I am not a fan of television.
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate TV and I don’t turn my nose up at people who love it. I just don’t have the same attraction to it many others seem to have towards it. I can’t sit for that long or find myself that intrigued by characters or long running series as much as others. And I don’t know from where my defect was born. Certainly not from my family! I should be genetically predisposed to love television. Some of my earliest memories include weekly rituals of certain foods being eaten on certain days because the prep and clean up time of dinner could be altered easily for the Carol Burnet Show or M.A.S.H.
From my mother, to my cousins, to my children and my husband ,to my friends at work I accept there are certain nights when people cannot be disturbed upon threat of bodily harm and days when discussions of shows and characters become comparable to lectures from the best universities in the world on the significance of Shakespeare or as heated at as the Glen Beck show.
During these discussions I remain pretty quiet.
More than once my lack of viewing has been considered suspect by my loved ones. Often people try to correct it, as if my lack of general interest in television is due to either my limited view of the world or an alarming lack of sophistication. I will share a couple of examples….
Once my cousin’s wife, who really is more of a sister to me, discovered I had not been watching a particular series about a hard nosed police woman in a gritty Seattle setting. Her partner was a drug addict, children were kept in closets while their parents were graphically murdered and young prostitutes with obligatory hearts of gold were violated with all manner of household devices. When she discovered I had not been watching this show she set aside a night for me to watch all of season 1 and highlights of season 3. In her mind, I was really not enjoying the show because I hadn’t seen the “really significant” first episodes. It was agonizing! Worse than suffering the indignity of having an ice cream scoop shoved you know where.
In example two, I was told to my face I must not be a very intelligent person because I was not riveted by the epic lavish photography of the mind numbingly long episodes of Planet Earth. In my rush to save face I told everyone at the lunch table I loved the preview for the ocean episodes. No one commented and more than one chair scooted slightly away from me at the table.
Almost daily, my hidden secret shame still threatens to expose me as the abomination I have become.
I try to hide my ignorance and fake my way through discussions of Game of Thrones, the Blacklist, Sherlock Holmes and others just as I did when the Sopranos, Dexter and The Big Bang Theory were worshipped at the alters of DVR.
I long for the support group I have yet to find, where we all sit in a circle in cold, dull gray metal chairs sipping on bad coffee and crying. Discussing how it all started in childhood, how even then we knew were were different when we didn’t really care to see the Donny and Marie special and how we tried to hide our uncaring attitudes at school.
Now I can feel you sneering. You will look away in disgust because you think I am going to say “books are better” or “I would rather read,” but I’m not stupid.
I know all to well how often I take my life in my hands when I can’t pretend to get excited when it’s announced at my house a Duck Dynasty or Walking Dead marathon is coming on.
I do not ask for understanding….I only beg for acceptance.