Monday, July 28, 2008

Confessions of a Former TV Addict

Here is the column that I wrote for the August edition of The Temecula Bugle:

We fell in love with Wine Country Temecula the first time we drove through. We wanted acreage, but couldn’t find the right area—until our jaunt through the groves and vineyards.

It was 2003 and finding a home proved to be a race. Every time we wanted to make an offer, someone beat us to it. We finally purchased a house on the day that it was listed. It was so far out that there was no cable service. No high speed Internet. But, worse, no television! Satellite was out of the question for us. I knew that it was best for our family to leave the reception behind.

This was no small detail for me. Watching television was the best part of my childhood. How could I abandon it after so many (enjoyable) years?

My desire to move trumped my horror at giving up my addiction. Since I’d soon be forced to forgo my beloved set, my husband suggested that I stop cold turkey before we relocated. The thought alone sent me into uncontrollable shaking, sweating, and gnashing of teeth. The withdrawal symptoms caused a dizzying spin of flashbacks—Happy Days, Little House on the Prairie, Partridge Family, Brady Bunch. It was hard, but I successfully kicked the habit before we moved.

That doesn’t mean that it’s always easy. Sometimes, when I want to know what’s going on in the world, it would be easier to have a talking head tell me rather than read it myself. Or, when I hear about my old favorites like Survivor, American Idol, and CSI, I feel a slight longing to see them again.

However, between our daily routines, homeschooling, and running a business, we don’t have time for television. When we have an opportunity, our seven children enjoy watching DVD’s of old shows like Gunsmoke, The Waltons, Andy Griffith, and MacGyver.

Yet, when I’m in a hotel room, I grab the remote and dig right in. Unfortunately, the face of entertainment has changed so dramatically that I hardly recognize it. It’s not about diversion or information anymore. It’s about which network can be the most shocking. Unfortunately, I don’t enjoy most of what I’ve seen recently.

Choosing Wine Country over television was a decision I'll never regret.