As a boomer, television has been
an important element of my entire
existence. Long before extended
viewing was deemed to be bad for
kids, I was glued to the set. After
rushing home from school I spun
the knob to view Dark Shadows,
then the 4:30 movie both on WABC.
After dinner it was I Love Lucy on
WNEW and then the Million Dollar
Movie on WOR. Those images of
yesterday fueled my creativity and
helped me to escape reality!
Throughout many of my years gone
by - I viewed television 24/7/365.
Often it was background noise for
the reality show we were playing in
our home. My eldest "E" recalls that
I spent most of her childhood and
my Saturdays watching old movies
while I ironed the linens. I've never
had a television set in the kitchen
but have been known to organize my
food prep around broadcast timing.
Thus TV was akin to comfort food.
We all felt better consuming our fill.
Then I met Frank. He rarely if ever
turns on the telly and considered his
abstinence a badge of honor. As we
adjusted to our shared life, I limited
my tube time to whenever he was
tuned out. Often reruns before dawn.
Slowly I weaned myself off televised
drivel and my craving for a TV buzz.
Yet over the years I also rubbed him
the right way. Now he'll occasionally
watch Netflix or a random oldie but
goodie. Anything beyond that is still
a station break for my no telly hubby.
During the years we spent stretches
far apart, I became consumed with
work. Leaving and returning home
in the dark. My only comfort was
a mega flat screen HD TV which I
fought Frank to bring home. Many
a night I sat before my prize alone
devouring meals from Whole Foods.
On weekends, it kept me company
as I polished silver, set the table, and
cooked for friends. Yet my old ways
were a poor substitute for the gap
between us. No wonder I tuned out.
Like any addict avoiding rehab -
I've tried many times to go cold
turkey but failed. In Manhattan
I kept a packed social calendar.
Insuring that I had limited time
to tune in. However if given the
chance, I downloaded all that I'd
missed on i-tunes. Offering an
instant fix whenever I wanted it.
A phenomena some call "binge
watching." Insuring that if Frank
was in town - I could turn my
favs on or off and not miss out!
Here in Montana we now both tune
in nightly. Rarely if ever watching
network programming. That is except
PBS. Now we escape to cable's world
of quick fixes. Or spend half the night
scrolling down to find something we
both like on Netflix. CNN and FOX
offer their versions of reality TV. Yet
we prefer to not let that consume us.
Thus many nights we're turned off.
Hopefully our favorite reality show
is about to end in November. When
we will all finally flip the switch...