I used to get a lot of reading done between September and the Super Bowl. My guy watches a lot of sports, sometimes the same game over and over again, dissecting strategies and reveling in joyous moments, all the while leaving me free to work a crossword puzzle or read a book... or, sometimes, lots of books. Kate Shugak and I became acquainted during a football soaked December when TBG and Big Cuter sat, transfixed, by grown men chasing a pigskin. I wanted their company, but not their entertainment. Click, click, open and read - I had a twenty volume series in my Kindle without moving more than a forefinger.
I was headed that way again, my left thumb making a weird clicking sound which I diagnosed as Kindle Page Turning Syndrome, my eyes accustomed to a bright page with an ever larger font as the nights wore on and my eyes grew weary. And then we found Breaking Bad on Netflix and realized that there are alternatives on the television screen.
Let me point out that, left to my own devices, I'd be more selective in my viewing. I would certainly watch less were I not attached to TBG. He grew up in a house where the tv was background to the conversation. Our tv was in the basement, watched while folding laundry. Adjusting to the constancy of the noise after he retired was a challenge; I learned to tune it out and turn the sound into white noise while I read or thought or typed to you. He finds it soothing, I find it ignore-able, and somehow we make it work.
And then we found Netflix. Once we finished blasting through the first five seasons, we were left with one hour of watchable television a week. Somehow, our usual network and cable fare seemed puerile, prone to taking the easy way out, predictable and un-watchable. We found the original, BBC House of Cards, because Netflix suggested it to us. We're engrossed in MI-5 and Foyle's War and maybe it's just the accents but we're finding them more enjoyable than anything on American tv.
We tried James Spader's Blacklist, but turned it off when the husband turned up duct taped and bloody in the dining room. For no reason, in full color, gore was in my living room. There were subtler ways of making the point; we knew that because we'd been watching them on Netflix. It was a simple matter to delete the recording and see what else the television thought we might like.
Normally, he'd have gone to a sports talk or game rerun and I'd have picked up a book or the Kindle. Now, with everything imaginable in front of us, it's hard for me to say no. I never thought I'd say this, but I'm really enjoying spending time in front of the tube.