Hello, my name is Catherine, and I have been a television-o-holic for 23 years. I have been without my TV for four days now.
Day One, Saturday
I waited until the last minute to take our TV to church, where we’re setting up an art display in the narthex and cafe area (a.k.a. foyer). Congregants will have the opportunity to look at the idols and think about the idols in their own lives as they enter the worship service. I suppose we could have had the “entertainment idol” but instead (for reasons I cannot remember now) we had the television idol, which read:
to the god of television, who offers us constant distractions
I remember when I was first fascinated by television. At three and four years old I would sneak into our family’s back bedroom and watch anything I could, usually old westerns. I was mesmerized by the motion picture: the color, the costumes, the stories. I always grew personally connected with the people in the television stories. Looking back, I think that I partially loved it because it distracted me from the state of my own life growing up. I struggled with acne, intense loneliness and depression, I had few true friends, and I struggled, as do many teenagers, with relationships at home with parents and siblings. Whenever I failed, or had a bad day, or was tired – I turned on the TV. TV was my drug, my painkiller. It helped me feel better, at least for a little while.
Day Two, Sunday
I didn’t really mind leaving my TV at church today, because there’s nothing on right now. I’m anxious, though, because the pastor so loved the display that he wants me to keep it up through the end of the week….crap.
Day Three, Monday
Today I was so busy. I was so tired. My husband and I came home with different expectations that we didn’t communicate with each other: Henry wanted to finish the taxes (a necessary task), and I wanted a date night (also a necessary task). As it was, this is what ended up happening:
6:15pm: I get home. I’m tired and demanding attention. Henry brought home dinner from the Black Bean Cafe, which I love – but he had forgotten the “island sauce” and tostones just don’t taste good without it. So, I had picked up lime juice and garlic at Fresh Market before I came home. We mixed up the olive oil mayo, garlic, lime juice, garlic pepper and dash of kosher salt and sat on the bed to eat dinner. The rest of the house is a mess again. It’s difficult, living in a small space. Maybe I have too much stuff. Maybe I’m just spoiled. Either way, it leads to us having a messy home many days of the week, unless company comes and we get advanced notice.
7:00pm: Henry starts on the taxes; I start watching Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution on Hulu.
8:00pm: Henry is still working on the taxes, and I am feeling ignored.
8:30pm: The tantrum begins. Like an immature child, I begin whining that I am being ignored, frustrated that I don’t have the television which would usually entertain me during this time (I’ve run out of interesting things to watch on Hulu and tv.com) and somehow that leads to me crying. In the back of my mind, I recall the morning in college when I was shaking after having coffee and nothing to eat, and the headache withdrawal symptoms that followed…).
Eventually, Henry finishes the taxes and he satisfies some of my loneliness by cuddling and spending some time with me. Maybe I was just lonely for human companionship the whole time. Quality time is my love language after all…
Day Four, Tuesday
I woke up for staff worship at 8:00am. Instinctively, I reached for the tv controller and — no TV. Oh yeah…it’s at church….
But…I showered, dressed, assembled that which I needed to assemble for work today and was out the door ahead of schedule. I stopped at Publix and got some yogurt for the fridge at work (doctor’s orders – eat more yogurt) and got to staff worship ahead of time and in time enough to get everything ready that I needed to get ready. It was…amazing. I usually get there at 9:45 and here I was getting there early. I guess since there wasn’t anything to distract me at home, I moved faster.
Watched “Glee” mid-season premiere with Henry, Adam & Lauren, and a reluctant Freddy & Maria. It was a lot more fun to watch it with them than on my own…reminded me of the days when 30 or so of us would cozy up in Michael Lopez’s small Pebble Hill apartment and watch “24” or “Lost” projected to his wall with TiVo. It was great fun…I miss those days. That’s one of the ways Henry and I got to know each other; he would ride with me since he didn’t have a car.
Day Five, Wednesday
Henry and I fell asleep watching “Castle” last night on Hulu and so I finished this morning. In all fairness, I was exhausted. Really exhausted. And after that, since my boss was busy with another project, I decided to run errands. I visited Harbor Chase and got a look at the place (Children’s Choir is visiting them on 4/18) and gave them a flier for the Harry Mursten’s concert (4/22). I met Diane, the lady in charge of activities. I liked her a lot. She was very sweet, and I got to better understand what Harbor Chase’s needs are for the summer. They particularly want young people to come over the weekend to play the Wii (they have Wii bowling!) and play their piano. It gets very quiet on the weekends, so they tell me.
Now I’m at Starbucks, recording the week’s experiences in this blog. The TV addict would have stayed home all morning. But without it…I’m feeling…I’m feeling a little energized. Hmmm….is there caffeine in chai tea lattes?
oh….empty…darn. should I get some more latte?? hmm…