Friday, May 13, 2011

Cutting the Cord

Is it strange that I often leave the bathroom door open when I'm about to do my business since I know that one of the cats (98% of the time, Mr. I-Do-What-I-Want Winston) will join me for the adventure, anyway. If only he knew how to close it behind him, we'd be all set.

Don't you hate when you email someone only to discover that you never attached the important document in the first place? This is, somehow, even more embarrassing when it's your husband (rather than, say, your boss), who usually has a glowing opinion of how intelligent you are. He has no idea what he's gotten into. Hee hee.

I suppose there is a purpose to this post, after all! So, last Friday evening while awaiting the hub's return and fooling around with Photoshop, I also found myself wasting time searching the Internet. I do this way more than I probably should. Email, email, email. The occasional FB look-in (while I have tried to swear it off, I've won perhaps 85% of that battle). Reading up on Sherry/John, Kate & Layla - they're my virtual friends, they just don't know it. Reading random Yahoo articles. Then, it occurred to me that I really haven't been watching that much TV lately.

Sure, we're up to date on the latest non-Michael "The Office" (sniffle, sniffle), which had us both slack-jawed at the end last night. We peruse the higher-up channels when there's "nothing on". But, honestly, if I'm going to waste time and feel badly about it...I can do it just as easily sitting here at good ol' lappy.

After skimming through a Yahoo article about cost cutting, the thought of cutting down our cable to the "basics" ran through my mind for the zillionth time. Dave and I have discussed it lots. And lots and lots and lots. 'N lots 'n lots. I'll get upset over Time Warner's ability to charge both and arm AND a leg while providing a crappy cuts-in-and-out signal. Yet, the comfort of flipping to Food Network and Planet Green have overtaken us. On Demand has consumed Dave. And don't get me started on the random Katharine Hepburn interview TCM gifted me recently. We're strange phases. At times, it's a regular part of our daily lives. At other times, we've escaped without even realizing it.

But, after receiving my latest Time Warner bill as well as a "friendly reminder, you were overdrawn" notice from my bank (even though I had the $ in the account...apparently the computer just thought it was too close for comfort and decided to transfer funds FOR me), I thought, "Well, this is ridiculous." I called Time Warner Cable and downgraded - same Internet (still costly, but in my opinion, NECESSARY), basic cable.

After hanging up with the rather shocked customer service rep, I immediately came to my senses. Several minutes later, I got up off the floor (just kidding) with a heavy heart (not kidding). "This will be good for us. This will force me to be a better housekeeper. This will force me to pay attention to my garden more this year. This will strengthen our relationship. This will help us to be creative. This will give us more time with our friends and family, and each other." I'm still coming up with positive affirmations to try and convince myself that this was right. And, hey, if it wasn't, I can always get it back...but I'd like to at least try.

Besides, we have streaming Netflix and the "Internet Channel" on Wii. Maybe I'll just have to learn how to use that thing, after all, for something other than Wii Fit (which, sorry to say, I haven't been paying much attention to lately -- another for the "Cable-Less To-Do List").

So, are any of you trying to simplify your lives a bit, either for financial, environmental or other personal reasons? Any advice for the newly cableless?

P.S. A special message to you, my stand-out stations in a rash of crappy reality series and immature comedies. The channels that lifted me up, that taught me, that inspired me, and that transported me to other times. I will miss you, Food Network and Cooking Channel, for your sweet personalities and attainable recipes. HGTV and DIY Network, for your design gods (like Genevieve, Sarah and Candace), DIY handymen and house-selling gurus, I thank and will miss you, too. But, mostly, to Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz, and your cast of a thousand timeless stars - I will cry silently over losing my TCM. As my family taught me, even if you have the movie on recording (back then, VHS; now, DVD), there's nothing like the excitement of seeing it "live" on TV, knowing that thousands of other people are enjoying it at that moment just as much. Let's hope the separation is bearable and that I can overcome it with eventual grace.


  1. Just so you know it is not strange to leave the door open while you are doing your business. Sometimes my 17 month old does not want me out of his sight, so I leave the door open. He can see me from his highchair and just smiles. I have done the email thing a ton of times. Both at work and sending things to the hubby.
    I commend you on going with basic cable. I hope to do that some day, even if it was just in the summertime. Growing up I rarely watched TV. I was either outside playing or playing or reading in my room. My Mom even had to beg me to watch Christmas specials. I wish I could still live that way. Maybe again someday!

    Danielle Barrett Hughes

  2. I DARE you to go a month TV free, and see what doors that opens 8^D I've never owened one. I have lived with people that do, and I do watch an occasional movie on my laptop and spend a LOT of time on the internet... but I am just curious as to how it would go. Capt. Kangaroo said, "If you want more time in your life, stop watching tv." I couldn't agree more, and am always curious about what people would do with the time!

  3. LOL Thanks for the comments, Danielle! I recall spending a lot more time outside than in front of the TV as a kid, but not quite as extreme as you were -- that's awesome!

    Hee hee, nice try daring, Sar. ;-) I have a feeling that the less options we have, the more apt Dave and I will be to do things together (rather than just SITTING together, watching a show). Let me get over the initial shock and get used to the adjustment...then I might just take you up on your dare. ;-)