This is a re-post from earlier in the year, when we had just started our no-tv-for-a-year experiment.
First of all, happy birthday to my brother-in-law Ben, who turned 35 on Saturday. He runs a first class tennis academy right here in Lancaster County, so if you are interested in tennis you’ve got to look him up at Ben Halvorsen Tennis.
Anyway . . . the reason I bring him up, and the fact that he is getting really, really old, is that we went to his birthday party last night. We were hanging out in the kitchen, and at some point someone went into the living room and turned on the television to watch the Vikings/Saints game.
INTERESTING TELEVISION DILEMMA #1 – so this is the first time this has happened, but I’d imagine that it won’t be the last: we go to someone’s house to hang out and (gasp!) a tv set suddenly turns on. What to do? I ask you . . . WHAT TO DO!?!
Option one – watch television, breaking the fast but realizing the whole point of the thing is to become more involved in life, not less involved (I would consider hanging out alone in an empty kitchen being less involved in life, vs. going into the room where the tv is on and people are cheering and arguing and having fun)
Option two – go into the room where the television is but don’t watch the television, either by sitting where it is not visible or by wearing some sort of blindfold or sophisticated blinder device
Option three – break the television (accidentally on purpose) since our obviously subversive goal is to rid the world of the idiot box
Option four – find something even more fun, like Twister, and do that in the kitchen so that everyone wants to hang out with the cool, we’re-not-watching-tv-and-we’re-so-much-better-than-you couple.
Option five – just go with the flow
Okay, so I chose option five. And since enough people stayed in the kitchen to keep conversation interesting and fun, that’s where I stayed. And, yet again, in some small way I feel like my life was a bit better because of this decision not to watch television. Not I-won-the-lottery better, or I’ve-just-had-another-child better, but slightly better. For example, the few times I peeked into the living room, the folks watching television weren’t jumping around and giving each other high fives but were mostly just staring at the television like zombies. There was some polite conversation, but it was mostly along the lines of:
“So what do you think of that Brett Favre?” (still staring at the tv)
“Good quarterback. Indecisive.”
“Good sausage bites, eh?”
“What’s up with that Saints emblem?”
“I think it’s a floor-d-something.”
In the kitchen I was catching up with people I hadn’t seen for years and talking, actually talking and not just letting sounds escape from my mouth. So that was fun, more fun than watching television, which is what I would have done if this happened a month ago.
Have a great Monday. INTERESTING TELEVISION CHALLENGE: Sometime tonight, when you’re about to turn on the television just stop and think for a moment – isn’t there something else you’d rather be doing?