Thursday, May 1, 2008

surreality tv

I read a statistic that said something like 35% of battered women return to their abusers. Well, I've done nothing to put a dent in this figure. After six months of freedom, I made my way back. First I began seeing my ex at the gym, and would try not to make eye contact, but invariably, I'd end up engaged in some witty thing that was said, and before I knew, I was seeking out interaction. Ultimately, Wednesday morning, we made a full reconciliation. Now, I don't expect you to understand, and I know it will nauseate most of you to learn that we are quite happy, and that things will be different this time. For those of who have not met my companion, who's really a home body, here's a picture:

Come on, tell me you can't see the allure:

Six months ago, when I was on the verge of setting fire to the production lots of the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon, I knew it was time for a clean break. So we disconnected our cable, and I immediately felt myself ascend to a higher rank of parent. After initial protests about the cruel inhumanity of it, which lasted like a day, my kids adjusted fine, and the quiet in the house was orgasmic. No more 12 year old bitches like, totally dissing their families, and like, no more of that flippy wanna-be surfer shag haircut that all the boys are wearing. Unfortunately Quinn got caught in the snares of that one, and we tried letting him grow his hair out, but ultimately, I was starting to love him less so we cut it. Anyway, no TV was working really well. My mom was recording my beloved Jon & Kate Plus 8, and Lost, and we were getting serious mileage out of our Netflix membership (watching, what else? Lost reruns!)

But then the election crept up on us, and I quickly came to realize that the internet wasn't really cutting it. I like to be saturated in coverage. Every sound bite, every speech, every pundit weighing in, and all the crawls along the bottom, letting us know how many bombs went off in Jerusalem that day. While CNN was a great motivator to get to the gym, one can never count on getting a TV to his/herself, and I was frequently stuck watching Law & Order and/or fucking golf. So the seed of getting reconnected was planted.

I suspected that convincing Todd would be of greater difficulty than climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, so I chipped away slowly, patiently. Finally, with Oregon's primary looming large, I blurted out one day, "I have to have the TV back. I just have to." To which he replied, "Hey, if we can come up with a way to keep the kids from Disney and Ickalodeon, go for it."

Sweet sweet success.

Wednesday was the magic reunion. I instantly fantasized about wrapping up in my magic blanket and watching TV for a week, but immediately realized there was nothing on worth watching, just like there wasn't six months ago. The commercials are so fast they're like an assault. Animal Planet had the same anaconda as it did last October. And the "kid" shows, well, they're the perfect primer for a future on Jerry Springer. The guy eating snakes and sparrows and giant lice was fascinating until I vomited in my mouth, but all in all, TV is only worth it in election years, and, some would argue, Olympics years.

We did encounter one program, following the palate-of-steel idiot, called Nanny 911, akin to Super Nanny, which I love. We watched three children, er, spawns of satan, biting, kicking, scratching their parents, each other, while screaming, "I hate my mommy and wish she was dead!" The wispy, pansy-assed feather-haired, soft-spoken, chi-seeking, mealy-mouthed, LOSER of a husband would just go for a bike ride whenever the climate in the house started rising, which was every ten minutes. Needless to say, he was in great shape. But the poor, ineffectual mom got no breaks. These freaks were of the mindset that they were there to allow their children to be who they are, to find their own light, their own mystic purpose. Or some bullshit like that. I'm telling you, the only light in these kids' future was the explosions they were certain to cause someday soon. As the scenes played out, and the tension rose to a crescendo, to illustrate just how badly this family needed Nanny Stella, Quinn buried his face in my chest, tears streaming down his reddened face. "What happened honey?" "I HATE THOSE KIDS MOM! I HATE THEM!" Todd and I shot each other a glance and instantly realized we had no cause to complain about our kids every again. Seriously. These kids were murderers in the making, making all of our kids honorary angels.

I'm very wary of the TV becoming our default activity, so I'm kind of a Nazi about it. When it is on, I am really unaccustomed to the noise of it. It seems absurd. A complete and total waste of our time. Except to watch my boyfriend, Barack Obama. He's literally the reason we're shelling out 55 clams a month for this mind-numbing bullshit. And he's worth every penny. But we're making some real changes too. We're locking all the kids' channels, restricting their use to one (combined) hour a day, and of course, my most rigid rule: no TV in the daytime, unless you have vomited.

So judge me if you must for going back. I expect a certain amount of scorn. "What about the kids?" you'll ask. "Won't you be breaking it off again in six months?" Maybe, but in six months I will be so elated about President-Elect Obama that I'll be too busy singing in the streets to watch Nanny 911.

(PS--Brandy is considering turning her TV too, so nanny nanny nanny.)


B Kinch said...

Well I was considering it, until you tried to describe to me about the remote and various modes and four digit codes. I'm afraid I'd flunk the tutorial the cable guy gives. I'll just ask you for the highlights.

Sam said...

Well, welcome back to the ranks of TV families! I wish we could get rid of ours, but of the 5 people in my house, I'm the only one who wouldn't cry at its demise. I'm stuck.

So, setting limits and controlling the TV's influence is my life. Ugh.

Karinda said...

This is totally cracking me up, cuz we are considering taking our TV out to the garage. I'm worse than the kids, if it's there, I'll watch it. OMG television is like chocolate!