About three weeks ago I cut the cable. To our television, that is. I wish I could say it was for noble reasons: to end to the promotion of unhealthy social norms, the hijacking of valuable freelance time, and my three-year old’s uncanny ability to recognize the trademarks and ad slogans for all preschool toys. But simply put, it was an unnecessary indulgence. Okay, okay. More simply put, I could no longer afford it.
I expected long and excruciating tantrums after which I would have to explain how important it is to entertain oneself rather than sit mindlessly in front of a television set. I’m proud to say I haven’t thrown one of those tantrums yet this week. So I’m getting better.
My kids, on the other hand, are taking it well. Thankfully, my decision to cut the cable came simultaneously with the first sign of spring. (Now tell me you don’t believe in God.)
So I am the one experiencing withdrawals.
I realized just how bad my—ahem—problem was when visiting my parents over spring break, or as I like to call it, Spring Cable Binge. I watched things I wouldn’t even watch when paying for my own cable. Really, who wants to see an old rock star try to find his true love among scantily-clad women with a foul vocabulary? Last week, apparently I did (but only when “High School Reunion” was on commercial break).
But when not on Spring Cable Binge I watched much more reputable programs like Project Runway and Top Chef. In fact, I waited for the finale of Project Runway to air before I made that fateful call to discontinue our cable service. Someone asked, “Why didn’t you just watch the Season Premier of Top Chef after that? One episode isn’t going to hurt you.” I replied (trying to hide the hand tremors and initial signs of hyperventilation), “Oh, who cares about Top Chef anyway…”
So I’ve cut that umbilical cord to the mother of pop culture and I’m fairing well. There really are a lot of cableless perks, including but not limited to the following: the realization that 24 hours in one day is really quite a lot; my children are no longer aware which toys are currently being distributed with Happy Meals; and most importantly, I no longer waste time looking for the remote.
Come on. Admit it.
You’re thinking about cutting your cable now too.