Ovid (publius_ovidius) wrote,
Ovid
publius_ovidius

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Don't say it!

I was asked several times today if I had seen a particular TV show that the person I was chatting with had seen (different people, different TV shows). I can only shake my head "no", even when they say "no, really, you must have seen it." Whenever I talk to folks who don't know me too well, the subject constantly comes up. Hell, the other day I even had someone ask me what my favorite commercial is. People talk about their pet television shows or what a cool commercial they watched. They drop what are obviously "in jokes" with others who have seen a particular episode of a particular show and they imitate their favorite characters.

When this happens, I just shrug. What can I do? I've learned that I must keep my mouth shut. If I am so stupid as to tell the truth, I'll regret it. As soon as I say "I don't watch TV", I hear something like "did you read that Onion article about the guy who doesn't have a TV and won't shut up about it?"

I have heard about that article so many god-damned times that it's not even funny. Look, I don't randomly pipe up in conversations "hey, I don't watch TV." In fact, the first time someone asks me if I've seen a particular episode of so-and-so, I just say "no." It's after the subject has come up a few times that I'm tempted to say something because it gets very tiring saying "no, I haven't seen that." You'd be fucking astonished at how many times I can say that before it dawns on people that I don't watch TV but as soon as I fess up to not watching, I'm an elitist prick and an appropriate subject of mockery.

What's happens less often, though it still happens, is that I am called a liar. People insist that there must be at least one show I watch and if I watch it, I watch TV. Since that's not true, I have to deny it. Then I get the "I hate people who don't watch TV and brag about it" bullshit. Hell, I've had people who know I don't watch ask me about what company I use for cable television. Um, I don't have cable, m'kay? (<-- ubiquitious cultural reference that even I cannot escape).

Just to be perfectly clear, I don't avoid TV because I object to it; I avoid TV because I'm addicted to it. I couldn't stop watching when it was on, so I just stopped watching entirely. That's all there is to it. Today, 20 years later, I still get distracted by the damned thing if I'm hanging out with a friend and there's a TV nearby. That's why I don't watch, OK? That's it. That's all. No other reason. So stop mocking me for it, will you?

(Note: if you were there tonight and you're reading this, no, no one mocked me because I didn't admit to not watching. But they did ask several times whether I had watched "X". Grr ...)
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