Monday, May 12, 2008

The Year Without a Santa Claus

One whole year! There was a time I would have thought this impossible. Along the same lines as solving the general quintic equation in radicals, or squaring a circle, or a black man or woman becoming president of the United States of America (wait, that one may not be so impossible after all).
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But it has been one whole year, 365 days, 4380 hours, or 262,800 minutes without cable television in our household. Yeah, you read that right. DO NOT adjust your screen. It's all horrifically true. After we decided to cut the cord, we gasped pathetically for cinematic nutrients for several days, and went through several evenings of the shakes and chills. We eventually did regress a bit and bought a set of 'bunny ears' to pick up the local stations in an effort to feed our hungry television deprived souls. We watched the local stations for a while, but that eventually dissolved away once we realized that we had to endure the commercials and fuzzy pictures. Not really worth it after all.

There was a time when I would have thought all this something akin to 'The year without a Santa Claus' or possibly living under the watchful eye of Chairman Mao while being a professed capitalist. The very thought brought an involuntary Hebe Gebe pulsating though my body.
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Why, then, did we make the decision to give up this important part of our life? Well, that's a good question. I often asked myself that too. The answer is, of course, that I am a pragmatic man. Mrs. LIAYF in all her infinite wisdom spelled out to me the virtues of a tubeless household once our baby boy arrived, and dam if she didn't have some very good points.

We weren't going to have time to watch television with a baby. Television is bad for babies to watch. Television is costing us upwards of $75 a month and we are going to be cash strapped after baby. And her most compelling argument of all... 'Everything on t.v. is pretty much crap anymore anyway!".

She had me right there. So I made the call. Remembering back, I believe that I had to say something like "Yes, I am sure this is what I want to do" several times to an obviously disappointed and increasing irritated cable sales guy, who probably went home and committed Hara-kiri or at least stood at the edge of the overpass for a few moments thinking hard, after he failed to convince me to change my mind. This was even after offering me 2 whole free months of said cable service. At one point his best argument was "People just can't get by these days without t.v." to which my response was "I think that alone is a good case for stopping my service".

So, the deed was done. We suffered for a while, but miraculously survived.

How exactly did we do it? Sounds like a topic for a follow-up post. Maybe I'll delve deeper into how we managed to survive a whole year without television and how our perspectives have changed since.

Stay tuned!

7 comments:

mattnando said...

Holy crap!!! That is impressive, most impressive indeed. Congrats.

Darren said...

I went for eight years without cable TV when I lived in Manhattan. It started just because I was poor, but then I never bothered to get cable. Unfortunately, I'm now hooked again.

Thanks for the b-day wishes.

James Austin said...

Thanks Matt. It has not been as difficult as I thought it would be.

By the way, I checked out 'Digital Perm'. Great Stuff! That shame video really cracked me up.

James Austin said...

Your welcome Darren. Do you feel 40 yet? Oh, sorry. I mean 30-10. Don't want to be dropping that f-bomb.

living in Manhatten? Who would need T.V.?

Whit said...

We went without a TV for awhile and it wasn't bad.

I disagree on the TV being bad for kids though. Elmo has helped my boys through some very rough times.

James Austin said...

Whit, we will definitely be back at some point. This is just temporary. Haven't missed it much yet though.

Billy's Mom said...

WOW! Congrats to both of you! It's something hard, I mean really hard to do nowadays! Congrats!