Monday, June 11, 2012
Sight for sore eyes
I'm pleased to report I prefer life without a telly. It was the lazy addiction to reruns of Friends which pushed me over the edge. I really wasn't achieving anything other than learning a lot of quotes off by heart and developing a girl crush on Jennifer Aniston - a girl crush which has lasted a lot longer than my telly. I still watch all her rom-coms in the hope one will be any good. They’re not.
I resented my telly. It was sucking up all my time. I became acutely aware of how much life revolves around the telly. People talk about the shows they've seen. People angle their sofas in a way that provides best TV watching comfort. Magazines talk about actors as if they are soap operas - and they talk about soap operas as if they are real life. It's mildly disturbing, once you stop to think about it. Why are we following every move Cheryl Cole makes, as if her life is a soap opera? And why are we watching soap operas as if they are real lives? Before my head exploded at the conundrum, I sold the telly and rearranged the furniture.
I then bought a piano and a few books and got to work on being a smug and annoying person who has to interject when the topic of conversation turns to telly: 'Oh, god, sorry, this is awkward. I don't have one, no idea what you are talking about.'
Except, I never actually said that because I'd hate myself if I said that. No one likes the girl who reminds them of their short comings. 'Oh, I eat like a horse and never put any weight on,' is another sin bin line. Don't show off. Eat cake and complain about your muffin top, woman, for god’s sake.
Once I'd gambled away the telly, I was still more than capable of watching it - that's what iplayer is for, I discovered. I was just more picky about what I watched. I did not miss E4 and it's time zapping capabilities. Nor did I miss advertising. Advertising, the cruel interruption to your viewing pleasure which we all seem to accept without avoidance. One minute you’re watching Desperate Housewives, the next, you’re being gently encouraged to use Lenor to soften your clothes, advised that Jennifer Aniston has a new rom com out and shown that really fun girls eat Maltesers while laughing together about how fun life is. Imagine how great your life would be if you just ATE MALTESERS. I do not like being advertised to. I find it insulting. And, it bloody works on me too. I do eat Maltesers because they are the lighter way to enjoy chocolate, I do use Lenor because it makes flowers fly out of my duvet covers and... there isn’t a Jennifer Aniston rom com I haven’t sat through.
My piano playing is coming along nicely now. My teacher tells me I'm ready for grade one. I don't tell her that I'm absolutely not. I'm terrified by the very thought - I know I'll be sitting in the waiting room feeling like I'm waiting to take my driving test - except my compatriots won't be 17, they'll be seven, and better than me. Like the kid on You Tube who can play all my Grade 1 pieces without looking. He's a little seven year old bastard.
I've read a few books. Some I've enjoyed so much that after a few drinks I've got carried away and recounted the entire (ok, not entire, more 'the bits I can remember drunk') thesis to my friends. I suppose that's a bit like saying 'Have you seen Don't Tell The Bride?' and then spending half an hour telling the recipient all about it. I haven't seen it, but I have heard a lot about it. It's usually the first thing people say when I tell them I'm engaged. As I am to conclude it's about grooms making a hash of the big day, I wonder if people are trying to tell me something.
My favourite thing about playing the piano is when we have guests. I usually forget to do a recital until I've had one or two gins, and by then, my hand-eye-brain co-ordination is limited, so although I can't show them just how proficient I am at Grade 1 piano pieces, I have a bloody good go trying. You can't say the same about having a telly. People don't come over and say 'Oh! You've got a telly! Show us what you can do then!' At which point everyone gathers around while you gladly show them what all the exciting buttons do. Actually, I bet that is exactly what people with a great big telly do. Oh my god, my piano is my telly substitute! I have never felt like more of a snob in all my life. Except for the times when I bemoan my future husband for calling it a ‘couch’ instead of a 'sofa'. When I sit at my piano telling him to call it a sofa while scolding the neighbours for playing their karaoke machine - now that's some first class snobbery.