My transformation to the dark side is complete


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Yes, it has happened. I’ve turned to the dark side. I’ve become the person I never wanted to be – a digital, HD-subscribing, lazy, shiftless TV watcher with not one, but four TVs. I never intended for this to happen. What have I become?

It started so insidiously. Long ago, when I first met my husband, I didn’t even know about the dark side. Sure I had watched TV as a kid, but I didn’t inhale.  We only had two channels anyway, and programming stopped after the late movie, turning the screen to static or test patterns, so it was easy to stay on the good side of the force. Once I started dating my husband, we were too busy being in love, making our own granola and polishing our wire-rimmed glasses  to spend much time watching TV. I was not allowed to have a TV in my dorm room, and he did not have a TV in his apartment, so soon we even forgot what shows were on the now three TV channels.

When we got married, my in-laws offered us a choice of a gift – a brand new color TV, or something else of our choosing of equivalent value. Of course we chose “something else” – what did we need a TV for when we were so in love? Besides, we were busy recycling, washing our hemp clothing and listening to the music of “Hair” on our state of the art phonograph. Still, my in-laws thought we might be out of touch without a TV, for God’s sake, so they gave us an old black and white one that a neighbor had thrown out on the curb. The on-off switch was broken, as was one of the rabbit ears, so if we did watch it we had to plug/unplug it to turn it off and on. We kept it in the spare room and dragged it out once or twice a year.

Now fast forward a few years to the arrival of those sneaky demons, otherwise known as children.  We wanted to catch some educational programming for them, so we succumbed to order cable. By then it was nearly impossible to pick up anything over the airwaves with our one rabbit ear anyway. Now we had about 36 channels, including a new one that was all about sports – ES something or other. Still, we severely regulated TV in our house. The kids could not turn the TV on, as they weren’t allowed to touch the plug (still no on-off knob), and we stuck to mostly PBS and edifying shows. But, parental fatigue was a strong temptress. Tired out from being up all night with kids? Flop down in front of the TV. Cranky baby that won’t go to sleep? Johnny Carson.

Fast forward to our kid’s teen years. “Gee Mom and Dad, none of our friends have to watch an old black and white TV with no on/off switch.” So we caved and bought a state of the art used color TV. We had gone from Kansas to Oz.

With our kids leading the way, little by little we succumbed to upgrades. Our oldest son moved home and brought two TVs. Sure one of them was a state of the art 1987 and the channel changer did not work, but hey the color was great. And so it went until we arrived at the place we are today: four TVs, fancy cable, and now, finally, HD. Sure, I still forget about the HD channels and can’t remember the numbers anyway, but by gosh, the potential is there. I’m becoming the person I never thought I’d be.

© Huffygirl 2012

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18 thoughts on “My transformation to the dark side is complete

    • We’re probably of the same ilk Lisa. Despite the fact that we really do have four TVs (but one of them is set up in front of my bike trainer) we really don’t watch that much. I cite the bad influence of our kids, especially the one who lives with us. 🙂 If we want to know what’s on TV, we just ask him.

  1. It’s insidious, isn’t it, HG! My husband isn’t much of a TV watcher except for college basketball and American Idol, of all things. So I have to do my watching during the day when he is working…you know, to sort of sneak it in. Have to watch my Days of Our Lives.

    • What a strange role reversal – the child is becoming the parent and the parent is becoming the child (well, not really. We still hardly ever watch TV, and haven’t completely figured out which channels have HD and which don’t. When I put the channel on, if it’s not full screen, that’s how I know it’s not HD.) So if this role reversal is true, pretty soon you should be eschewing TV completely to spend your time recycling, growing your own food and sewing your own clothing from hemp.

  2. I do remember the days of rabbit ears, of going to my friends to watch TV because we didn’t have one at home. I remember getting 2 channels and most of the time, they showed the same show. Ed Sullivan, Disney and the hockey game. We have held out… still no HD, in fact, still no flat screen…. Our TV still works fine… but one day…I will be joining you.. ON THE DARK SIDE…

  3. Glad to see you’ve managed to retain your wonderful sense of humor on the dark side. I’m still laughing.

    By the way, you might want to wander over to my site and read “Yikes! Another Award.” Make sure you read the list of new candidates 😛

    • Wow, thanks for the honor Sandra. I hope readers will stop by your blog, as it’s always wonderfully wrought. And fortunately, I am allowed to still have a sense of humor over here on the dark side – otherwise my blogging days would come to an end.

  4. I’ve never watched much tv myself (which is a bit odd for a teenager in this day and age), but it’s crazy the options you have when you do. Documentaries for the adults, news, RADIO!, sitcom, reality shows, animation/cartoons, doco’s for the kids… and the list goes on! How on earth do people decide what they want to watch with so many options available?!
    Oh and HD… HD is like being bombarded with technicolour. It’s pretty cool actually… 😀

    Love this post!
    -Atlas.

    • Thanks Atlas, and thanks for stopping by. Although I have plenty of TV’s to watch, I just stick to a few favorite shows. Unfortunately with TV, because there is so much out there, I think the more one watches, the more one watches, because you see commercials for what is coming up and it looks interesting.

  5. I don’t think you are in any danger of becoming a TV couch potato!
    We always turn the TV on after dinner in the winter time when it is too cold and dark to be outside. There are so many interesting documentaries to watch while we surf the internet and chat about what we are learning.

    • You’re right Margie I’m really not. I really don’t sit still long enough for that to happen. Sounds like you’ve got the righr idea – snuggling in to watch tv when the weather is cold.

  6. I have to say this very quietly so it doesn’t hear me … I’d love to get an updated slender model TV. Our so-heavy-you need-two-movers to relocate it is 12 years old and going strong. With my luck, it’ll outlast me.
    Loved your gradual caving in to new technology.

    • Thanks Judy and thanks for stopping in. We definitely had to break it easy to our TV from 1987, that it was being retired. The front panel that covered up the knobs was long broken off; it was too old to have a remote, so you’d had to (gasp) change the channels by hand, and the channel buttons didn’t work anyway. But the picture was great. In the end, our son who owns it still could not part with it, so the two guys had to carry the behemoth down to the basement, where it sits in limbo. Maybe it thinks it’s still in use and happy…

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