The Zombies Ate My Brains

Rescuing what might remain of the grey matter.

Cable Cut-off

 If you’ve read about me , you know I have what might be considered a tendency toward, um, attachment? Addiction? Certainly as regards computer games, I do. And at one time, I was quite attached to the television set.

At the risk of over-simplifying it, let’s just say that I like my entertainment and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Six years ago, it was broke. And it was loud and noisy and bothersome and I was weeping. It was time.

I cannot explain why, but with one or two exceptions, I only watched hit TV programs in re-run. Never during their original telecasts. All in the Family, Mary Tyler Moore, M*A*S*H, Mad About You, Friends, Seinfeld. More recently I’ve watched from back to front, every episode of Corner Gas, and then the spin-off show, Hiccups. That is until YouTube yanked the videos for copyright infringement. Bummer.

You will note that all the programs in the list above are sitcoms, or at the very least, trade on comedy. Not a crime scene, not a court drama among them. That all changed when I met Gil and Sara.

An old boyfriend of mine loved to watch CSI. I watched one or two episodes and before you know it, I was completely engaged with the characters and the story lines. Most appealing was the love affair between two of the investigators, Gil Grissom and Sara Sidle. What got me was the way the writers applied a “less is more” approach. We’d get a hint one episode, a tease two months later. By the cliffhanger episode in season seven, however, there is absolutely no mistake that the two are lovers and deeply devoted to on another. 

CSI - Sara and Grissom

CSI – Sara and Grissom

*…sigh*

And then Sara, or rather, actress Jorja Fox left the series, and that was that. Romance over. Time to switch the channel.

Hold, the phone! What’s this? Well, lookee here, on SPIKE network, every night, I repeat! EVERY NIGHT three episodes back to back. Wall to wall. All of the episodes from season one to season seven.

Old boyfriend is now out of the picture. I’m not over my second divorce. It’s over, for sure, but I haven’t come to terms with that yet. I’m in a new town, a few friends, but mostly I just work and come home to dinner, the cat, and CSI.

SPIKE network is a guys’ channel. All hot rods, and guns and sexy babes and burly brutes during the commercial breaks. Of which there were plenty. Long and loud. You know how they do that, right? Crank up the volume during the ads? Yeah, well.

So, here’s the deal. I’m alone, feeling sorry for myself, falling in love with Sara and Gil over and over and over again. I watched the series through once, then twice. And a third time. But the love story was a just a fragment of what was on-screen. Blood and guts and dark and threats and wall-to-wall nastiness. Stuff I normally avoid at all cost. I don’t want titillation. I don’t want drama or suspense. I don’t want to have those images of mangled, carved up bodies on my retina. During the commercial breaks, I don’t want to see products sold by objectifying a woman’s body. And the noise. The noise! Sirens and screams and roaring engines and the growling of animals lunging at each other’s throats.

One evening, the TV was blaring, and I found myself in tears. I sat on the floor, with the remote control in my hands. I wanted to mute the program during the commercials. But I couldn’t do it. I wanted to turn of the TV entirely, but I could not. I wept for… everything. Poor Sara and Gil and poor me, poor me.  The overwhelming bombardment of noise and images finally broke me down.

I’d like to say that I had an epiphany and that I firmly took matters into hand and yanked the cable out of the wall. I did not. I knew the situation had to change. Part of my wanted it to change. But the other part did not want any more loss in my life. Nor did I want to face the silence of living alone.

It was around this time that I started to date again. Online. Anyone who has gone this route knows that online dating can consume a considerable amount of screen time. I met Reiner, and since it was spring, we spent most of our spare time out-of-doors. We did not watch much TV.  Only after several months weaned from the television set, was I able to follow through and cancel cable.

I do not regret the move. It’s lovely now without the noise. From time to time I might miss a cultural reference in conversation, but that’s hardly a concern.

And good news! While searching for illustrations for this post, I learned that Gil and Sara got married! Happy endings, all around!

—————————————————————————————————————————

This post is inspired by the daily prompt AND the weekly challenge:

with or without you and silence

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/daily-prompt-with-or-without-you/

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/the-sound-of-silence/

DPchallenge, Daily Prompt

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Categories: Daily Post, Personal Growth

Tags: , , ,

18 replies

  1. I hear ya, partly because we don’t have any cable or antenna for our TV, and all the noise that goes with it. I’ve been TV-less most of my life. I only got one for videos. We carefully choose videos that are educational, or nurturing and pleasant…even sappy. If it makes me cry with sadness or laughter, it’s a keeper.

    I love music, and I love silence. I love power outages so I can hear the silence of no electricity…until the neighbors start up their generators.

    Yeah, online dating. Isn’t that fodder for stories! I tried to enjoy the early days of Match.com 🙂

    Like

  2. Hi Grace. I’ve been with TV noise longer than many of my cohorts. Dad was a TV repair man during the 50’s and 60’s. That meant that our household was one of the few in our neighbourhood that had a TV set. (I wonder why it was called a “set”? As in a set of rabbit ears? Huh.) Music on the other hand was limited. I’m going through a phase right now where the radio and CD player are silent.
    As for online dating? Yeah, I think I’ll leave that topic for someone else to tackle. You, maybe? 😉

    Like

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