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.