bad scene.) Laundry? (Really, really bad scene.) After such a realization, a bigger person would then take the next step and perhaps curb their boob tube time and begin their new life as a crusading environmentalist, a teacher of children, a world-class bob sledder…but I am…me. And honestly, I don’t think wasting time is all that bad. Is it? We’re all here on earth passing time anyway. There’s so much emphasis on productivity equaling a valueable life that perhaps it’s a sign of a mentally healthy person who can just relax and click on the remote. That’s right, I’m so secure that I don’t feel threatened by wasting hours on my DVR, while you’re out there supporting your family, discovering the cure for cancer, becoming a knock-hockey champion.
That almost sounds convincing.