I can admit it – I am a TV addict.
I have been ever since I was a little girl. My parents had given me a little black and white TV for my birthday. It sat on my dresser in my orange and yellow bedroom, and I would have to get up to change the channel by turning the dial. It had six channels – 2, 4, 5, 7, 11, and 13.
I remember lying in my bed and watching my TV every night. I knew what day it was by the shows that were on.
On Sundays, I needed to be finished with my weekend homework so that I could catch All in the Family and The Jeffersons. I looked forward to a full night on Tuesdays with Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Three’s Company, and Too Close for Comfort. Thursday nights I absolutely could not miss Knots Landing – I was obsessed with Nicolette Sheridan’s character, Paige. I babysat on Saturday nights and, after the kids went to bed, I sat in front of the TV to see The Love Boat and Fantasy Island.
When I was home sick from school, I would happily stay in bed to watch The Price is Right, $100,000 Pyramid, Let’s Make a Deal, All My Children, One Life to Live, and General Hospital.
I grew up with a loving family and plenty of friends. Life was busy, but I always looked forward to my downtime to watch TV.
I am now an adult with two teenage daughters. I am still in love with TV and I am sorry to say that I have passed down my addiction to my girls. But there is a huge difference between the way I watched TV while growing up and the way they do now. They do not need to wait for their favorite shows to run on a particular night and time. With Netflix and DVR, they can watch whatever they want, whenever they want. I will often find them binge-watching a series, sometimes for hours at a time.
My girls and I do share a love of some TV. One favorite show that we have in common is “Friends”.
All three of us are a little obsessed with the 90’s sitcom. Lucky for us, we can find it on some network at almost any time of day. Although I watched it during its original run, my daughters now know and love it just as much as I do. Sometimes we recite the lines just to make each other laugh.
A few years back, I was going through a particularly hard time. During this time, we were hit by a huge snowstorm and were stuck in the house for a couple of days. I was ok with that, I did not feel like doing too much anyway. A day or two lying around the house actually sounded pretty good to this TV addict.
During those days, my girls each started binge-watching new shows that they had never seen before. As I was considering doing this myself, I noticed that there was a Friends marathon running. I put it on and plopped myself down on the couch. I watched my favorite show almost absentmindedly while, at the same time, found myself smiling at the familiar jokes.
After a few hours, I found that Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Ross, Joey and Chandler were putting me in a better mood.
I then made the move to get off my couch and do something productive. I started to clean out closets and drawers throughout my house while Friends continued to play in the background.
After the storm had passed, I found myself feeling slightly better. 48 hours with a little solitude and my favorite show seemed to ease my sadness a little.
I had seen every one of those Friends episodes a million times before that day of the storm. The familiarity of those episodes was a comfort to me during that hard time. I didn’t need to make the effort to pay attention and I didn’t have to think too hard. The voices of my favorite characters made me laugh just a little, which slowly helped bring me slightly out of my sad mood.
Yes, I am a TV addict.
It is not the worst thing in the world to be addicted to. In a way, it comforted me during a difficult time……with a little help from my favorite Friends.
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Stacy was a stay-at-home mom/part-time preschool teacher whose life was turned upside down in 2011 when her husband passed away suddenly of a heart attack. She is raising her two fabulous daughters, now ages 18 and 20, who are turning into wonderful young women. In 2016, she started a blog about her experience as a young widow, The Widow Wears Pink. This led her to write for other publications including Huffington Post, Today.com, Scary Mommy, Grown & Flown, Kveller, Modern Loss, Thought Catalog, and many more. In 2018 she started Living the Second Act with fellow writer Mimi Golub. Today, Stacy and her daughters are happily living their “new normal” while always keeping her husband’s spirit alive.
I think whatever it is you find comfort in, unless it’s harmful to you is a good thing. I admire your strength & willingness to share your life’s lessons throughout such heartache. It does help those of us that are in the beginning of this healing journey.