Tall Drink of Nerd: Pondering the Unthinkable
a blogumn by Amy Robinson
What I’m about to say might sound like sacrilege to some FaN readers, and I know that it definitely will to some blogumnists; I’m seriously thinking of getting rid of our TV.
I’m thinking this scandalous thought not because we never watch TV, and it’s not a resolution. I’m pondering the unthinkable because, well, I have a problem. My name is Amy and I am a television addict.
This all started years ago. Even as a child, with only 3 major networks and PBS to choose from, the glowing box held me tight in dulling chains, invading every memory of my girlhood. At Grandma’s house, my cousins and I would watch Godzilla movies in the basement on an old TV that needed 10 minutes to warm up. Outside playtime was usually based on Little House on the Prairie (of course, we really did live on the prairie, so it wasn’t much of a stretch). At sleepovers, terrifying scenes from Night Gallery would run over and over in my imagination, making sleep impossible. Even my first kiss was just a reenactment of a scene from Guiding Light. As a friendless teenager, empty weekend nights were wasted on Fame and The Love Boat. I shared Cheerios on Sunday morning with my TV best buddy, Doctor Who. On the Sunday morning when Adrick, the Doctor’s faithful sidekick died, I was devastated. To say that I was hooked is an embarrassing understatement.
There have been a few times in my life when I was sans TV. I gained more friends, produced theatre, sang in cabarets and was prosaic in my writing. Museums were frequented, adventures undertaken and life stories built. But now, nearly at the middle of my ages, I look back and see potential and decades wasted with eyes glazed, mouth slightly agape, lost in storylines that float advertisements.
I have tried to restrict myself on a TV diet several times before, planning to watch only so many hours a week. That usually falters quickly. Like a sugar addict with a bag of fun-size Snickers, one treat will not satisfy. I envy folks who can watch for 20 minutes and then move on with their lives, but I crave the comfort in a full evening veg-out after long hours at a stressful day job. Most times, it doesn’t matter what is on; sure I’ll watch Titanic on TBS for the 534th time! TV gives us small-talk fodder, conversation fertilizer and a direct expressway to pop culture coolness. Like any other addict, I know my addiction isn’t adding real quality to my life, but I crave it. It’s stupid, and I, ergo, am an idiot for letting it control me.
So now I’m thinking of ridding myself of this beast cold turkey. Has anyone out there in FaN-land ever tried this? Are you now, or have you ever been TV-free? I need to hear of successes, because, well, I’m a little antsy about ditching my life long bestie, but I’m really thinking life might be better. Besides, since Hulu.com has every show online, I can still catch the good ones. Just that little taste won’t hurt me? Right?