Dan and I don’t own a television…

… and you could say that we pride ourselves on that fact.

When we got married, we had Dan’s TV, which had been his mom’s. (His mom passed away in 2003 – February 11th, actually.)

We never got cable. We decided before we got married that we shouldn’t. We would go on walks together while we were dating in a somewhat affluent neighborhood, passing big boats and recreational vehicles parked lonely in driveways, while blue lights shone out windows. It was like walking through a prison, each family held captive by sometimes 2 or 3 separate televisions. And so we came to our TV-free decision. You see, Dan didn’t really enjoy television, and I kind of enjoyed it too much.

I had a habit in high school (keep in mind that I graduated high school in 2003 – and got married in 2004 – so “I had a habit in high school” practically means “I had a habit at the time”) of coming home and sitting in front of the television for hours. I would watch rerun after rerun of “Home Improvement,” “The Cosby Show” (which I don’t even like), and “Will and Grace” on channel 9, before switching over to channel 13 for reruns of “Friends.”

See? I meant it when I said hours. Like 4. Walking past those houses was like seeing myself in a mirror, and realizing what was happening to me.

Anyway, so we figured that if I was going to have a productive life and if Dan was going to have any respect for me at all, we would have to forgo the television. We lived in a hilly area, and if you don’t have cable, you don’t have reception. Period. Bunny ears are an exercise in futility.

We kept the television for watching movies on. It was in the spare room, taking up a disproportionate amount of space for how often we used it. And we quickly discovered that watching movies was not an activity that we particularly enjoyed together.

When we moved, we had to make room for a crib for a soon-to-be-arriving someone, so the television moved to the living room. It was like a big, black monster, totally killing any sense of relaxation in the living room.

So we sold it. To a mother of a 5-year old. Who was buying it for her son’s room, so that he could play video games on it. It was 27 inches.

What is this world coming to?

So, other than a short stint of borrowing a television from RaeAnn to play kiddy videos on this summer, we have been TV free.

People will tell us that we need to watching this show or that show, or ask us if we saw such-and-such an episode, and we’ll say, “No, we don’t have a TV.”

The responses are hilarious.

People look at us like we’re insane. They screw up their faces and say, “uh… why?” We’ve even had a couple people offer to give us one of theirs. I think that some people can’t imagine any reason not to have a TV, other than maybe poverty. It’s fun to be the eccentric wackos.

So when Dan turned to me today and asked, “Do you want to rent a movie?” it sounded so weird. You mean, like normal people?

Probably once a year we’ll rent a DVD to watch on the computer. We never have any idea what movies are out. Our conversation today went something like this:

“What do you want to get?”

“I don’t know. I have no idea what’s out.”

“Me neither. Ummm… there was that Superman remake that came out awhile back. I don’t know if it was supposed to be any good.”

“Yeah. I don’t know. Is there a Spiderman out?”

“Oh, yeah, Spiderman 3. I don’t know if it’s on video.”

“Guess we’ll just have to go browse.”

We ended up getting Blood Diamond. Dang, that was one powerful movie! It makes me wish that I was a rich person who bought diamonds, just so I could STOP buying them in response to this film!

I wish I was a rich person for other reasons, too.

So now, if someone asks what we did this weekend, we can say that we watched a movie together. It feels so weird. Like I compromised a part of my very identity.



3 Responses

  1. We don’t have a TV either, but we download a few shows to watch on Leslie’s computer. I like having the control over what and when we watch.

    Of course, his boss gave us a year subscription to Netflix for Christmas, so…. ! 🙂

  2. Funny! We don’t have television either. I don’t want it in the house and my husband is too cheap to pay for it! I used to be a tv addict too. I’m sorry for all those hours I wasted but I’m happy that my kids don’t have to grow up that way.

  3. Well I am single and made decission not to have tv. But I do watch dvd’s on my laptop rather more often than you do. (Once a week or two weeks average). I do get the same thing: these weard reactions like tv would be a necessity.

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