Thursday, February 09, 2006

Who's in (remote) Control?

My Beloved Curmudgeon and I got home at the same time today. About 6 p.m. We walked in the house and talked a bit. He went about getting the trash together and up the hill to the curb and taking care of the dogs. I started in on the kitchen, getting the dishwasher loaded and the counters clean. Eventually we both ended up in the den. He sat down in his overstuffed chair and started the time honored male ritual of channel surfing. Click, click, click. I sat down at the computer and started looking around to see what was going on in the blogdom. I long ago blocked out the clicking of the remote and the seemingly endless changing of channels. I can remember many times in the past getting interested in some show, only to have him change the channel. Then I'd get interested in whatever was on that show, and he'd change the channel. I have seen him change the channels and land on commercials for a while. Then change it again as the show was coming back on. I've asked him more than once if he is actually watching or if it's just reflex. He usally laughs when I say something like that. He seems to think I'm joking. Occassionally, I get to handle the remote. If I pick it up when he's in the shower or not at home. In the past it didn't matter. He would still take it back and start channel surfing again, I'm certain without even realizing what he had done. That used to make me mad. He used to tell me that handling the remote was a big responsiblity and needed to be done just right. He explained that I needed to let him take that burden from me. That became an ongoing joke for a while. As time has gone by I have migrated to the computer for down time and just hear the TV in the background. So now he's trying to be more aware of when I have started watching a show (after all these years!). For instance, I took the remote last night while he was in the shower and flipped over to a girly movie on what we call the 'wife abuse channel' (Lifetime Television for Women). When he came back into the room he didn't take the remote!!! I expected him to. I waited for him to. I think he started to and then realized what he was doing and deliberately let the show stay on. He made a few sarcastic statements about the show, but he can't help himself from doing that. That's just who he is. Overall, he was very good. But I could tell it was painful for him. I waited to see how long he'd bear it before he changed the channel. I really wasn't that interested in the show, but it seemed a matter of principal. Finally, I was feeling his pain so intensely I gave him the remote and said, 'go ahead and change the channel, I know you want to.' He replied, 'No, we can watch this if you want', his finger twitching over the channel button. 'No, change it, it doesn' matter to me. I know you want to.' 'Okay, if you really don't care.' Gee, that took a lot of arm twisting. And as quick as a toad catches a fly, the channels were flying past us. The poor thang, he was channel changing deprived. I had to give him credit for his control and tolerance. If you only knew how much progress that short exchange represents! I'm very proud. Tonight I was reading blogs and he was in his chair. The familiar channeling white noise was in the background. After a while I heard a little snore. I looked around and sure enough, he had dozed off. I kept blogging. The channel changed again. I looked around thinking he had woken up. He appeared to still be asleep. I thought maybe he was just resting his eyes as we say down here. I went over to the other part of the room and sat down and looked at him. He was asleep. He was definitly asleep. AND changing channels. Not as frequently and more sporatically but changing them all the same. Click, click, click. In - his - sleep. This is a true story ... Sadly. Linked to: Is it just Me?; Stuck on Stupid; Adam's Blog; TMH's Bacon Bits; Jo's Cafe; Third World County; The Real Ugly American; Everyman Chronicles; The Liberal Wrong; The Uncooperative Blogger; Cao's Blog; Right Wing Nation; Blogging Out Loud; MacBro's Place ; Basil's Blog