The day the earth stood still, sort of, began months ago. Our television, like so many of our possessions, was old. It was also big, heavy and people were starting to look presidential orange. It took some research with Consumer Reports and a trip to our local big box, we found my husband’s dream model. It’s huge, by comparison to our old bessie. I didn’t really understand how huge until a box the size of a Volkswagon Beetle was delivered to our house.
Now that we could stop chewing our nails (at least over that) out came the electronic spaghetti. This part was way not my domain. My husband bravely fought the techno beast, deciphered the instructions and managed to get the thing to turn on. Then we hit a brick wall. Our new smart tv was too smart for us. There, in four thousand high definition pixels was the “unable to connect” text in sharp full color. I started to miss the old set. We just spent a pantload on a new television we couldn’t watch.
We called the manufacturer, who referred us to our “service provider” who referred us to our internet service provider. We just had to start this crap on a Sunday evening. It looks like we were in for one quiet Monday. Egad, would we actually have to talk to each other like barbarians??!! This was a crisis of epic proportions!!
The thought hit me that maybe it wouldn’t be so bad without the tv for a little while, right? We were about to find out.
Monday morning came and mercifully my daughter slept in so I could get caffeinated before I had to deal with anyone naturally perky. I noticed that I walked up to the television that didn’t work and had to stop myself. It surprised me to realize how much I had gotten used to having it on. By eleven am, or the end of the “Today Show”, as my brain knows it, I realized that our daughter wasn’t the only one with an addiction!
The second amazing revelation came when I discovered that by about two in the afternoon I was actually getting s**t done at home! Don’t get me wrong, I was never one to just sit and watch anything longer than a weather forecast during the day but I noticed that I went about my business faster in the quiet.
My daughter was largely oblivious to the lack of television since the internet was fine. I’m knee deep in the battle over technology and sugar. Had the internet gone down the planet would have come to a crashing halt. We really would have been forced to have a “conversation” or God forbid “read” but let’s not get crazy.
My husband called me that afternoon to ask if I had any further luck getting the new monster to cooperate. Honestly, I wasn’t in as much of a hurry to get it back as I thought. Maybe it was just the thought of having to contact “Customer Service” that slowed my progress. I found the appropriate number (1 800 UPY OURS) and tap danced my way through menus to find a person who spoke english. Miraculously I got enough help to enable us to get 2 channels I care about albeit sporadically. It was time to stick a fork in me by about 5:30 that evening.
The ball was now back in my spouse’s court. The next evening, he took another shot at joining the twenty first century. When I got back, he was on the phone with our “service provider”. Good news, we found out we qualified for a free upgrade because our box lasted over two presidents! Ok, that sounds good. I just had to ask him as he held the phone “Free, for how much more per month?”. Things went downhill from there.
My spouse was actually contemplating going with the more expensive plan until we were ready to finalize the “new arrangement”. That was when we were informed that by consenting to this, we would be agreeing to a two year contract. Wait, what??!! We weren’t told this in the beginning. The Dastardly Conglomerate number two was politely told that they could keep their upgrades. We consulted some neighbors and decided to join the number one Cable Company.We are now customers of the “Other Evil Empire” but I have to admit that we can watch a bunch of channels clearly without having to talk to each other. Whew, we really dodged a bullet there.