Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Men and Television

What is it with the way men watch television? I have been listening to Joshua watching Law and Order in the den (because he keeps it up very loud on account of he's deaf and I was eating in the kitchen). So he turns it on in the middle of an episode and then proceeds to watch the rest of the episode with every indication of enjoyment. He also settles down to watch a basketball game or something and then starts switching channels back and forth, which makes no sense to me...I mean, basketball is FAST. I would think you'd miss all kinds of exciting stuff that way. (I am as interested in basketball as I am in any sport - i.e., practically not at all. I can appreciate basketball for the skill involved, I think it's fun to go out to the ball park and waste an early summer afternoon eating popcorn and hot dogs and drinking beer in the bleachers, and I used to love to go to the Chicago Blackhawks' hockey games - again, because it's such a fast sport - but mostly sports leave me cold. Like many women I can, however, manage to keep a vague eye on them if there's some man I feel the need to impress.)

Matthew (my husband) used to do the same thing. He would turn on a show and then start flipping through the channels the instant a commercial came on - and then rejoin the original ten minutes after it started again.

How do these guys ever figure out what the plot is? Sarah and I made Matthew quit pulling this one during the X-Files, because if you missed one single second of that show, you were totally lost. Half the time you were totally lost anyway, but at least you'd seen the whole show.

Matthew also had two deeply annoying television habits. One was that he got a thing about certain shows and would watch the reruns incessantly, without giving any indication that he'd ever seen the show before. I cannot tell you how many times I've seen certain episodes of MASH - and much as I loved the show the first time around, I had no great desire to see every episode six times. The other thing was that whenever any show came on he would announce that it was an episode we'd seen before and stick to this in the face of all common sense, such as me and Sarah telling him that it happened to be the season opener of a brand new season. He would say this about every single show that came on - every single show. Why I found this so annoying I couldn't possibly tell you, but I did.

I have actually mostly given up on television. I'd rather read, to begin with, and I'd rather shoot myself than watch a reality show - so that pretty well leaves me with old movies and the one series I do watch religiously, which is Rescue Me with Denis Leary, for which I have a passion. (Also I have a terrible crush on Denis Leary as Tommy Gavin - let's see - alcoholic, drug-abusing Irish guy with issues - you know this is my kind of man. No wonder I don't date.)

There was one reality show I did used to cast an eye on every now and then (because it was on before something I actually wanted to watch and I'd turn the television on early). This was a thing called The Swan, where they took these plug-ugly broads from Little East Armpit, Ohio or some damn where and put them through grueling diets and exercise regimes and plastic surgery and God knows what all and then they turned out gorgeous. What fascinated me about all this (for the last ten minutes or so of the show, which was all I ever watched of the thing) was that they all turned out looking exactly alike. Every single time. They all ended up with the same new noses, the same new hairdos, the same kind of evening gown. And to a woman, they all looked like pageant winners. "And now, Miss Little East Armpit, Ohio!" All of them - bouffant hair, spike heels, clingy (and unattractive) evening dress...identical. It was deeply weird. What was even weirder was that they were all going back to live on the farm where they would have absolutely no reason to wear any of this stuff or do anything at all where they could show off the new look - I assure you it wouldn't play at church on Sunday which, as far as I could figure out, was the only place these gals ever went. Well, if it made them happy - what the hell. I just could never figure out why anybody would want to turn themselves into a Barbie doll. Anyway, I'm sure it boosted their self-esteem no end, and that can't be a bad thing.

I think I'll play some solitaire and go to sleep. I tell you - this fast pace is killing me.

Love, Wendy

1 comment:

Sarah Booz said...

That channel flipping thing isn't a Man thing. I do it too.