When my mom was pregnant with me, she read the book Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television and decided that she didn't want her kids to grow up with TV and so we didn't. There was a short period of time when we lived at my grandma's house and were allowed Saturday cartoons while eating sugar cereal and The Cosby Show once a week, and then there were those two semesters when I was a freshman in college and my roommate had a TV set up so she could watch old episodes of Three's Company every single night, but other than that, I've historically been without an actual functioning TV set. I've always thought my parents' decision was pretty bad ass, to tell you the truth.
My childhood was well spent without days of TV. I read books, I wrote stories, I made weird art, I crashed my bike into things. But of course, in the back of my head, I always romanticized the life of the TV'ed. Just switching it on to whatever magical entertainment might await, a dream of music videos, hospital and courtroom dramas and a constant stream of reality shows. No more boring nights wondering what all your friends are doing because you'd be doing it to: watching TV.
When I recently moved into a place with free cable, it seemed like a huge waste not to let the Comcast guys put in a cable box. And once it was in, it seemed like a shame not to get a little monitor at least. I mean, what could it hurt really to finally enter the world everyone else takes for granted, at age 31?
Oh, friends. So much is the answer. So, so much.
For the first 20 seconds, there was the issue of nothing being on TV. I'm used to watching shows on Hulu Plus, Netflix, HBOGo, Showtime Anytime etc, on a small laptop. I've become accustomed to premium television with minimal commercial interruptions. So when I flipped through the channels, on say a Tuesday afternoon (I'm a freelancer, okay?), all there was was cooking shows and reruns of Law & Order. I have literally seen every episode of both SVU and Criminal Intent (I went through some dark break-up times; I'm not ashamed). For a second, I would consider turning the TV off and then...I would watch the episode of Law & Order again, saying to the TV: "Oh, come on! It's clearly the little girl." I got caught up on the Kardashians. I watched every Blazers basketball game. By which point, the issue was that I wanted to watch everything.