Saturday, February 25, 2012

Things My Wife Complains About #20: Watching Television

My wife watches a lot of what I consider to be good television. She watches dramas like Mad Men and she watches comedies like Modern Family. She also has a seemingly insatiable appetite for terrible television, which three factors have conspired to bring out in horrifying fashion.

Factor #1: DVR. Because FIOS is cheaper than Time Warner, I felt justified in paying extra for DVR technology, which has emboldened my wife to record shows she would never risk the shame of watching in real time. Did you know, for instance, that there are several programs about families with at least ten children? That there are several programs about people with hoarding disorders? That my wife has watched, or is currently watching, all of these programs?

Factor #2: Netflix streaming. With the assistance of the Roku box, my wife is able to stream some of the worst programs, documentaries, and films ever created. Many of these shows nobody has ever heard of, including the people involved in the acting, production, and distribution (I leave out writing because these shows could not possibly have employed writers). It is not uncommon to find my wife on Episode 72 of a show that not a single person alive has seen.

Factor #3: James. At the age of ten months, James does exactly two things: (1) run into things and (2) cry about having run into things. If you put James in a rubber room with no furniture, he would run into the rubber wall, cry about having run into the rubber wall, and begin licking the rubber while also crying. While James does the two things he does, my wife often watches television.

James at 9 Months 2012
Factor #3

What does my wife complain about? You're not going to believe this, but there are a few things. She complains about my skill operating the DVR. I fast forward too fast. That's an actual complaint. When I offer to let her operate the DVR, she complains that I won't do it for her.

She complains that I turn off the television when she's not watching it. The idea is that she might want to watch it again soon, and if she does, what is she supposed to do? Turn it back on??? My wife mistakes energy efficiency for not caring. We had a conversation about this.

She complains that Netflix doesn't offer closed captioning, an essential when James is crying on the floor, which again is half of the time. This is not a complaint against me, but my wife sees Netflix's lack of closed captioning as one of the singular injustices of the modern world.

Possible Solutions!

1) Unplug television
2) Never turn off television, practice DVRing, hire a stenographer to write transcript of Netflix dialogue
3) Teach James to do more than two things (hard)

James at 9 Months 2012
James's pensive face

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