I’m sick. Please enjoy this post that I wrote almost a year ago for The Road More Travelled.
When we were younger, my girlfriend Laura and I each bet our parents that we could go an entire year without watching television*. Our friend (I use the word loosely – I should say ‘our ridiculously cute classmate who has now gone nowhere with his life but who once accidentally put his arm around my waist-which-was-bigger-back-then and that’s all I remember about him’) Matt had done , it with his parents the year before, and we were never the kind of girls to back off from a challenge.
We bet them $500. Of course, a bet would have required she and I paying out if we hadn’tsucceeded, so it wasn’t so much a bet as it was them paying us for not watching television.
Holy shit, people. That is a lot of scrilla for a 14 year old. Hell, that’s not an insignificant amount of money to me now.
We survived because we really wanted the money and because we had each other. When I recently experimented with veganism it reminded me of nothing so much as our tv-less year – you don’t realize how much you’ll be left out until you actually try it. Sure, you can listen while other people talk about shows. We were allowed to go to movies, but without seeing the previews we didn’t know what was available so we rarely did. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective came out that year, and can you imagine how fucking ridiculous that movie sounded to girls who hadn’t seen the previews?
“No, guys, he puts his HEAD in the rhino’s BUTT!”
“Trust us, it’s funny.”
At that point, they’d turn away and Laur and I would be chatting with each other, as usual.
Now, I don’t know what I would do without television. Anytime I’m home, the TV is on. I don’t listen to music, I don’t ‘enjoy the silence’. (HA. Like THAT’S a real thing.)
The TV is my friend. I’m not always watching it. Hell, I’m probably not even usually watching it. I like the noise and I like that there are stories going on, even if I’m not catching anything but the high points. I like that there are pretty people on a big screen in my living room.
When someone says “Have you seen the trailer for that new movie? God, it looks horrible!” I can always say “Yes. Yes I have.”
TV, I’m sorry I did that to you, and I thank you for being here for me now. It would take a lot more than $500 for me to leave you behind for a year.
$1000, at least.