I have a confession to make. I love TV.
Oh yawn, right? Who doesn’t love TV? The Wire—that was a seriously good show. And Top Chef. Tote’s addictive. Amiright?
No, I mean I LOVE TV. Like, love the local news where dogs cover the top animal stories (really). Love season 39 of ANTM. Love the infomercial where two weirdos clean floors, all sorts of floors, with a $200 steam vacuum, and then die of joy from the process. One time I watched a program on public access that showed slo-mo footage of bacon frying on a grill while Phish albums played start to finish in the background. I watched that. Watched it stone cold sober. The bacon never got fully cooked.
So when I say I love TV I mean all TV, regardless of merit.
Which is why I had to quit it. Like all things that are wonderful in moderation—wine, taffy, guacamole crema in black bean soup—I overindulged until I was sick. My skin took on a minty green complexion. My tush started to reach sofa-like proportions. My knowledge of the intricacies of shows like Design Star and The Biggest Loser was beginning to make me a liability at parties. I heard myself tell a friend, “Well, according to Oprah…”. I had seen every episode of Hoarders and Hoarding.
The cable had to go.
At first, as with any dying love affair, I tried to find ways to hang on too long. I logged on to FoodNetwork.com and watched a few seasons of Food Network Star, just casually. I could quit any time. During middle of the night nursing sessions I watched dozens of episodes of House Hunters and House Hunters International on Hulu. And yes, there was a time when I invited myself over to a friend’s house to watch a Lifetime marathon of Project Runway. (And she let me. I have some very patient friends.)
But over time I began to see that in fact, there could not be 10 new Food Network Stars every 5 years without changing the definition of either “star” or “food network”. The Biggest Losers were putting the weight back on in months. Oprah retired or something. The hoarding reality shows didn’t even impress me anymore. After I heard myself remark during an episode of Hoarders Incorporated something like, “You call yourself a hoarder? I can see your carpet, you big drama queen. Call me when you get some cats!” I knew it was time to move on. TV and I were through.*
And thank God for that. Just as I was starting to really get over my tether to the tube, my infant son was getting over that whole “sleeping for more than 20 minutes at a time” thing. My evenings became a whirlwind of diaper laundry, toy corralling, disgusting-old-leftover-reheating, and falling asleep on the bed fully clothed. By the time that the infant sprint was turning into the more manageable toddler marathon, I was mostly over the tube… and as a result, had the time to take out my knitting once more, email old and new friends, read appallingly large stacks of thrillers and romances, and yes, catch up on sleep. I wasn’t enslaved by the need to know whether Lemone or Minqo would be sent home this week on America’s Next Top Biggest Super Talent Factor (I hope it was Lemone. That guy’s a jerk).
And it was good.
Almost as good as Season One of Hoarders.
*Ha ha not really! I still love NBC’s Thursday night lineup and Gilmore Girls reruns and does anyone have the first season of Revenge I could borrow?