TV Dinners

August 31, 2020

Listen to “TV Dinners” on Spreaker.

Somewhere along the line, I developed the habit of having the TV on with the sound off. All day long, most days. I’m not watching TV, mind you. I’m usually reading or writing. It’s mostly sports that are on in normal, non-pandemic times. Especially baseball, since that tends to be televised all hours of the day and night. I’m writing this, as a matter of fact, while a White Sox game is on silently in the background. It can become mutually distracting, particularly in bases loaded situations that are happening while I’m stuck looking for a five-syllable word, where a single syllable would be more than adequate. (Should you ever read “He missed the tag!” instead of seeing the word “parsimonious” in one of my blogs, you’ll know I was confused by the moment. If you then say to yourself why didn’t he just write “cheap?” It means you are fully in tune with my writing style.)

“A good relationship is about give and take. It also is a lot about just caving.”

I like to eat meals while the TV is on, too. Carol is not a big fan, especially when I suggest balancing a plate of spaghetti and meatballs on one knee with a bowl of Caesar salad on the other. (We don’t have TV tables, no doubt because Carol realizes we’d never eat on a dining room table if we did.) I know what you’re thinking. What about table talk? Well, is it better to…never minI know I can’t win this one.

Some meals like pizza seemed to have been invented to be eaten in front of the TV. Others, like stir fry, are easily adapted to TV viewing, when served in a bowl, and you need something to take your mind off all those vegetables you’re consuming. For me personally, healthier meals seem to digest better when distracted by television; whereas comfort food tends to go down well when you know you’re going to have to come with something to talk about at a dinner table. Except, of course, for pizza for the reason stated above.

Interestingly, there is full agreement on watching something during breakfast and lunch. That appears to have happened automatically, with both of us eager to have a yogurt and a sandwich while catching up on either a Colbert or one of the news magazines we had previously DVR’d. But I know that dinner is falling under Things To Improve Reid’s Behavior initiatives Carol seemingly undertook when we moved in together and then married. Personally, I think she’s having an easier time of this one than with some of the others, like the ones dealing with my style of dress or time spent on the couch.

When I see her setting the table and lighting the candles (the candles being the sign to start thinking up dinner conversation topics), I know it’s time to switch the TV to Pandora. I’ve also learned to ask first if we can watch something during our dinner on a particular evening. Except, of course, on pizza night, for the reason stated above.

A good relationship is about give and take. It also is a lot about just caving.

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