on noise / Self Determination…
I live with someone who watches, or should I say listens to the television constantly.
(He’s blind. I keep expecting him to have superpowers, but they haven’t appeared yet.)
It’s super annoying. I would really like to live either without him or without the tv. He is my husband’s uncle. We call him “Nunkie G,” but he’s not a rapper or anything.
He loves to hold the baby. I am grateful for this, because it allows me to take a shower without hearing the dulcet noises of my baby screaming – which makes showers more peaceful…
But he watches / listens to the TV constantly. It’s SO ANNOYING. I wonder about the deleterious effects of advertising on my psyche.
Here is his TV watching schedule:
7:30 am to 10:00 am – news
10:00 – 12:00 noon – game shows / nature shows
12:00 – 1:00 news
1:00 – 4:00 pm – game shows / nature shows
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm – Judge Judy
(For the record, Judge Judy makes me question my faith in the future of humanity. I’m sure she is a fine citizen who loves her grandchildren and pays her taxes, but the people on her show are so dumb, and she is so mean to them!)
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm – news
7:00 pm – Jeopardy. I was initially glad that he watched this show, but now, if dinner is late, we get to hear it.
8:00 pm to bedtime: baseball game / nature shows / Criminal Minds (I hate Criminal Minds because shows like that are all about serial killers and violence towards women – and violence towards women on television legitimizes and reinforces violence towards women in real life, and honest to god, we don’t need more of that shit in the world.)
The TV being constantly on drives me bananas. (So much so, it affects my sentence structure.) Sometimes, he watches the TV while listening to a book on tape. It’s like listening to two different kinds of music at the same time – does that give anyone besides me a headache?
I was talking about it one day, and my mother in law was there. She said to her brother, “See, G? They don’t want the television on all the time. They’re not like us: they’re smart. They want to listen to their own thoughts.”
That about broke my heart – bad self-talk makes the baby Jesus cry – but I think she means it – she thinks of me as”other” because I’m smart. The hubs is smart, as well. It was my master’s degree that threw her for a loop, though, at the beginning of our relationship.
I wanted to say to her, “You, too, could go WAY INTO DEBT and get a piece of paper that is more of an obstacle to getting a good job than not. You too, could get a master’s degree: you have no shortage of brains.” But that seemed a bit extravagant at the time.
Sometimes she is an adversary; sometimes, not. I still hate Christmas, though. Christmas is totally her thing. We say, “Christmas barfs up in her house” every year. Much less than I did, because I finally realized it is not about me.
At some point, it feels like the television being on all the time is a reminder of our living situation in relationship to power: Nunkie G owns the house, but can’t live by himself because he’s blind, and diabetic. (If he were one or the other but not both, I think he would be fine to live on his own. He’s very independent.)
We have a certain lack of power when it comes to asking for things to change about the house. Sometimes, when I’m being hyperbolic, I feel that we are less self-determining than others – that we have less capability to decide our own fate, to be the captain of our own ship and steer where the hell we want – but then I have to tell myself to calm down.