Monday, July 30, 2007

Pulling the Plug

I ripped it out of my family's life like a band-aid from a fresh wound. Anticipating a week of quiet and solitude my plan was laid.
Friday, the day before their return, it was hatched. I dialed the number and calmly, politely, requested our cable be disconnected. "Are you moving?" the cable company representative asked. No was my succinct reply. "Well if you want a different service then I could get you a deal for just..." No, I repeated, we just want to end our service. "Well we have other services available. You could..." No, again, we don't want to have any more television in the house. Was this comprehensible to a cable television representative? I don't think so because she asked for a fourth time if we would want another package.
My family had been out of town for the week, off to our annual church mission camp. Since they would be televison-less for the seven days I thought, "Great time to just pull the plug." Now this didn't come out of nowhere. We had discussed this as a family. I have wanted/not wanted to go without the tube for years but lacked the fortitude to say yes/no. During the week of my family's absence I didn't watch TV because I was reading the Harry Potter books. Well, I did turn on for news maybe twice but my mind was so engaged with reading I couldn't be bothered with that form of entertainment. So Friday I made the call with no regrets.
Now we're reading, blogging, computer viewing, talking to each, playing. Yeah, it's only day 3 without TV (in our area there is no TV, no even local stations, without having cable) but I know this is one of my best decisions in my role as mean mom.
Reading the HP books got me on a role for imbibing in the prose. I've picked up a George McDonald book (I loved Princes and the Goblin), At the Back of the North Wind. Who knows, I may add one of those nifty additions to my blog with what books I'm reading this year. And I'm open for suggestions. What have been some of your favorites?


Courtney said...

good for you. we've considered it. We have only local channels, no cable. But we haven't taken the jump.
Have you ever read either of Khaled Hosseini's books? Kite Runner or A Thousand Splendid Suns? The latter is new and on a very long hold at our library, but Kite Runner is quite a few years old and fantastic. I've been told that Thousand Suns is equally as good.
Another is Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden. HOnestly I can't recommend it enough. Awesome.
Lastly, and a totally different genre, I really enjoyed Wake Up Call: The Political Education of a 9/11 Widow. I found it to be an interesting read on top of being educational.
Enjoy your tv free days!!!!

Suzanne said...

Opa will be soooo proud of you, but do you know who the next food network star is???? I missed the show and was depending on you. Seriously.....maybe the grandparents need to take a lesson or at least the grandmother!!!!

Birdie said...

We went cable-free for more than five years and broadcast TV-free for a couple of those years, too. It was great! Ironically, we just got cable as part of our new internet and phone package today. There are some very serious limits set on what the family can watch and when they can watch it, however.

I Was Just Thinking.... said...

I did watch the next food network star conclusion - amy won, and I was rooting for rory!

hayley said...

Everyone here thinks you're smart for doing this. I say big mistake. Really, this is not sarcastic 16 year old talking.

First you move to a place that is almost sheltered off from the world. Jack will have no chance of a perfectly normal life.

Second, you take away all food that has "MSG" in it. It's been proven that kids that are deprived of certain food grow up to suffer from eating disorders. It's true, i used that in an essay i had to write in 9th grade. Then you take away the cable.

Because your family will be completely deprived of TV as kids, once they move out [assuming that you'll allow them] they'll get their own TV and watch endlessly. They'll be watching so much TV they won't come out of their house for days; neighbors will report them missing and then firefighters will have to break into the house to find the lovely sight of Aidan or Ian or Emma or Jack sitting in week old pajamas eyes glazed drool coming down their faces watching reruns of I Love Lucy.

Is THAT what you want to happen?

I Was Just Thinking.... said...

Thanks Hayley for your insight. I haven't considered all the ramifications of my hasty decision....NOT!

Marti Smith said...

Hayley paints a frightening picture, but perhaps the kiddoes (and the rest of you) have absorbed enough television influence in preceding years to spare you this terrible fate...

Sarah said...

Woo hoo! I pulled the plug last December and it's been great. I was surprised at how easy it actually was. We still get the basic channels but have found so many other ways to fill our time. I am so happy for you and your family. :)