08 June 2009

"You walked into the party..." --Carly Simon

Saturday I meet one of those "I don't watch TV" people. You know what I mean?

Here's what I don't mean: There are plenty of people who don't watch TV for one reason or another and they are pleasant people. I have no problem with these people.

Then, there's the "I don't watch TV" people who feel it's important to let you know--often repeatedly--that they don't watch TV because it's beneath them/it's a waste of time/their lives are so full they couldn't possibly be bothered with television. They've made a judgment and therefore, by contrast, you're being judged.

We are at a party Saturday, enjoying the nice weather (after a week of rain) and drinking daiquiris made from fresh strawberries and eating food with genuine grill marks in it. There are probably ~50 of us in various clusters of lawn chairs.

Somehow television comes up three different times in the midst of talking about a dozen topics. (Note: I do not initiate all of these conversations but I may be "to blame" for one.) Each time, Ms. I Don't Watch Television (IDWT) interjects that she doesn't watch television.

Yeah, okay, so maybe it's time for her to sit quietly and enjoy the sun or go get another daiquiri or mingle with a a different set of folks for a while or even introduce a new topic. It's not like anyone turned to her and asked, "What do you think of Lost?" to which a natural response would be "Is that a TV show? I don't watch television."

It was more along the lines of:

Friend: Who Wants to be a Millionaire is going back into production.

Me: Really? I had no idea. Are you going to try out?

Friend: Yeah, I think I am!

Ms. IDWT: I don't watch television.

By the third time, she is volunteering so much more, without prompting, that I turn my attention to her, thinking maybe this will meet whatever need she's determined to express.

Ms. IDWT: I don't watch TV. We just never turn it on. We have a TV but we just don't watch it. We used to watch CSI but we don't even do that anymore.

Me: Is that right...

Ms. IDWT: We're so busy with other things that we just never turn it on.

Me: What do you do with your evenings?

Ms. IDWT: We drink wine and play scrabble and enjoy each other's company.

Me: That's nice.

Ms. IDWT: Even my sixteen-year-old doesn't watch TV. She doesn't turn it on.

Me: She's probably too busy with the computer and texting her friends...

Ms. IDWT: No, she's not into that.

Me: *blink* That's unusual.

Ms. IDWT: I guess it is. She's a great kid and she has a great boyfriend. He's in Florida.

Me: Florida? How did she meet him if he's in Florida?

Ms. IDWT: Over the Internet.

At this point I am done with this woman. Her daughter isn't into computers but she's got a boyfriend she met over the Internet. Chyeah.

Look, I get that television is rarely an intellectual pursuit. That the quality of television continues to sink to new lows. I, myself, have chosen at times to go multiple weeks without television. Any television.

But, currently? I watch television. So what?

I've spent sick days with the television on all day. I've gotten through bad times by doing what I can about a sucky situation and then diverting my attention from the suckitude by watching comedies. What's wrong with that? Why is it such a badge of honor to some people that they don't watch television?


Maxie said...

What an attention whore. She obviously just wants to seem deep and interesting. If you don't watch tv, that's fine, but I can't stand it when people abstain from it just so they can say they do.

Narm said...

Is 'the internet' a show?

Sorry, I don't watch television.

Fearless in Toronto said...

I love catching IDWT people in their horrible lies. Because we all know that secretly...they are watching Celebrities Lost in the Jungle, or whatever the hell it's called. Just like me.

Liebchen said...

She only thinks she knows what her 16-year-old is doing. Not a chance...

Anonymous said...

People who don't watch television are missing out. Everything I know, I've learned from TV. My bartender the other night was one of those "I don't watch tv" types.

repliderium.com said...

It's a badge of honour because they think it makes them "interesting"

Anonymous said...

I tend to wonder about people who don't watch tv. Like, what do they do. Scrabble and wine? Really? Every night? Not possible.

Mike said...

"Ms. IDWT: Over the Internet."

Liebchen is more that right.

Wv: abbarier - A wall that keeps ABBA out of your yard.

Mike said...

Liebchen is more THAN right.

One of these days I'll start spell checking ..... maybe.

Wv: comia - Hey youse, comia.

SingLikeSassy said...

OK, non-TV watchers tune out. But don't look all clueless and ish when you don't get any of the pop culture references in a conversation.

Herb of DC said...

...and you just know that Florida boyfriend is actually in prison there.

HP said...

That is one of my biggest pet peeves. Um, it is possible that there are shows on TV with artistic merit that one can enjoy without the fear of one's brain totally rotting and falling out of one's left ear. So short-sighted

Barbara said...

I only watch "24" which happens to be over for this season. But now I also watch funny movies, which are doing wonderful things for my psyche. "Office Space" had me in stitches last night. I loved the fact that I predicted things like the nerdy boss's car getting towed, the slacker main character getting promoted, etc. Maybe I should write funny movies...

Little Ms Blogger said...

Maybe she doesn't watch t.v. because she drinks too much playing scrabble and falls on the floor before reaching the remote.

This this would also explain how she doesn't know that her 16 year old is on the Internet....

If she's ever at another party, you should interject with how you watch t.v. ALL the time and how much you've learned from (insert trashiest tv show on at moment).

Dmbosstone said...

Some people do think they are above everyone because they don't watch TV. Now I don't watch TV at home but that doesn't mean that I don't watch it in general, and I don't watch a lot of shows but that doesn't mean I'm not feverishly watching the ones I do watch.

I say we should all enjoy watching TV!

Al In The County said...

I would comment on this, but I don't read blogs.

G said...

I really have NO patience/tolerance for those who need to let you know they are a level up intellectually for whatever reason. I do love the way you skilfully reacted to this asshole.

Alex said...

Does she have a "Kill Your Television" bumper sticker?

LiLu said...

Narm, I love you.

In other news, I have a friend just like this. I sort of go out of my way to talk about the stupidest television shows possible about them.

It hurts to watch so much Keeping Up With the Kardashians... but it's worth it.

Cyndy said...

If I had a TV, believe me, I'd be watching it. A Lot!!!

sstarlinus said...

I have chosen not to own or watch television for nearly seven years at this point. It was a time issue, and frankly there were other things in my life to which I preferred to allot my time. That being said, it even bothers me when fellow non-TV watchers pre-emptively announce their no TV watching. The only way you would ever get it out of me is if you either a) came to my apartment and saw that there was no TV, or b) you asked me everyday if I watch 'x' show or 'y' show, and when I respond no, proceed to describe your favorite scenes from the previous night.
To toss it out at every mere utterance of the word television gives the rest of us a bad name.

Lora said...

my coworker is one of these.
she's also never been drunk, because she doesn't drink.
she has never had a cup of coffee. nor a cigarette. nor been out past midnight. nor been in the same room as an illegal drug.

just ask her, she will tell you, over and over and over again.

she is not religious, or even spiritual. she just doesn't see a reason for any of these things.

it drives me batty.

f.B said...

how i would have loved to be there for that. not that i would've been confrontational. i would've been super-confrontational.

lacochran said...

Maxie, Fearless in Toronto: Right?!

Narm: Good one. :)

Liebchen: My thoughts exactly.

liferehab: Me, too!

Fiery Nuggets: Right? At least have a good alibi.

Mike: She's right in more ways that we can say.

SingLikeSassy: THANK you. Sometimes I think I should watch more movies just so I understand the pop references.

Herb of DC: Actually, she's thinking of moving him north and into the house with the 16-year-old. Clearly a very good idea.

HP: It is! It is!

Barbara: "Office Space" is sheer brilliance. SO funny!

Little Ms Blogger: I like your plan.

Dmbosstone: Hear! Hear!

Al in the Country: Ha! Well played!

G: It does get old quickly, doesn't it?

Alex: Probably. I didn't check.

LiLu: The sacrifices we make for the greater good.

Cyndy: And I wouldn't think less of you for it.

sstarlinus: Sounds like you aren't an asshat. You'll never make it in this area. :)

Lora: She sounds like a lot of fun. NOT!

f.B: OOoo, give me the words for next time!

lacochran said...

repliderium.com: Kooky! That's what people are! (Sorry I somehow skipped you on the first response. You are so worthy of not skipping!)

repliderium.com said...

lol.... I can barely listen to myself let alone respond to everyone! You're still tops in my book! ;)

Reya Mellicker said...

Even the beautiful rose needs manure to grow.

Kate said...

Apparently on a first "blind" date with friends, I said, "I don't watch movies." about twenty bazillionty times and he's in the movie business. It came as a total surprise to my friends when we went out in the parking lot and I told them I liked him and wanted to see him again. Ha! I'm a supreme dork. And I never did it again.

lacochran said...

Reya Mellicker: That's deep. Like the manure...? :)

Kate: Ha!

Anonymous said...

This type of person seriously worries me. No, Scares me!

Anonymous said...

My father has one of those web tv's where he can access his emails with his tv. So technically...when she said her daughter doesnt use the computer, she could use the tv to access the internet. hmmmm????

lacochran said...

justjp: Avoid them at all costs!

Anonymous: Anything's possible. I think her kid has her snowed.