New Castle News

The Couch Potato

April 23, 2014

The Couch Potato: ‘Cable is my friend — I am missing my friend’

NEW CASTLE — This is an extra special edition of the Couch Potato, mainly because you don't have to read my rant this week.

My friend of many years has a story to tell, entertainment-themed as always, and it's quite good.

Without further ado, and with the "Couch Potato" stamp of approval, my friend's (who shall remain nameless) story:

We don’t have cable. Every time I admit to it in conversation I feel a little strange, even ashamed. Our parents keep asking when cable is coming to our new house. So far, it’s seven months and counting, and still our television is used for nothing but watching Elmo DVDs and the same season five “Office” reruns over and over again.

We single-handedly are keeping the one surviving movie rental store in business.

So, why the hold out?

Well, it started off as a money thing. We had bought a newer, bigger house that came with a newer, bigger mortgage, and cable was an expense we needed to factor into the budget after things settled down. Now, months later, we’ve crunched the numbers and, lo and behold, cable is doable.

But now it’s almost out of principle that we wait.

Cable costs can be so high, especially if you want the package that offers all of the must-watch channels, but it’s more than that. My 2-year old daughter loves her DVDs and I worry that when cable makes its triumphant return to our household, I will lose her to the TV.

Sure, we can set limits for her, but the ease of turning on that magic box might just be too great for all of us. I like being selective with what she is exposed to right now. I like that after a half an hour clip of a movie we turn it off to play or read a book. I like that we don’t just have it on as background noise anymore, but instead talk to each other or listen to music and dance around the kitchen.

But, all that being said, I miss cable sometimes.

I am pregnant with our second child and sleep eludes me most nights around 2:30 a.m. I remember fondly when I couldn’t sleep during my first pregnancy, turning on the TV at that late hour to find “The Golden Girls” and “Frasier” ready to lull me back to sleep.

Now I have my iPhone and its just not the same. Sure, I love to read, and I guess pulling out a book could offer me some comfort, but reading isn’t the escape for my busy mind that cable is. And as I am writing this I realize something: Cable is my friend. I am missing my friend.

Thinking back, cable has been there for me whenever I needed it. Cable has all of the qualities I look for in a friend: It is a good listener, it inspires me, it makes me laugh, it commiserates when I need a shoulder to cry on, and it understands where I am coming from.

When I was dealing with my parents’ divorce and needed somewhere to run, who was there to offer guidance and advice? Cable.

“Who’s the Boss?” reruns gave me hope that someday a cute, Italian, retired MLB player would walk into our lives and Mom would have the supportive man in her life she’d aways deserved.

When I had boyfriend troubles and needed someone, who was there to listen and empathize? Cable. The “Gilmore Girls” and I had more than a few nights of cathartic crying; working through those tough, young adult years with quippy dialog and laughter.

When I needed to celebrate after a successful day on the job or a great date night, who was there to pat me on the back? That’s right, cable. There was nothing like coming home from some fantastic, “Look at me, I’m successful!” kind of day to see my favorite characters and TV hosts giving me their smiles that said, “Good job, kid, now sit back and relax for a few hours.”

For now, cable and I are on a Ross and Rachel-type break. The kind that will last for a season or two to give us both some room to grow and appreciate each other more, and the kind that you know will end with a love child (we do need wi-fi, too) and a touching reunion.

So, I am sure one day in the not-so-distant future, I will introduce my daughters to my old pal, cable.

Why should I deny them this fulfilling friendship?

(Questions, comments or ideas? Email at:


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