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Life without Television, Part the 1st

I cancelled my cable subscription earlier this month. My television was old-analog. Nothing much would come through without the magic box or a new-fangled antenna. A kind man from Goodwill heaved away the grey hulk on a dolly two weeks ago. 

At first, I felt relief. There was no black screen staring at me, taunting me to turn it on and submit to whatever would emanate. My head felt clearer. I felt calmer. I did not watch television as much as many do, but I did watch it more than I once thought I would. When I read Orwell's 1984 in junior high, I thought, "We have nothing to worry about. Why would anyone leave their television on all day and all night?" 

Then, I moved to a foreign country where I was the only American in the village and lived under pretty tough circumstances. Dear G-d, I would even watch "Walker, Texas Ranger" in Spanish, I was so homesick. If my former husband (my cousin calls them "wasbands") came into the den while I was watching Walker, he would accuse me of being another violent American. I watched a lot of television. I was lonely and lost without my previous reference points. The talk-box taught me a lot. In the absence of company, that's what it was: company. I could at least see American, even if I could not hear their voices in versión original.

2000-2010 was a decade of much loss and a time to recover from certain traumatic events in my life. Television again became my buddy. "Law and Order" marathons were my favorite. Television was what I could "do" when life was overwhelming and problems unsolvable. Gradually, I weaned myself from it and became once again an occasional watcher. 

As cable prices rose, I  kept thinking it didn't make sense for me to keep subscribing. So I stopped. 

There was a new silence in the house, rich and deep. I actually felt less tired at the end of the day if I didn't watch television. I loved the $39 cable bill. What a change from $139. That, friends, was Part the 1st.  At this point, I was content. Stay "tuned" for Part the 2nd. 

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