My roommate and I gave up TV last week.
You’ve caught me in a lie.
I gave up TV last week.
Two days into the challenge, I walked in on my roommate, remote in hand, Parks and Rec blaring. I might as well have walked in on a fat kid on a diet with chocolate cake smeared from here to Texas.
(She would like me to take this moment to mention I had a full week home alone to unwind before she returned to our little apartment after her brother’s wedding. You leak one sentence to a journalist, and prior review is back on the table. Don’t worry – I’m blinking twice because I’m ok.)
I’d like to think we’re not total lumps when it comes to unwinding. But since graduating college, let’s just say I’m not the only one diving into three hours of Shonda Rhimes television every Thursday (#noshame). Took me about three months to get through all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls. And, well, those 196 episodes of I Love Lucy I got for Christmas aren’t exactly going to watch themselves.
Is that bad? Do I have chocolate on my face?
The goal wasn’t to cut media cold turkey. Please. This is the twenty-first century, people. I left my phone at home one day in October, and as I sat in front of two computer screens at work, I wanted to yell, “What’s going on in the world!? I left my phone at home and can’t check Instagram! Quick! Tell me what you had for breakfast!”
The goal was to jump start our 2015 goals. Come home and opt to read. Or craft. Go to the gym, maybe. One of my goals is to read more. So I downloaded Stephen Colbert’s America Again to fill the silence. I’m giving audio books a shot.
Make that audio book. Just one. It was short-lived. Like the blog before this one.
“But this year’s different!” You say. “You haven’t found the right book!”
No, that’s not it.
It’s about time we got a little honest with ourselves.
I just don’t like them.
Reading forces me to drop everything. To put my phone down, and flip through a story one page at a time. There’s something downright magical about seeing the words right in front of you. You can’t dog ear an iPhone, ya know.
That and as a visual learner, I feel like a complete idiot every time I hit the rewind button because I missed a point and need to replay it. No one reads to feel dumber.
The worst part is, I can do a million things while listening to an audio book! I’ve fooled you, literature! Your words can’t slow me down. I can ride the bus. Or clean my room. Maybe paint my nails. All while reading! I can do it all!
But what if someone needs to get past me on the bus, and they yell at me over Mr. Colbert?
“Yeah, hi, I know it’s your stop, but my chapter is almost done, and if you could just wait like, one hot second. Hang on, I missed that point, just gonna rewind here for onnnneeeee seccconnnndddd….”
“And they never heard from her again.” They’d say at my funeral.
Or what if someone breaks into our home while I’m painting my nails in the kitchen, and I can’t hear them because I’m six chapters deep, telling myself the mistakes will wash off in the shower? Then what!?
I can sit and listen. Sit and stare. Listen and sit. Pray my roommate doesn’t walk in on me and my phone like a hot date on the couch. But it’s too late. Never mind how I look — I’m already NOT paying attention to the book. My eyes wander, and then my brain follows right behind.
“Hey diddle diddle,
The girl and the riddle,
The eyes jumped around the room;
The roommate laughed
To see the sport
While her brain ran away with the audiobook.”
— Mother Hen
I haven’t listened to an audio book since my dad made me listen to the 50 Greatest Speeches of All Time on a recent road trip to Michigan. I think I fell asleep. Does that even count? Fool me once, audio books, shame on you. Fool me twice, then I just feel like an idiot.
(I find it important to mention here I have nothing against podcasts. I actually quite like them.)
Last week, I gave an audio book a try. I really did. And I have no intention of downloading another one anytime soon.
I did however, spend one of the seven TV-less days teaching myself to make gold foil words in Illustrator thanks to a very easy tutorial.
And let me tell you, it’s stupid easy. Three keyboard shortcuts, and you’re Martha Stewart! I’ll be teaching you how to make work outfits from those curtains and pillow shams you’ve got lying around on next week’s blog post.
And the best part is I can make them all night long without the paralyzing fear of burglary two rooms away! Sweet, sweet victory. Tastes a lot like chocolate cake.
It’s like crack. But less expensive!
Damn did I have fun.
That TV-less week wasn’t so bad, was it? Not. At. All. Welcome back to the cradle of my palm, remote. You’re no audio book, and I couldn’t be more grateful.