I’m used to the disbelieving, how-do-you-exist look that results whenever anyone asks me, “Did you see Such-and-Such program on TV?” and I respond, “I don’t have a TV.” One response to that response has been, “Oh. Well, you can have my old TV” or “I’ll get you a TV.” Eight times out of ten, either has been the response to my response. (Yes, I know some generous people.)
Having been the recipient of the old televisions of friends and family back in the days when televisions were heavy, blocky things, I appreciate the newer, sleekier, but still heavy wall-mounted versions. I especially appreciate the generosity of family and friends who readily offer to fill my TV-less gap. But my response ten times out of ten has been, “No thank you.”
I’ll pause here to give you time to fill in your theory about the why before I tell you. Maybe I’ll repolish my nails while you theorize.
Color of Choice
You’re back? Good. Okay, now I’ll tell you why. The reason is two-fold:
1. When I went to grad school back in 2010, I slipped out of the habit of watching TV, because I worked and attended school. After graduate school (2012), I returned to watching TV, which leads me to my second reason.
2. My television (an old TV given to me by friends) broke and I never replaced it.
Did that fit your theory? Did I surprise you? Disappoint you (if you thought I had some elitest idea of TV as the opiate of the masses and therefore to be avoided)? See, the thing is, when I was a kid, I watched two to four hours of TV, seven days a week. My undergraduate years interrupted that average, because I was too busy hanging out with friends studying to watch TV (although I confess that my friends and I commandeered the one TV in the dorm—I am dating myself—to watch The Godfather I and II, refusing all requests to turn the channel). During that time, I discovered that I could actually live without TV.
After grad school, I turned to Netflix, which I watch on my computer. So, I am not entirely without the means for watching some shows. After all, I saw the first three seasons of Stranger Things and two of Downton Abbey. But since there are few shows nowadays that I want to invest the time watching, I generally watch documentaries on Netflix. (But I have watched old TV shows like Columbo on Amazon Freevee.)
Several people (maybe about ten as opposed to the twenty people who told me I had to watch Downton Abbey back when I was in grad school and had no time whatsoever to watch until after I graduated) in recent months have told me I need to get Disney +. Maybe I will eventually. For now, I’m content to be that weird person who refuses to buy a TV.
You know what I enjoy in the evenings? Reading a good book. Watching movies. Listening to music. Hanging out with friends. Crocheting various projects. (Though many evenings lately, I’ve spent freelance editing.) While this means I can’t participate in any water cooler discussions, life still feels full and enjoyable.
Old TV from Amazon. Samsung TV from Walmart.com. Other photo by L. Marie.