But more often than not the freedom of the weekend would call, or, more literally, our friends would call. We would answer. Since our childhood best friends lived within a one block radius from us, we spent much of our time running back and forth between houses until it was time to go to bed. Sunday would roll around and, since we had limited tapes for recording, we would get ready to record the next week's shows without watching the previous' ones.
So although I didn't grow up without TV, I grew up with little of it. For this reason, I was absolutely sure not eating out was going to be much more difficult than no TV. Turns out I was wrong. Because when I was little, I did not have the same need for mind-numbing that I do now. Not to say that childhood was easy, per se. I think it is unrealistic when we remember childhood as idyllic, because have we all forgotten the sheer helplessness of not being able to stay up late or express a feeling that seemed beyond words? But I did have more energy, more zest. I didn't need the same escape that I seem to need now. I didn't have the need to be disengaged.
And although I'm still working out how I feel about this (and reading this book in the process), I have come to a few conclusions.
Going without TV was immediately difficult for both me and Tim, who grew up in a house full of proclaimed "TV People." But we pushed through it. And some of the results were obvious, like we read more, we spent more time cooking (partly, of course, because the not eating out thing). Some of what I thought would happen did not: we did get more proficient at doing the laundry or have significantly more sex. What happened was that we talked to each other.
Sometimes it feels like, at the end of a long day, all we can muster is to order pizza, hold hands and watch The Mindy Project. But it turns out that if we let ourselves--and each other--muddle through that low energy, cranky part of the night after we get off work, then we eventually start to muddle our way through together. We listen to each other. Not that we don't normally, but we realized that we were rushing through the talking and listening, and the cooking and cleaning, so we could get to the relaxing TV part, but turns out that the talking and listening and cooking and the cleaning are actually more rejuvenating that the TV part. Huh. Whudda thunk?
For the record, we cheated three times and are about to go watch a movie and eat take out pizza. Saints, we are not. Part of the fun of rules is breaking them, am I right? And since I constantly fear living in a apocalyptic world, I always want to be able to look back and say, I'm glad I didn't deny myself TV and take-out all the time.