Once again we are living life without TV. The last time this happened I was protesting that congress sold off analog TV frequencies to businesses and forced all of its citizenry to buy converters or new TVs. This time it was of my own doing, we just had a new metal roof put on our house. This meant that our little antenna in our attic could no longer receive a signal.
Gone is the nonstop chatter that goes with morning news. My husband turns on the TV first thing when he rises and watches the early morning national news at 5, followed by an hour of the local morning news show as he gets ready for work. These newscasts are valuable for about 15 minutes after that they repeat the same news over and over. News shows should just go back the 15 minute format that they were originally, or spend a little more time and report either in depth, or find some other headlines to report.
In the evening we were like so many others; we watch stupid shows because night has settled in and we were out of the habit of doing something that takes a little brain power. We had done our evening chores, taken a walk and could now justify vegging in front of the boob tube. It is made worse because so much of what is on TV now is reality TV. Lost is the era of scripted TV, not that it was all good, but at least with a scripted show there was a plot you had to think about or could get lost in. Even in situation comedies (do they even call it that anymore?) there would be a moment when you laughed not because you thought it was funny, but the moment rang true in your life.
Now, like the last time we were without TV, we are doing different things in the evening. We have taken to never eating in front of the TV, not that we did it a lot but it is completely gone now. Dinner lasts a little longer when you eat at the table with dinner conversation. We are getting a few more of our tasks crossed off our “honey do lists.” We aren’t always rushing through our chores, but enjoying our animals and new trees that require our time. Of course our reading time has gone up. We were readers before, but now we are flipping many more pages in a night. One of the biggest throw backs is we are playing games again. It tends to not be the same every night, some nights it word games like Boggle, others backgammon, and sometimes cards. It is good because these games unlike vegging out do require us to think, but also enjoy some those qualities of one another that we did when we courted. Being highly competitive there is also lots of laughing when plans backfire and one of us goes down in flames. I can tell you that the competition of game night takes your mind away from the stress of work that you were never going to solve at 8pm at home in the first place.
I am not sure when TV will come back online in our house, last time it was months before we succumbed. In the mean time we will be visiting Goodwill to see what games the rest of you have sent there because you are no longer having game night at your house.