The Conspiracy Theory

Sam and I are cheap. We may not be the cheapest people on Planet Earth, but we're definitely in the running. We choose to live on one income in a two income world, and for that reason alone we have need to be frugal. But raising 4 kids on one income makes being cheap a necessity born of the need to survive.

One of the things that we've chosen to do without is pay-for television. And I'm not talking Pay-Per-View. I'm talking cable, satellite, and anything other than the basic "put the rabbit ears in the attic and hope for the weather to cooperate" stations that we usually get. A few times over the years we've said how nice it would be to have this channel or that (hello, HGTV), and we've even gone so far as to look into pricing. But we just can't get by the fact that we'd have to pay to watch television. I'd feel the need to get my money's worth out of it and would have that thing on 24/7, thereby upping my electric bill, diminishing what I get done through the day (why have the TV on if you're not watching it?), and turning my already questionable mind to mush. So we have our basic local channels, and we're happy.

Until now. Leave it up to the government to step in and tell us that we have to get cable or we can't watch anything. What's next, telling us that if we don't dust the furniture weekly they'll confiscate the kids because of a health danger? (And if you're a Hattie Housekeeper, how about not making me feel guilty over that, okay?)

So we're taking the plunge. We called our local cable company and asked to be included in their ever-growing number of subscribers. At the end of this month we, too, will have more channels than we can possibly watch, and still complain that nothing is on TV.

We caved. I feel like I've lost a battle somehow.

And just to rub salt in the wound, not only did the government make us eat mac-n-cheese a few extra nights to pay for The Box so that our TV would work after the Great Changeover, then confiscate our "hey, let's eat out" money on a monthly basis so that we can afford cable TV, now they're pushing back the date for the great changeover. Because the government ran out of money they can postpone things. What if I run out of money? What do I get to postpone?

Yeh, I'm a little bitter that I was forced to do something against my free will. But I'll have HGTV, so there's that.

31 comments:

(Keri) Auburn Gal Always said...

Can you not get a digital converter box and hook it up to your tv and existing antennae in your area? My BIL lives in the BOONIES and has 2 (two!) rabbit ear antennae on TOP of his tiny little tv hooked up to his dig converter box and gets PERFECT signal.

And there's no way you could be cheaper than my brother or my BIL. no way.

Look into the digital converter box thing. Here in Alabama, there are places where you have to have an aerial antennae or satellite to get tv. The digital converter box has been pushed very hard here for that reason alone.

(Keri) Auburn Gal Always said...

ps - btw, how was the birthday party? Hope it was blimey good!

Anglophile Football Fanatic said...

I am proud of you. Cable is the world. When we lived on nothing in one of the most expensive areas of the country, we went without almost EVERYTHING in order to have ESPN.

Karen said...

Keri - we have the converter box, and it's working well. But we'll lose some of our local channels when things change over. It's the one that carries the sports that is making Sam buy cable.

fuentes said...

I’m de-lurking, I’m not exactly sure how I found your blog but I love it.

Any who I was anti cable as that is how I was raised than I got married and my husband decided to order cable that way we could be like our fellow Americans and pay to still have nothing to watch. One night after a wedding (and drinking) my husband decided that the TV in general was a time suck and put the thing in our closets, and it stayed there till we moved, than it went into our garage, and than we moved again and some lucky sucker came and picked it up. To make a short story long we have not had TV for over 2 1//2 years and we do not miss it. Any show we want to watch we see online either at the net work web site or on hulu. We use our computer to play movies as well. Yup we are sticking it to the man.

Melissa said...

Somehow I knew sports had to be an issue somewhere! It always is with guys! Welcome to the world of cable. Plan to spend lots more time in front of the tube.

LaskiGal said...

I'd say your post makes me bitter about the gov't, but I'm bitter enough as it.

The good news . . . Discovery, HGTV!!!!!, ESPN (AFF is totally right), A&E, Comedy Central, HGTV. 'nuff to suck the life right outta ya!

The Sports Mama said...

First, I'm not touching the whole cable/satellite thing... without ESPN in our house I'd have three very unhappy bundles of overflowing testosterone.

However, I do want to point out that gathering dust has a benefit.... it makes the landings so much softer when the boys are throwing each other around.

imbeingheldhostage said...

I guess we'll say goodbye now-- not because you don't dust, but because after Curb Appeal, Design on a Dime, Divine Design, Gardening by the Yard, Landscaper's Challenge etc... there will be NO MORE TIME for blogging!
We'll miss you.

I'm sorry you had to cave, that really sucks that people are forced to pay to see tv now-- wait, that's what they do here, only it's called a TV license. We're required to pay this astronomical fee JUST for HAVING a tv in the house, regardless of whether it's plugged in or not.
So now I'm sorry for both of us :-(

Flea said...

We have cable internets, so the TV is fine. Don't watch it anyway. You have fun, there. Been there, done that. Made for bad grades for kids.

Jennifer said...

I dont feel sorry for you, I am envious of you. Where our house is located, we have no TV access - or however you want to call it, meaning we dont get any TV channels because there is no reception. And we are to far away (a whole 6 minutes) from the main road to get cable ran to our house (I think the fact that probably no one else in our area would get cable if it was offered has something to do with them not ever having ran cable lines to where we live.

So I am sitting here in envy of you, not feeling sorry for you at all. LOL. However enjoy HGTV, and all the other channels that you will soon discover.
~Jennifer
http://followingmycatracho.blogspot.com

mommaof4wife2r said...

well, i grew up without cable, but after bedrest and preemie-ness keeping us in the house...i love my cable...and DVR is my friend. i can see any show i love in 1/2 the time, and when it's convenient. it's a little dose of adulthood for me!

The Mom Bomb, a/k/a Folksy Mama said...

What? I'm supposed to dust every week? I guess that explains those giant fuzzy things that periodically roll across the floor.

Trisha said...

I am married to a man who is addicted to television. We have had sattelite/cable/fiber network, whatever you can possibly have, we have had it. I let him play with the remote while I read my books!

As for the dusting - we are trying to train out kitten with the HUGE fluffy tail to just swipe everything as he goes by.

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Caution Flag said...

Call the cable company and tell them you're having trouble with the cable bill. Ours went from $50 per month to their unadvertised plan at $10 per month. Fewer channels, of course, but it felt good for a minute to "win"

Don Mills Diva said...

That is soooo irritating.

My husband and I rant for hours about how much we hate the cable companies...while watching HGTV of course, but still.

the planet of janet said...

ah, i personally would DIE without my cable, but then i have no life.

utmomof 5 said...

Don't get me started on the goverment now telling us how we have to watch TV. I am getting a little sick of them controling EVERYTHING! Okay changing subjects now...

Not only will you have HGTV but I love the Food Network! Really an entire channel all wbout my favorite subject!

Trannyhead said...

Just wait 'till you get to see "Mythbusters" ... *wistful sigh*

HalfAsstic.com said...

Oh, I agree with the entire body of your gripe. But, I have to say that most especially, I agree with your desire to have HGTV.
Fair warning:
You will never again be able to do without it.

Karen Deborah said...

Um I hear you and agree. If my husband didn't have to have football I wouldn't have cable and maybe no TV either. I usually put on a movie if I want to watch something. Blogging takes up a lot of my TV time. I'd like to craft more too. Just think families would play games, tell stories, sing, goof around, and get into spats; but shoot they would be living life instead of watching a box. It's a dilemma. As for the government, you ain't seen nuttin yet. The land of the free is on a down hill slide into socialism.

Irene said...

We have cable, but only the cheapest, most basic cable they offer. My hubby definitely misses having ESPN on a daily basis, but he also can't fathom adding that additional bill every month.

Well, I bet the cable and satellite companies are loving life right now! All the forced converts. So sad.

And the socialism comment? Yup, 100% agree. Scary.

Kidzmama said...

My parents just got the whole converter box thing. We never had cable/dish growing up and they still won't get it.

We have the basic stuff here. Still nothing to watch!

Karen said...

Here is my advice...stay stay away from HGTV....It made me want things I can't afford and feel bad for what I don't have.

Now that I stay away from it, I don't feel as inadequate. I treasure what I have and I don't pine for the things I will never be able to afford.

it is a dangerous channel for self-esteem....at least for me!

i still go to their website when looking for some info. and of course, enter the dream home contest!

I too went many years without paying for tv. Hubby finally won that battle!

Burgh Baby said...

It took Mr. H SEVEN years to get me to finally cave to the Cable Beast. He still, to this day, gets to hear me whine about it every month, too. I hate anything that is a recurring bill. HATE.

red pen mama said...

we're going with the converter box. It's sad to say, but if we get cable, DearDR would never sleep in our bed again. He cannot tear himself away from TV when it's on. I mean even our Dora videos hold him captive. It's pathetic. So, no cable. And I'm okay with that. I would forgo the box, too, but I can't miss Lost or Steelers football.

ciao,
rpm

caramama said...

Apparently I'm in the minority of commenters who love TV and couldn't live without cable. We've talked about going down to a basic package for the costs, but we've got a deal on the extended package because we get our internet through the cable company. I hate the cable company, but I love the cable and internet. I especially LOVE the DVR.

I'm guessing you'll never want to go back. ;-)

Michelle said...

Bummer... but really. If I could find a way to skip cable and still get ESPN and the Food Network, I'd be happy. In fact, I'd actually be ok with no tv at all. Not sure how my husband would feel about that though. And I suppose it *would* make my Super Bowl party sorta difficult ;)

I am a Tornado ~ proven fact! said...

We get like a few channels - guess they call it extended basic ... it's like 30/month. But the girlys get p'd off when we can pause the TV or record stuff for them (like Meme does). I hate paying to watch crappy TV. But I do love my Clean House and Food Network.

Tanya said...

I haven't had cable, since August of 2007. We have a nice 57 inch tv with rabbit ears on top. I however love the digital tv. We get 4 PBS stations and everything else comes in so nice and clear.
Sure, I miss cable sometimes, but I think I'm much happier without it.