Friday, September 21, 2012

I Have No Idea What to Call This One

This is probably not the most original observation I've ever made, but I am fascinated by the changes in one's psyche over time. I am using the word "psyche" here because I don't really think there's a word for what I'm talking about.  It's that Fascinating Thingy that makes you want to do certain things (not "that" certain thing--everyone wants to do "that"!), or like certain things or feel led in a certain direction at any given time.  I guess I could call it "Fascinating Thingy", but that sounds awfully undignified and we all know all dignified I am.  (HA!)

Anyroad, I am not talking about when you're young how you like to play with kids' toys and when you're older you prefer "that" kind of toys; nor am I talking about how when you have kids their likes become your likes, whether you like it or not.  That's called Parenting.  I am as Anti-Sports as you can get, but I spent a helluva lot of time yelling my lungs out at soccer/softball/baseball/rugby games when my kids were younger.  I only follow the Steelers today because my son's a rabid fan.  That's called love, which, coincidentally, is the Major Ingredient in Parenting.

No, I'm talking about. . . well, it's hard to describe, so I'll just give you an example.  For the first eight years I was divorced, I was a television addict.  I paid through the nose (ouch!) for expanded cable so I could watch everything I "needed" to see.  I curtailed 70% of any social outings in favor of watching "Monk" or "Eureka", etc., etc.  I became obsessed with certain shows and wouldn't answer the phone during them.  During the beginning of the new fall season I don't think I even bathed.  (And got even fewer invitations to socialize at that time, strangely enough.)   For a good portion of those eight years, I was dating Bad Steve, and watching TV was one of the only three activities we did together.  And we now how well that turned out.

When I moved to the apartment where I am now, I still watched a lot of TV at first, but then I noticed how incredibly awesome sunsets looked from my porch and how deliciously dramatic thunderstorms were from the same location.  Then I did back-to-back-to-back-to-back shows, and I barely looked at my apartment, let alone television.  Last year, after Angels in America Part Two closed, I had three months off for the first time in a year.  I tried watching TV again and it was like I had been sprayed with television repellent; let's call it Off, because that's what I did to the TV.  So I cut back on my cable channels, just getting the local stuff.   I wanted to keep those because I have watched the Today show in the morning every day of my 60 years and I don't think I could function if it weren't droning in the background.  At first I was worried that I would miss the endless array of crap on TV but I didn't.  I found myself hanging out with friends a lot more and they were way more entertaining than Tony Shaloub, although I am a big Tony Shaloub fan.  Ever see "Primary Colors"  He's great in that movie.  But I digress. . . .

You must realize that this TV addiction did not just start with my divorce.  I was raised by daytime television when I was a kid.  My mom spent 65% of her day on the phone and the rest (Please don't ask me to figure out the other percentage.  I was a Theatre Major.)  doing housework/cooking.  She'd come into the living room a couple times a day to give me food and change the channel.  But the whole idea of "spending time with your kid" never occurred to her.  I do not call that Parenting.  

That's why this turning away from the boob tube is such a big deal to me.  It's not  just switching from Miracle Whip to Hellman's, this is really Life Changing.  A Fascinating Thingy, if you will.  Or, even if you won't.  It's my Fascinating Thingy.  Go get your own.  You'll be glad you did.

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