“Actually, today (Monday) would normally be my day to meet with Susie; she just had too many people and too much work in her schedule this week. Then I gave Sally the option of coming over instead. If she had, I probably should’ve asked if we could leave the TV off for a while and chat about stuff.
“I suppose in general with her or with Kevin, a little more time without TV would be good for better communication and connection.”
Dearest Rachel –
Yeah, we always had a problem with what I always referred to as ‘the enchanted box.’ It didn’t really matter what was on, only that it was on. I’ve known that it drew my attention whether or not I wanted it to since at least college – where I had to make a point of staying out of the common area, lest I be distracted from my studies. Matt Groening I jokingly referred to one of the beauties of television being that it allowed people who absolutely hated each other to sit in the same room without killing each other, but if you wanted more out of a relationship than just a lack of manslaughter, you had to make a conscious effort to turn it off from time to time; something that wasn’t easy for us, because there was always something on to pique our interest.
And of course, the same thing still applies now, only with YouTube instead of television. The more things change…
Even today, while we get together every week, there isn’t really that much conversation to speak of, as we’re busy playing whatever game we’ve decided on. I’m not sure if that really makes a difference; it may be that money over a game is different from simply watching a show together, but it’s also not the same as just talking directly. I just don’t know.
As always, you were aware of your shortcomings, and were willing to address them – although I don’t suppose you ever expected anybody to find your observations, let alone publish them to a wider audience. I don’t know if, were you to a found this book in the last few years, you would’ve concluded that you had made any progress on this or any of the other observations that you had about yourself. In some cases, possibly; in this one, probably not.
Not that I’m criticizing you as such; I’m every bit as guilty, if not more so. Some shortcomings are easier to fix than others, and this one was always difficult, since we were always keen to amuse ourselves this way – and let’s face it, it’s so much easier to watch a mutually enjoyable television show than to talk to certain people.