When it comes to broadcast innovations, my household is behind the times. Our screen is neither flat, nor Hi-Def. Our feed is just plain old boring cable. We don't Tivo or DVR - I've got a VCR and a DVD player. We considered digital cable when we converted to the cable modem from standard phone line access. We decided we didn't watch enough television to make it worth the extra money each month.
My sisters-in-law, however, are both caught up with the technical revolution. I spent a weekend privy to a peak at the 'new age.' A test drive, if you will, that taught me a few important lessons:
1. It is entirely possible to have over 1000 channels to click through and STILL have nothing to watch.
2. "What Not To Wear" is not more thrilling in Hi-Def than in plain old vanilla. The only perk if having access to both flavors of TLC is not having to flip back through a few hundred channels to find the program once you've gotten the happy clicker finger moving.
3. Having access to a handful each of HBOs, Showtimes and other premium channels still did not entice Bruce, nor I, to pay the extra money each month just for one of each premium channel. I am likely the only person in America who has still not watched an episode of the Sopranos, Sex in the City and Six Feet Under. I am so very deprived, yet too ignorant to care.
4. Fancy digital cable means having a clicker that confuses even me....yet not my 1 year old.
5. Utilizing the perk of "Kids on Demand" channel, I learned that the programs I adored as a child were violent and snotty. I excitedly selected the Smurfs for my 3 year old to watch in one of those "Here, let's find something on TV so you'll actually sit still for more than 10 seconds!" moments. Seriously, it's the Smurfs. When I was a kid, that was quality cartoon-programming. Yet, watching it now, it's one of those shows I'd not put on in favor of the "less smurf hunting, limited name-calling" options of Clifford the Big Red Dog and Dora the Explorer.
"Why is that guy trying to eat the Smurf?" Logan asked as he stared at Gargamel and Ariel the cat with disgust.
I shared my epiphany with Bruce.
"Maybe we should just scar him for life with a good episode of Bugs Bunny?" he offered.
Since entering preschool, my child has been asking to watch Spongebob. Nope. He protests. I tell him that I don't like the show. I tell him I don't think it's appropriate for a three-year old. I don't tell him Mommy watched Tom try to bash Jerry. How did I survive watching the Roadrunner have anvils thrown at his head?