Note: The "Trooper" in question is not actually in the military. It's a metaphor, people.

April 24, 2008

The Evil Box of Relationship Death

As I’ve mentioned before, Wine Guy and I recently marked the one-year anniversary of the day we met. We celebrated with a trip to the museum in the same park where we went on our first date, followed by dinner at the same sushi restaurant. I admit it -- I had high, romantic hopes.

The museum was nice and dinner was tasty, though I must say I get much less joy out of a "free" sushi meal when the guy is actually my boyfriend instead of just some potential schlub I'll never see again.

We then decided to visit a popular dessert parlor (my treat since dinner was expensive and I felt bad). This is where the night went to shit. While waiting in the ridiculously long line, we got in a huge fight which started when I overreacted to what I took as his stubborn unwillingness to accompany me to a friend's party later that week. If you will allow me, I would like to chalk up my overreaction to PMS and excessive pain from too much walking around (I haven't done much since the surgery).

Whatever the reason, the fight was awful and left me quaking with anger (at him) and disappointment (at an anniversary ruined). Once we finally got to the table, Wine Guy smartly took a trip to the bathroom, giving me some time to calm down and glimpse reality. I decided to eat shit and apologize. God bless him, he accepted and we proceeded to nibble on our decadent coconut cake, both of us a little emotionally bruised and drained.

I thought that would be it for the night. A potentially romantic “milestone” (you know how I love those) tainted by my bullshit.

What I didn’t expect was a massive realization about where our relationship was heading and an inspiring turnabout that left me giddy about “us” all over again.

That weekend we had a ridiculous heat wave. We’re talking high 80s and almost unbearable (certainly unexpected for early April). So when we returned home around 9pm, we decided to sit outside on my patio for a little bit because it was just too hot to burrow down on the sofa. The next thing I knew it was 3:00 am and we had been talking and laughing for hours – just like we did in those first few months of dating.

Sounds fun, right? But you're probably asking, what was the massive realization?
Here it is: TV was killing us.

When we first started dating we were almost boastful about how we had so much to talk about that we didn't even need TV. We never turned it on and never wanted to. Sometime over the last 8 months that changed – and neither of us realized it – until the night of our anniversary.

At one particularly humorous point in our marathon conversation, I jumped up and grabbed something that had been hiding on my shelf, untouched for months -- The Effin’ Bee, which stands for FNB, or the Friday Night Book. Back when we couldn't stop talking to one another, this was the tool we used to record ridiculous ideas, inane jokes, little sketches, clever business concepts, trips we want to take, etc.

After we scribbled a few things down (our big hit of the night was Cool Band Names - my favorites being "Sack" and "Puddle") it occurred to us both that it had been months since we’d written in it. Why? TV - The Evil Box of Relationship Death.

We both agreed that talking and scribbling in our book was MUCH more fun than channel surfing. True, we were "together" while watching TV, but in reality all it had done was create an invisible divide between us. (In our defense though, this all started while I was recovering from surgery and unable to do much except lie there in a semi-drugged state).

It wasn’t until that 3am moment that I realized how much I’d missed Wine Guy even though he'd been near me all along. He agreed and we both vowed to keep the TV to a strict minimum in our new place. The next day Wine Guy called Kansas Cad and told him we do not want the big-screen TV that he had previously offered to us. Instead, we’ll try to entertain each other and, of course, have that Tivo around for strategic watching on our much smaller screen.

So be careful out there. TV can kill your relationship. And this is coming from someone who makes their living in television!



Michele said...

Personally, the writer's strike has been one of the best things to ever happen to me. Since all of my favoite shows were on hiatus, I started reading books again. I can't tell you how many books I've read. It's been wonderful. And now that all the shows are coming back, I have no desire to watch any of them. You are so right, TV can kill a relationship, as well as a bunch of brain cells.

lizriz said...

Hunky Actor Boyfriend, his giant television, and I are going to pretend that you didn't say that.

La, la, la, la, la!


Cara said...

Great post!

Xweing said...

I love Gossip Girl!!

Nicole said...

DH and I pretty much have Fox News (or Fox Business News) on the TV whenever the kids aren't 'watching' something. But we kick a ton of stuff to the DVR to watch together after the kids go to bed. We'll snuggle up and watch 2-3 back to back episodes of some show and since it's on the DVR, we just hit pause and chat whenever we feel like it. We started this 'tradition' when we found "Dead Like Me"

...but we're both 'retired' so we have 24/7 to sit and chat. The TV is our relaxation time. When we were both working, (and pre DVR) the TV wasn't as big a deal.

Melissa said...

Oh, yes I agree. But allow me to play Devil's Advocate. Michael bought me the DVD Box set of (ahem) Buffy -- a show I love but he could probably care less about -- and he's watching every episode with me from start to finish. In it's own way, it's very romantic of him. He likes seeing me happy, and I'm thrilled to share my love of Buffy. Perhaps "romance" gets a little redefined after you've been married for nearly 17 years!

Sonny Amou said...

I have a similar situation to Melissa's, only it's the current incarnation of Battlestar Galactica, which my sci-fi enthusiast girlfriend has me totally sucked into. I think like anything else, TV in moderation isn't too bad, if balanced with other activities.

Hey, I linked you. If you can take a second and confirm it works, that'd be terrif. Enjoy your afternooon.


The City Gal said...

I had been MIA for a while (I can blame it on the new job that is taking a toll on me).

Just wanted to say, congratulations on the anniversary.