Throughout the course of our married life, we have the good fortune of never having to pay for TV.
Starting out our married life in a lovely and run-down apartment where drug deals ran rampant and I may or may not have hid in my closet while calling my husband during his class because I was scared, we also enjoyed the set-up the previous renters had employed of “borrowing” the neighbors TV.
When we moved into the farmhouse apartment owned by my in-laws, it was good-bye to cable and hello to bunny ears. I have fond memories of watching the news while holding Ada in my arms and simultaneously eating Raisin Bran Crunch and sipping on a home-made caramel latte. (Sidenote: I had no reason to hold her, as she was usually fast asleep. I just felt like a cool mom holding a baby and eating breakfast with one hand. Oh, the irony.)
I didn’t really miss the TV, although the few times I traveled for speaking engagements, I will admit to holing up in my hotel room and indulging in copious amounts of HGTV.
And then it was another move, this time to the house we currently occupy. We employed the bunny strategy for a year or so, until Ben observed that there was a cable sticking out in the wall, right behind our TV. Insert cable into TV and voila! Instant , mysteriously free, cable! We assumed the previous owners had a contract or something and enjoyed episode after episode of Doc McStuffins and my personal favorite, Good Luck Charlie, while Ben would gorge on hideous shows like Moonshiners late at night when we would all be asleep. (Seriously, do any of those guys have teeth?)
Our good fortune took a turn last month, however, when our Internet went out and the repairman replaced the wiring outside. Goodbye free cable.
At first, I mourned the loss. It felt a little bit like letting go of a security blanket. I was panicked and jittery. Anxious and worried.
What would the girls do in the morning? How would I know what was happening in the world outside of Facebook? Would this be a goodbye forever to my favorite show, Reba?
So I have been surprised to find out that the world without TV is, well, kind of nice.
We get exactly one channel with our bunny ears and it’s just enough for the kids to watch some cartoons in the morning while I get breakfast ready. But I don’t have to feel guilty, ever, because hello? It’s PBS! Can anyone feel bad about the Dinosaur Train? How you doin’ Dr. Scott The Paleontologist?
I find that without the lure of the TV in the afternoon, in that dreaded “bewitching hour” before Ben gets home and I feel like I’m losing my mind and trying to get dinner together and the kids are acting like miniature psychopaths, they find something else to do. I was always tempted to turn in it on and let us collapse into a mindless pile of mush just to get through to dinner, but now that it’s gone, I swear the kids are acting better.
They are playing better. Doing puzzles. Off in their room. Or, like yesterday, hiding in the closet playing “Princess and the Frog.” My middle child was actually crying real tears at the loss of her frog prince, so intense was their imaginative play.
Not once, since the cable has been gone, have my kids asked me if they could watch TV. I have to suggest it to them now.
It’s so weird.
I will admit that I’m really surprised, pleasantly surprised, by how much we don’t miss having TV. I’ve been looking at the option of getting a wireless blu-ray player so we can stream Hulu or Netflix, but for right now…
We aren’t missing that darn TV.