Friday, November 06, 2009

Bedtime Stories

Fellow Traveler's sister sends her interesting birthday presents...things like a hatchet; or a coconut-monkey windchime; or a FLORIDA keychain with twirling dice; or...well, you get the picture.

This year, though, on FT's birthday, UPS arrived with a big, mysterious box from Sister-in-Law covered with multiple warnings about fragile contents. We couldn't figure out what could possibly be inside. It didn't sound like a coconut-monkey windchime; in fact, it made no sound at all when we gingerly moved it back and forth. We slowly pulled off the tape...opened the top of the box...

...and found a smallish but sleek flat-screen television. Turned out Sis-in-Law had remembered FT, many years ago, bemoaning the loss of a television she'd lent out that had never been returned.

This was a wonderful surprise. Except that we had nowhere to put it. So we stuck it in a corner of our front room, sans satellite connection, and talked about hooking it up to a DVD player, or even giving it to a deserving someone who had the appropriate hardware and television service.

In the meantime, after some mind-numbingly frustrating encounters with our satellite providers, we'd been thinking of switching. We went so far as to call our current provider and tell them we were through with them. Suddenly these frequent antagonists of ours were showering us with special offers in order to keep our business -- more channels; a free second hookup. Second hookup?

We thought about our options. We like keeping our front room fairly technology-free. The birthday TV was too small for our living room.

"Let's put it in the bedroom," suggested FT, "on top of the dresser." Our dresser is a frequent collector of stuff; a TV would end that. I pondered all the studies that warn about watching TV in bed; how it interferes with one's sleep and with interpersonal harmony. But then I thought about the falderol that we usually go through before we go to bed, with the pets and the lights and the appliances, and how nice it would be to be able to get all that stuff done and then wind down, in the comfort of a nice, warm, comforter-laden bed.

So that's what we did -- we had Satellite Guy hook up the TV to sit on our dresser.

I have to tell you -- we're loving this. Not every night, mind you, but especially on those cold, rainy, windy evenings when you just want to cocoon.  None of the doleful predictions about sleeplessness, anxiety or disconnection from one's partner have come to pass. We're like a couple in the 1960's marveling at the novelty of having a second TV right in our bedroom. Ain't technology grand?

And if one of us falls asleep, the other is free to carry on, without the need to shake the sleeper awake and summon her to bed.  And the awake person can spend a few minutes watching television that the sleeper does not enjoy -- professional football, cheesy paranormal reality shows, educational programming on arcane topics. It's a beautiful system.

Did I tell you that we're really easily amused?

One technological taboo is still in place, though -- teh Internets is not allowed in the bedroom.

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