It’s oddly quiet in my apartment this afternoon; nothing to hear but the tapping of keys and the low hum of cars punctuated by the occasional truck hitting a pothole drifting through my open bedroom window. The quiet, relaxing as it may seem, is not voluntary. I arrived home last night after a long stint of classes to learn that my TV, despite the cable connection in the wall, was not receiving a single channel.
I do not mean to come off as whiny. The truth is, despite never having paid for cable since I moved into my apartment in September I received the gamut of TV entertainment, from ABC and NBC to Bravo and TLC. Nevertheless, I am perturbed that after ten months of mind numbing boob tubing (…or however you would spell the verb version of tube) I am suddenly cut off, cold turkey, with only eight more weeks until I move out.
I know I know, we should all watch less television anyhow. But in my initial moments of panic I couldn’t help my own self-pity. “I deserve to watch TV! How will I entertain my fried brain at the end of the day?” and so I went rationalizing why I deserved to let my mind (among other things…) turn to mush from my comfortable sofa – not that I wouldn’t continue to criticize others for their lazy habits.
Somewhere within this flood of thoughts I began to recognize how hypocritical I was being. I was no different from someone else spending hours upon hours in front of the television. And, just how many hours was I spending in front of the television anyhow?
Well… 1 hour during lunch generally, that’s a minimum of 7 hours per week, plus two hours of comedy shows on Thursday nights that’s 9, plus I usually watched another show or two after that while doing homework so we’re up to 11, then I’d usually tune in to an hour or two right after class when I prepared and ate dinner, roughly 9 hours a week, so that’s around 20 hours, and then of course several hours of What Not to Wear and The Real Housewives on the weekend so we're up to about 26 hours and… Wow. That’s an entire day. That’s MORE than an entire day. And I wasn’t even finished! That’s… embarrassing.
Now I have to defend myself a little bit here. I do have an apartment to myself so I usually listen to the TV while I am doing general tasks like cooking or cleaning. Also, since my wonderful boyfriend lives about a light-year away on the East Coast I probably have more TV-available time than your average attached gal or single lady on the prowl. Even so, I will not try to deny that there has got to be a better way to spend that time.
Photo found here
And so it begins. It’s not that I have not been perfectly happy without television access in the past – a semester in Greece and a summer in Colorado Springs were both TV free and incredible times in my life. I spent more hours outside, more hours reading, and more hours exploring during those periods than ever before. Perhaps losing my cable, as much of a shock as it was, is just what I need right now.