Friday, July 7, 2017

Ch 5 Sly is ticked off because I do not want to watch TV with them and I want to say, “Would you please just give me a list of your Rules for Houseguests so I can navigate?”

We have had supper. Sly turns on the TV, the first time I have seen this actually happen. Their TV is almost always on. I don’t see it turned on or turned off – it’s just there – on – all the time. It’s some strange magic.

Sly and Primo settle in to watch the football game. Doris joins them, but pulls out her crossword puzzle.

I do the dishes and clean the kitchen (I am probably doing it wrong), then join them in the living room.

It is too dark to read on the far sofa. To be near the lamp, I would have to sit by Sly. I have no interest in watching the game[1] or in sitting by Sly. They are engrossed in the game, so I say nothing as I slip into the guest room to read.

At halftime, Primo comes into the room.

Primo: They’re angry that you’re not out there.

Me: Why?

Primo: They think you’re being rude and unsociable.

Me: Why? I don’t want to watch.

Primo: They think you should be out there with us.

Me: Can’t you just tell them that I don’t want to watch? This is not about them. I am not reading at them. They’re just watching TV. They don’t need me there. It does not have to be a group activity. I don’t care about watching football. I don’t care about these teams. It’s not even like you guys are talking.

Primo: I know. This is not about the game at all. It’s about power. They have to win. If they don’t, they will complain about it to me for the rest of their lives.

Me: So let them. I don’t care. Why don’t you tell them to fuck off?

Primo: I choose my fights with my dad carefully.

Me: Why?

Primo: Because if he is angry at me, he makes my mom pay. I just try to avoid the whole situation.

Me: I hate your parents.

Primo: Imagine being related to them.

[1] I have no interest in watching any sporting event, ever.


  1. This reminds me of the Thanksgiving when my husband-to-be's parents were visiting my parents for the first time. After spending the day eating and visiting, after supper everyone in my family (six of us) settled down in the same room to read, our usual practice, and my future in-laws were totally flummoxed that the TV wasn't on. My father-in-law still talks about how strange we were, 45 years later.

    1. I grew up without TV and am always puzzled by people, especially self-proclaimed intellectuals like Sly and Doris, who cannot entertain themselves without it.

      (That said, I spent last weekend binge-watching season 11 of Criminal Minds.)

    2. (But that was at my own house. I do not demand TV when I am visiting someone else!)

  2. Once when I was home on a break from college (spring break maybe? Could have been Easter), I was reading on the couch while my parents watched TV. I had just thought, "It's nice to have a quiet evening together," when my mom abruptly turned to me and asked, "Aren't you even going to TALK to me???" Caught completely off guard, I stammered, "Um...have a nice semester?" (she was a teacher at the time)

    Turned out that was not the right thing to say.

    (I'm currently not speaking to my mother and may never again...long story that I should really tell on my own blog, but the upshot is that she chose a time when my little 13 month old was in the hospital and I was too sick myself to go to him to attempt to pick a fight with me, and the next morning, gave a ten minute diatribe about how my husband is a horrible person, concluding with, "But that makes you MAD, doesn't it?? Well I guess you already HATE ME so you might as well HATE ME MORE!!!")

  3. Wow. We watch a lot of TV, I'll admit, but if we're going to watch TV with guests over, it's because we've said "Hey, do you want to watch [movie I think they'll like] on the home theater downstairs?"

    So if they wanted you to sit in the same room while they're watching TV, they should have at least asked what you wanted to watch!

    1. And by asking me what I wanted to watch, it would have given them even more things to criticize about me! It could have been a total win for them!

  4. I read with the tv on every night. When I travel, I bring my headlamp so I can read my kindle in rooms without appropriate lighting. My sister loves to tease me about this. I tell her if she had good reading lights in her living room, I wouldn't need my head lamp. I can be social/watch tv/chat/be in the same room with others AND read my book. :-)

    1. OK - I need this headlight! I have taken my own lightbulbs on vacation before (because how can it be a vacation if I don't get to spend hours and hours reading?)