We never watch live TV any more. Like many Americans, we have a DVR with a great search capacity. So we record things that we want to watch, and then we thrill to the fact that we can fast forward through all the commercials.
But the only person selecting what we watch is my husband, who has the patience to scope out what is going to be featured on the various networks in order to record them. And as a result, I am the victim of his choices.
ME: So, what are we going to watch tonight? I am a little over exposed to the Roosevelts. I know way more about Eleanor than I care to. If only her mother had sent her to an orthodontist. I bet then her entire life would have turned out so much better…
HIM: Well, how about this show about penguins?
ME: It will be sad. I can’t watch those shows. There is always either discussion about looming extinction, or one little baby penguin who is orphaned and the videographers document its death of starvation. I hate those people. They should all carry Penguin Chow and hand it out. Really.
HIM: Well, ok. I recorded this show about people who make Steampunk yachts. Since you like HGTV, I thought that would be right up your alley. Or here’s this one about Quantum Linguistics. Sounds fascinating. You are a writer; I thought you would like that one.
ME: Well, you are wrong on both counts.
You see, this is the problem. I hate science, boring documentaries about how things like the pyramids were built (using computer generated graphs and drawings), and anything on TV concerning the fate of the planet. Watching these things either scares the crap out of me or puts me to sleep. My husband, on the other hand, can’t see the charm in shows about the latest thing in countertops or documenting what houses young marrieds with scads of money want to buy (incidentally, they are all spoiled brats who won’t consider anything but stainless steel appliances and en suite bathrooms).
And the whole thing came to a head when I saw that he had recorded an hour long documentary about the history of tents. You read that right. Tents have a history. Beyond the Boy Scouts, I guess. And some filmmaker made a whole show about it. For people like my husband, who feel that they need to know about stuff like this. As far as I am concerned, first there were teepees, then Boy Scouts. That is enough to know.
HIM: This is going to be fascinating.
ME: Kind of like the history of knots program? Because I save that one to watch on the nights when I have trouble getting to sleep.
HIM: I watched that show with you about tiny houses. So you owe me one.
As he tuned into the tents show, I did my best to appear interested. For thirty seconds. The next thing I knew, the credits were rolling, my husband was sighing with contentment, and he turned to me and said,
“Did you see the previews at the end? Next week, there is going to be a show about the building of Hoover Dam.”
Kill me now.