Wednesday, April 09, 2008

In Which I Cut the Cable

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.

21 comments:

Tola said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SuburbanCorrespondent said...

You will never regret it. It's the best thing you can do for yourself and the kids.

Anonymous said...

Good for you! I can tell you that having been television free for the past eight years, our five year old does NOT present me with long lists of desires and must haves. I'll bet you'll find Christmas much less stressful. :-)

Linds said...

eek! I don't think I'm as strong as you... not right now anyway.

Good for you though!

shawn said...

Hmmm ... that's the debate in our family as we prepare to create two seperate households ... neither of which really wants the TV ... the kids do!!

Current thinking is I'll be the default TV owner ... may offer me background noise to fill the emptiness of no kids around ... time will tell.

So much of cable is pointless tripe ... I doubt any of us will miss it ...

thanks for this Shauna (and thanks for your comment over at Prairie Preacher (Nice profile pic btw!!))

LikeAstaR said...

I am a total tv addict. I can't stgand the quiet.. which is really pathetic, I know. GOod for yoU!

Gustogirl said...

No cable here either. An added expense we don't need either.

Janice said...

Oh my heck, i could never cut my cable, how sad, at least i can admit it.

I love High School Reunion, shh dont tell....

Chris said...

Good for you. I am afraid to take that step into the unknown. For now we are "claiming" BYU tv. That is the reason for cable. We lived years without it, and then for the DH we got it so he did not disappear every football season to other homes. :-) Now I am probably as bad as any of the kids if not worse. After all, I can find any episode of Law and Order anytime of day. :-)

Tola said...

pretend my first comment is still there, but invisible. the offer stands, but on the down-low.

Kristi O said...

You are crazy! I mean it, first you tried to give up the nectar of the god's diet coke and now you have diconnected Top Chef? wow you need to move home and move home now!!!!!

Spammon said...

My dad cut the cord on our TV when we were little. I think it was about 3 days in that I realized I can just plug those bare wires directly into the outlet and it worked like a charm.

JaniceNW said...

Um NO. I need mindless breaks from the teenage drama and angst and algebra!!!! I know once I start the LPN program in Sept my viewing days will be much over except for House cuz NO ONE gets between me and Hugh!!

Your kids are still at flexible ages and adapt well.

Hugs for all you have to do and all you do for your kids. You are AWESOME Woman!

Eileen said...

I beg my husband to cut the cable. He remind me we would loose our internet connection too, and then I change my mind. I would love it if we had no cable, I never watch it. Can't say the same about the rest of them. Except when we go on spring break, to our beach house in Maryland, the kids don't even miss it. They read, walk on the beach, look for sharks teeth, etch. It is great.

shauna said...

You guys are too kind. I'm really not that fabulous--just too poor to afford cable. Although I have to admit the house is quieter and my kids much more creative. I'm a true TV addict at heart though--I think I'll always binge when cable's around. So sad...

And does anyone know what's up with blogger? I have a hard time posting comments to some blogs and have heard the same about mine. Any ideas on that one?

Liza's Eyeview said...

WE did that 15 years ago. Seriously.

Before my husband and I got married, he made a decision to cut the cable so it won't be an issue in our marriage. He tends to watch everything on TV, the good and the bad, so cutting the cable is one of the best decisions he's made. It didn't bother me. It's good for our kids. we get our showbiz news from other sources such as internet and People magazine :)

Melodrama Mama said...

I hear you loud and clear on the positive ramifications of kids being uninformed on the most recent happy meal toys! And also on the lost remote issues. I have not cut the cable cord, but we have a strict no TV on school days rule - which, for fairness, I abide by as well. It is amazing how much time is available in a day when there is nothing on the tube.

Kapuananiokalaniakea said...

I think that my children watch more tv now that I am working full time than they did when I was home full time and able to do a better job monitoring and re-directing. I have mixed feeling about it. On the one hand, if they're vegging in front of the tv, they're not getting into other mischief. On the other hand, if they're vegging in front of the tv, they're vegging in front of the tv.

Nan said...

We moved house eight years ago, and left the TV behind. It was a GREAT move. My kids READ! And play board games! And... Get this... Wash the dishes! And vacuum the floor! Heh, heh.

Carrie Wilson Link said...

And cutting the cable dovetails nicely into WW! Take an A! You've dumped the frump!

Becky said...

oh Shauna.....you are a brave woman.

I couldn't do it. I think I would panhandle before I cut the cord. I have a serious addiction to my DVR and all the shows I record.

It is wise of you though in regards to your kids. I agree. Remember the days when TV was a treat (like when we were kids)?