Now earplugs and alcohol are my best options

04 February 2013 - 02:25 By Jackie May
Jackie May. File photo.
Jackie May. File photo.
Image: Times LIVE

I was once married to an armchair sportsman who thought the ideal and most romantic way of spending a Saturday afternoon was having me watch a rugby match on TV with him. If there wasn't a rugby match, there was Test cricket. Hours of it. And always the best game ever.

I inevitably declined, took to what I liked to do on a weekend, and left him at home. Occasionally, back from a night out with friends, I would make use of the television entertainment we had paid for to watch mindless fashion porn.

My few moments of viewing did not justify the money we spent on DStv. His endless watching wasn't doing our marriage any good. He sacrificed his sport, and we cancelled our DStv subscription. That was 10 years ago.

It's been good. We had three babies.

But the pressure has been mounting. Finally, I have succumbed to signing up again to 24 hours of many channels.

Having missed seasons of The Hour, The Wire, Come Dine With Me SA, Masterchef, Idols and countless breaking international news stories, I imagined immediately being connected to the world of popular TV and current affairs. I was also deliriously excited about getting to know the world of noir Danish television shows.

I've read about Sofie Gråbøl's sweaters, but never seen her murder mysteries unfold in The Killing.

It's been two weeks. I remain ignorant.

Our home has become a battlefield. I'm disgruntled. I've watched only one episode of the UK's Come Dine With Me.

There is no longer just a man, his couch and a television set. This man now has a boy. Both want to watch the cricket and the soccer. One daughter wants to watch the awful Jessie! and her silly antics. The other likes Phineas and Ferb and Ant Farm.

The girls find it "so unfair" that the boys watch hours of sport while their watching of Disneyworld is restricted to minutes.

To keep the peace and restrict the television screen time, I've removed the card during the day, and insisted on family cooking time and early bedtimes. I've schlepped them off to the big screen to watch the glorious Life of Pi. Perhaps after a 3-D visual feast they'll hate the flat, predictable TV programmes designed for children living in colder and darker climes.

So far it is not working. They're whining and scrambling and manipulating matters to make as much time for TV as they can.

I'm resorting to earplugs and alcohol. And I might in my dotage get an opportunity to find out about the Scandi TV craze that swept across the globe like a virus last year.