And That's Why I Don't Watch Television

A few years back, we pulled the plug on cable television. We're not one of those families that had a sit down with the kids and told them that they were watching far too much and we were just going to go cold turkey, or the kind of family that wakes up one day and decides that there's nothing worth watching on television. It was far less complicated than all that. We just couldn't afford the bill. Sure, it was a bit of an adjustment for a while, but the timing was perfect. It was early spring. We headed outdoors instead of sitting on the sofa, and we've been entertaining ourselves ever since.

Do we miss television? Sometimes. Do we wish we had it back? Sometimes. (I know. I'm so profound.) But we do have Netflix, because that only costs $8 per month and we can afford that. Netflix is a better fit for our family at this point, because each kid can watch what they want, when they want to, on their own device. This frees up our televisions to.... never be watched. I honestly can't remember the last time we even turned on the television in our bedroom, which was fairly brand new just about the time we cut the cable off.

Sam will watch shows on the internet or Netflix, and if I'm sitting around in the evening beside him, I'll watch too. There are a few TV shows he follows, and I enjoy them but just can't get into them enough to even remember to watch the next episode if he isn't there to remind me that they exist. I suck at television watching. If there was an Olympic sport for it, a whole lot of Americans would medal. I wouldn't even make tryouts.

But last evening, Sam watched House Hunters International, followed by Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. You guys, those are the types of shows that I can seriously get into. In fact, when we are at a hotel, the family lamely sits around and watches the Food Channel. We're all foodies at heart.

Don't worry, it hasn't affected my cooking at all. Sadly.

But while watching these shows that I love so much last evening, I realized that watching television probably isn't good for me. I am not a high  maintenance kind of person. I don't insist on name brands (but will happily wear them if I find them at Salvation Army on half price day), I love handbags but have a maximum limit of $20 that I'll spend on one, and I'm getting quite the shoe collection as well. Although that $20 limit also stands on shoes. Less is better, of course.  And even though Sam complains about my shoes and purses, if he'd see how many of these things most women have he'd soon realize that my collection is far less a collection and very much like the few trinkets a boy will turn out of his pockets at the end of the day. (In other words, it's rather small and pathetic, but priceless to me.) I do not wear expensive make-up (when I wear make-up at all), and I do not like jewelry. Much. My most precious pieces of jewelry consist of $0.50 Etsy earrings that I pretty much wear for every occasion, a rock on a leather string that Luke gave me as a necklace, and various bracelets that I collect wherever I go for $5 or less. These things make me happy. Real jewelry does not. At all. I am not into perfumes or manicures or even random home decor. I'm happiest being outdoors, digging in the dirt, playing with rocks, watching the dogs and surrounded by my family. It's the simple things in life that I treasure the most. I am low maintenance.

But I do love to travel. And eat out. And these shows that I love to watch only feed the wanderlust and cravings. While watching these fun shows last evening, I decided that someday I would love to buy a vacation home in another country. One that's ridiculously cheap to buy a vacation home in so that we could get a place for next to nothing. And it would be fabulous to become part of another culture for a while, until we missed home, and then we'd come back home until we felt the need to travel again. And we could eat at all sorts of fun places. The locals in our vacation country of choice would love us. We'd keep the little restaurants open all by ourselves, with our patronage. We'd eat fabulous things that are weird and wonderful and that I could never recreate at home.

And if we got tired of that location and that house and that food, we could sell that house in that location and find another house in another country and try that food. It would be an adventure every day. And it would be amazing. And expensive. Which is exactly why watching television is really, really bad. Sadly, we can't afford what the TV tells me that I want.

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