After nearly 9 years (nine!) in a television-free household, sometime on Saturday the folks from DirectTV will be coming over to install, well, TV. Not just TV in the living room, but also in the basement where the kids can watch it. Can you tell this was most likely NOT my idea? I am a little bit disgusted, too, at how easily I caved when the subject was brought up, falling for the hip smooth guy with the checkbook who says, “But baby, I will pay for it!” (In all actuality, what I saidwas, “I don’t care what you want to do as long as I never.ever. have to talk to someone from DirectTV.”).
This whole TV thing, though, I don’t know. Sometimes I miss the news (though I get my fill online and on the radio, and I suppose there are a few channels I wouldn’t mind having-PBS, and maybe CNN. Still, we have been so long without it, by choice (mine, not the kids’), that it almost seems a matter of pride to NOT have TV. I know people think we are strange-but I have kind of cultivated that strangeness, if I am honest. Maybe a little bit of something to prove to the world that I am just a cut above, I don’t know.
The fact remains, however, that despite the fact that not all my TV-free motives have been pure, the benefits to my family have been great. My kids love to eat oatmeal and cream of wheat because for many years they knew nothing else; no Trix or Lucky Charms advertisements to contend with. Even now, they are equally happy with the Malt-O-Meal brand of sweetened cereals rather than insisting on the name brand, and I am proud to say that none of them have any idea who Tony the Tiger is (and no, thank you, he is NOT an icon; he is a cartoon character created to suck your kids into the vortex of blind consumerism. Just sayin’). Come Christmas time, I have not yet had to contend with the pleas for this or that toy as seen on television. My kids are all avid readers, and they actually know how to play outside with sticks. We have a lot of family time, maybe more than the kids would like, and I really believe that all of that is due to the fact that we aren’t glued in front of the television every evening.
I know that people watch TV and still manage to raise happy, healthy kids-they have this thing called balance, which allows them to set healthy limits on such things as TV and computer time and all of that. The balance part is what worries me, especially now that winter hours are setting in and it gets dark early. That itself cuts down on much-needed outdoor time, so what is there to do in an evening besides stay inside where it is warm? And really, IS there harm in watching a television show rather than reading a book? Maybe less so than I think.
Or maybe, just maybe, I, too, will get sucked in to the media choice of the masses and will soon start avidly scheduling my evenings by what is on television. Maybe I will find those shows I hear about so irresistible that I, too, will be glassy-eyed and drooling, simply waiting for my next fix. Just make me a promise, dear readers: if I start giving you recaps of shows I have seen, ones that you could see too if you wanted and therefore would not NEED a recap, well, just shoot me. Please.
TV. Can you believe it? I think I need to invest in a new library card.