People love to talk about the latest television shows. This topic of conversation is right up there with how much the weather sucks, how people generally seem to be getting dumber, how important their current relationship drama is, and of course, how much the weather sucks. Although I am happy to chime in about the crappy weather, or listen to your endless litany of indictments against your husband who JUST DOESN’T UNDERSTAND YOU (that will be eighty dollars please, and yes, I take personal checks), unfortunately I have absolutely nothing to offer conversationally when it comes to what’s on TV.
This is because, shockingly, I don’t actually HAVE cable television. When I mention this to people, they typically look at me like I’ve just admitted how much I enjoy spiking the coffee at AA meetings with ABSOLUT or stealing hearing aids from the local retirement home in my spare time. Once I’ve revived them with my well-practiced CPR skills and they are able to sit upright again and form full sentences, they usually begin asking me questions like “Good God, WHY?” or “What the hell do you actually DO in your free time?” or “Did you forget to pay your bill?” When I share with them that, no, I didn’t forget to pay my bill, and yes, I actually choose not to have cable TV, they continue their interrogation, peppering me with annoying questions like “Well, how do you watch reality shows?” My answer to this is simple: I DON’T. Shows like “So The Real Atlanta Housewives Think They Can Dance With The Iron Chef Factor” pretty much bore me to tears. Avoiding reality TV is one of the great benefits of NOT having cable, actually, since it allows me to kill what few brain cells I have left in other constructive ways, like drinking large quantities of paint remover or repeatedly banging my skull with a ball peen hammer. Another favorite question of mine is “How do you stay on top of the important things, like what’s going on with Russia or who’s winning the winter Olympics, or who’s sleeping with Jared Leto?” Well, DUH, I do have to stand in line at the grocery store, just like you. It’s not like I’m living in a tent in the wilderness, catching fish with my bare hands and using leaves as toilet paper. I read the cover of tabloid magazines. I stay CONNECTED.
Truth be told, I haven’t actually had cable for over 6 years now, and I don’t miss it at all. I am reminded how little I actually miss cable TV when I visit my mom. She loves watching TV, which is clearly evidenced by the fact that, at her house, the television is on pretty much every waking moment of the day. For the purposes of mother-daughter bonding, I’ll usually watch a show or two with her in the morning while we’re having our coffee, or at night after dinner. But after about 10 minutes, when I’ve watched approximately 172 commercials and 45 seconds of actual programming, the pounding in my head will remind me WHY I don’t have cable. I can sum it up for you in 3 words: MIDGET REALITY SHOWS. And, COMMERCIALS. Watching commercials is about as appealing to me as having to pick a stray hair out of my lasagna once I’m already chewing it. On a scale of one to ten for sheer FUNNESS, commercials are a quadruple zero (or for those of you who are mathematically challenged, -0.003475%).
Believe it or not, there are many benefits to not having cable TV. For example, I can sometimes go an ENTIRE day without hearing words like “Kardashian” or “Viagra” or “Obamacare.” I don’t have to worry about being accidentally exposed to Bruce Jenner’s long march toward womanification, an image that even a few bottles of Jack Daniel’s or the world’s most talented hypnotist could not erase once it has been seared into my eyeballs. And, of course, I am very proud to admit that I couldn’t tell the difference between Lady Gaga, Paris Hilton and Miley Ray Cyrus if my life depended on it. Although, if I absolutely HAD to, I could probably figure out who Miley Ray Cyrus is, since he’s the only guy.
And while we’re on the topic of making fun of me, here are a few more juicy tidbits for you to use as ammunition to mock me in case we should ever meet: I don’t have a microwave. I don’t own any Apple products. (Yep, NOT ONE.) My computer is the size of a Honda and still has rabbit ears. I also don’t use Twitter, Instagram, Haboob, Pinterest, Twerk or Snapchat, though I am savvy enough to actually know what these internetish thingys are, thanks to my much younger friends who do nothing but Twit all day long. (It IS twit, right? Or is it TWAT?) I do have a Facebook account, however. This is for the sole purpose of remembering people’s birthdays, including my own. (To all my friends who aren’t on Facebook: “Happy Belated Birthday! Sorry!! Hope it was a great one… LOL!”). Also, I’m one of those people (and by “one of those people” I mean “the only person in the entire known universe”) who actually leaves the house without my phone… ON PURPOSE. Mostly this is because I get so tired of having to unplug the jack and pry it off the wall.
So, please, if we ever find ourselves standing in line together at the grocery store and you feel the urge to strike up a conversation, let’s limit the topics to things I actually know about. Like the weather. Otherwise, I’ll be forced to stare at my phone and try to ignore you. If I have it with me. Which I probably won’t.