Television Is Not a Social Event
The girls hate watching television with me. I think it has something to do with the fact that I actually want to watch the show that’s on. Correction. I want to hear whatever it is that we’re watching. I treat my television viewing entertainment just as if I was at the movies and I had paid the equivalent of my mortgage for the big screen pleasure. I even go through the same speech.
“Cell phones on vibrate? Everyone have a drink? Does anyone need to go to the bathroom? Okay, now settle in and no talking. The show is about to start.”
When I sit down in front of the television, it’s not to have background noise for something else I’m doing. It’s to watch a show. It’s not that I can’t multitask, because I can. Every day, I work on three to four manuscripts while writing a blog, texting, listening to music and enjoying a second pot of coffee. However, certain things are meant to be done solo. That’s why I hate restaurants with televisions. I can understand going to a sports bar, hanging out with friends, drinking beers and watching a game. However, when I go out to eat with friends, I want to eat and talk with them, not watch six different 60 inch screens with a different channel on each. Likewise, when I watch television I don’t want to socialize. I do, however, don’t mind eating.
The girls don’t share my proclivity for silence during Criminal Minds. We’re all together, so it’s time to talk. They can’t save it for a commercial because we rarely watch shows when they are actually on. We record all of our favorites and watch at our leisure. Therefore, no commercials. However, now an hour show takes less than thirty minutes. Of course, it would if I wasn’t rewinding it constantly to hear what I missed because someone was asking some question about something that happened while they were talking. Yet, I’m to ignore all the ooos and ahhhs while Arrow is changing shirts, which is the reason they watch the show in the first place.
The 8-year old even knows the routine. When the girls go grocery shopping on Thursday evening, the munchkin and I will pop a big bowl of popcorn and toss in a Disney classic, settling in for the night. As I press play I ask, “What’s the rule?”
“No talking during the movie. I know, Robbie.”
Of course, like the older girls she doesn’t always remember when that urge to gab comes out. An hour into the show and she’s been as quiet as possible. Now, the questions come. “Why did they do that?” “How could that happen?” “Who’s your favorite character?”
“Okay, that’s enough show. Time for bed.” I can only keep focus so long before I just lose interest and start checking my Facebook and Twitter. I surrender and decide to watch the rest of the show when everyone else is asleep.
I’d never survive the sports bar scene, either, to be honest, because I go to watch the game. This part confuses the girls.
“You hate sports.”
“I know, but we came here to watch the game. Why isn’t anyone actually watching the game? I could have drank my beer in my fridge and saved money”
“Because they’re having fun. They’re talking, laughing, and having a good time.”
”Then why didn’t they just say come do that? Why say, ‘Hey, let’s go watch the game?’ They never intended to watch the game, just drink beer.”
“And that bothers you why?”
“Because they said they wanted to watch the game!”
“And again I say you hate sports.”
“That’s not the point.”
And it’s not. Really. I don’t talk and read a book, and I don’t want to talk and watch television. It’s not a social event. It’s more a spectator thing. You watch. That’s it. At least, that’s what I’m trying to teach the girls. So far, it’s not working; not even with the 8 year old.
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