After 10 years without, a television

We got a TV.

It’s the shape of a movie screen.

It teeters on a circular stand–

It looks precarious, like one bump

Could send it over onto its face.

I haven’t owned a TV for ten years.

It all happened very fast:

Football season

Combined with an unexpected chunk of bonus cash,

And now we own an HD plasma smart TV.

Those who know me well

Know

How conflicted I am over the

Introduction of the

Black screen into our home,

Yawning at me from across the living room.

As a kid I loved TV like everyone else,

After school watching Little House on the Prairie in the

Cool dark basement,

And when it was over at 5:00,

Supper time.

My brother and I got 1.5 hours of TV per day,

And we had to page through the TV guide that came in the Sunday paper

And highlight the shows we wanted to watch for the week.

As a teenager, I had a small black-and-white TV in my room.

All I watched was the 10:00 news on KARE-11,

And a M*A*S*H rerun if I could stay awake for it.

I think it was in college.

That I developed my squeamishness for

TV.

Dorm rooms,

Dorm lounges,

Apartments with roommates:

It seemed like there was

Always

A TV on.

Laugh tracks,

Guns shooting and tires squealing.

And always someone on the

Couch scooping food into their mouth while

Completely transfixed by whatever was on the screen.

Yep, I judged.

Here we were,

At college,

Supposedly developing our minds into

Critical,

Creative

Vessels.

And everyone seemed to

Mindlessly

Lap up

Whatever the screen disgorged.

“It’s relaxing,” people would say.

It didn’t relax me.

TV made me anxious.

The chunky stop-and-start sound of

Channels being flipped through,

The blinking and flashing of the

Lights from the screen on the

Walls of a dark room.

When I left school and started living on my own,

I ditched the TV

Who has time to watch TV anyway?

Even before I had kids,

I was busy enough without it.

And then when I was around a TV,

Like in a hotel room,

Or at my parents’ house,

It felt like a treat to turn it on.

But then I’d flip

And flip

And flip,

And finally just settle for HGTV because there was

Nothing

Else

On.

I made Joe promise we would set parameters

For the kids.

The idea of a child

Staring for hours at the screen

While the sunlight of a lovely day outside

Tracks across the walls,

Is anguish to me.

So we set some rules.

Joe has promised a minimum of flipping and a

Reasonable volume level.

And Netflix has Glee episodes,

Which this former show choir nerd has been wanting to check out

For years.

Actually,

The house is empty right now, and quiet…

Maybe I could figure out this remote control and

Watch a quick episode of Glee before anyone comes home.

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