Thursday, September 8, 2011

I gave up TV. Me. Really I did.

I met my friend Marisa last summer (although it seems like I've known her family my whole life). I was editing her paperwork for a pageant. She had to list her favorite TV show; the only problem was that she didn't watch TV. "Like, ever?" I asked. "Never." Apparently she doesn't get a TV signal and they don't have cable. So she literally never watches TV. I couldn't believe it. I honestly thought the idea was a little crazy. And I may have wondered how pageant judges would react to hearing the "we don't watch TV" explanation---"Crazy Mormon from Utah" came to mind. As it was, last year at this time Taylor and I were already marking our calendars for the fall TV lineup, and we practically make chains of paper to count down until the beginning of American Idol.

While we haven't had cable since we moved to this house in 2009, we certainly have done our share of TV watching. So we started watching TV in the fall last year, 90210, American Idol, and CSI: Miami being on the top of our list---highlighted by random viewings of feel-good reality shows like Undercover Boss and Secret Millionaire. I wouldn't say we were TV obsessed, but we definitely had a schedule. Over time our interest for CSI: Miami waned (accentuated by our complete lack of a DVR or other reliable TV recording capable machine---go ahead and make fun of us now.) We watched 90210 online in spurts, and while we mostly committed to American Idol tryouts, our watching of the actual show was well below 50%---never including results shows.

And so it occurred to me early this spring that we had, in fact, given up TV entirely. Does that mean that my kids have? No. Does that meant that I can't hear PBS in the background while I type this? No. They watch TV here and there and especially during breakfast, but as for Taylor and me, we're over it.

Is this part of growing up? Part of being 30? Granted we are super busy with church callings and work and other stuff, so maybe that's part of it. And honestly I think a huge part of it is that we don't have a comfortable couch. Our couch is definitely not the type of couch that beckons you, "Come, sit! Watch TV for hours! Bring a snack!" It's one of those "maybe the floor is more comfortable" couches. I could change it, and I could get cable---but both of those definitely cost more than $10, so I guess we're stuck for a while.We do have TV in our bedroom where there is both a comfortable bed and comfortable couch, and sometimes we watch DVDs there. And once every 2-3 months I realize that Days of Our Lives is on while I'm folding laundry, so I watch a few segments to catch up on the plot. And we'll probably watch a few episodes of American Idol next winter.

We haven't thrown the TV out.We're not about to do that, but we do have a more-relaxed schedule now. (Well, I did until Pinterest came along!) We read at night, and I sew. Taylor plays video games, and I scrapbook. We have meetings 2-4 nights a week, so that keeps us busy. I love that we don't have to catch up on episodes and therefore miss sleep. I love that we don't have to hide what we watch from our kids. I love that we're not constantly worried if the VCR (yes, we're that fancy) is recording our shows or if we have blank tapes that work. Taylor doesn't love it as much as I do---he wistfully watches each Comcast van that passes our house. I guess he misses the sports that cable offers---but our friends and family have those channels, so it's not a total loss.

And I guess Marisa really isn't that crazy. Or maybe I've just joined her? Giving up TV was certainly not something I had planned on or ever even consciously tried to do---it just happened. And I'm glad. I just wish it could happen that easily with weight loss!