Out of all the possible ideas for a non-fiction book I may someday write, right now this one seems the most plausible. When it comes to the boob tube, these last few months have been the worst. Because of my born-again love for the soap opera, I have at least one show a day on my "Must-See" list. I have not missed an episode of All My Children since this summer - quite a feat, considering work and two grad classes and a boyfriend and sometimes a life outside all of those things. Since it's on right before AMC, I'll occasionally watch Days of Our Lives, a show I used to love; sometimes, just for the hell of it, I'll even flip to General Hospital. Every time Luke comes over, the TV's on; just today he stopped by for dinner before a meeting while I was absorbing the second half of Melrose Place. Besides "I love you," "Do we have to watch this?" is the most popular sentence I get. And I don't blame him. Thinking about it today, I realized that I have become a full-fledged couch potato. No wonder I so often feel blue. No wonder I get the munchies all the time. No wonder!
Part of the reason I've become so enraptured with these shows is due to my childhood. I vividly remember being 12 years old and watching commercials for the premiere of Melrose Place, pegged as the 90210 for twenty-somethings. I also vividly remember my mother and father yelling at me to "turn that sex crap off!" Now, I'm that twenty-something, with her very own cable bill, and I can finally learn why Alison ran out on her first wedding to Billy! What happened to Kimberly! If Syndey ever left the show! without having to throw nervous glances in my mother's direction, my hand grasping the remote for dear life, my lips ready to protest that I was actually into Mr. Destiny one channel up.
It's a thin argument, I know, and the reasoning doesn't work for shows like Joey, The Apprentice, Scrubs, and What Not to Wear. Watching imaginary people live their own lives will not help me pay off my credit card debt; finish the third installment of the Narnia Chronicles; find my true calling; discover the best possible me. (Except in the case of the latter, in which all the contestants are real and the fashion advice they receive at the expense of their dignity is offered to me for free.) So today, after Luke left for his meeting, I turned off the TV. I swept the floor. Washed the dishes. Called a friend. Thought about exercising to a 60-minute Richard Simmons video but decided to blog instead. Hey, it's about baby steps, right?