It’s a sad week in the Palfy-Klemond household. We are getting rid of cable TV tomorrow. There, there. I know, it’s awful to even think about it. I’m a TV junkie. I admit it. So is my husband, so this is going to be equally horrible for him. At least Jack will not care. So only Philip and I will be whining about it.
I’ve had cable since I was about 5 years old. When our remote control was still connected with a looooong, flat grey wire to the television. Since my friend Laurie got a cordless remote, and it was HUGE. And her brother scared the living shit out of us by changing the TV channels from outside the basement window, while we were watching “Salem’s Lot.” Because that is the kind of quality television we watched as elementary school kids. Nice. Maybe getting rid of the TV is a good thing after all.
In high school, I had cable in my bedroom. The only time I didn’t have cable were the 5 years I was in college. I didn’t miss it, because I had other recreational activities to keep me busy. But it did mean I never saw “Friends” or “Seinfeld” in anything but reruns, so I didn’t get a lot of pop culture jokes for a while (I know, I am a dork).
And in the past 10 years, even when I have had to cut my household budget down to nothing, I still kept my cable and gym subscriptions, and those served as my hobbies. But now with two kids, we need to just trim a few more expenses. And for $100 a month, cable has to go.
We don’t watch a crazy amount of television — it’s never on if the kids are awake. But when they go to sleep? Philip watches a ton of baseball and football and “This Old House” and “Nova.” And I watch my fair share of “House Hunters International,” “Sex and the City” reruns and quality programming like “America’s Next Top Model,” “Project Runway” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”
I know, we can get all these on Hulu or other online sites. And we signed up for Netflix, and I’ve already added a stack of movies to our queue. Philip and I both really love foreign films, so this is a good chance to watch a ton of them. I used to be way more into film than I have been the past few years, and I admit, I look forward to rediscovering that love. And I signed up for the first season of “Mad Men,” which I’ve always wanted to watch. (And maybe “Twin Peaks,” which I also never watched and have always wanted to.)
But still. I just discovered the cable On Demand workouts and have been doing ab routines every night. And some yoga routines. I know Netflix has those, and once we figure out how to stream our computer to the television, I can do that. For now, we have to rely on DVDs. (Our computer is being repaired, and our TV can’t do the streaming, and we have no BluRay stuff or gaming systems.)
It just won’t be quite the same, wasting a lame Friday night watching crappy TV, stumbling across “9 to 5” on one channel and “Goonies” on another, and switching back and forth.
I know we can do a lot with the extra money. But it still blows. I even feel kind of bad because part of my job is knowing what’s trendy, and you know, now I will be missing a huge segment of that. Is cable tax-deductible?
And let’s face it, with two young children, Philip and I are exhausted most of the time, so our down time together is spent watching television. Sure, we could do other things — play Scrabble or backgammon or cribbage, do yardwork, clean the house, just talk to each other, read books … but um, I kind of just want to zone out in front of the TV, you know? You can’t zone out in front of a movie you’ve never seen before. Maybe now I’ll actually read the 10 years of “Vanity Fair” magazine I have stacked up.
But, here we go. Tomorrow is the day Philip is returning our cable boxes. Netflix tells me that “Winter’s Bone” just shipped.
So, my goal tonight is to watch some of the TiVoed stuff I have and maybe some “So You Think You Can Dance.”