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When Your TV is Broken

With all of the options we have these days to watch TV and stay connected, do we even need traditional TV sets any more?

On Thursday one week ago, Abe came home, as he usually does, around seven o’clock.

Everything he did that evening was as usual -- he kissed me, sniffed the air to guess what I'd prepared for dinner, and threw his heavy briefcase on the sofa (I hate that; I've told him many times to put it in its place). He looked attentively through the tall pile of mail -- I need to start throwing most of it out, in this age of online billing nothing important is delivered to us anymore, only ads -- changed into his other jeans, and sat down to eat.

I usually keep him company during his evening meal; meaning that I eat again at around eight o’clock. My own dinnertime is at about six, and this second dinner is one of the reasons I can’t loose any weight.

That evening I served our favorite dish -- roasted chicken from the Lucky's on Edgewater. If you didn't know it yet, I can promise you, that this is the best tasting chicken in all of Foster City. As I sat down, I asked my usual question -- ’anything new at the office?’ -- and suddenly, I was interrupted by a sound resembling the popping sound when one opens a bottle of champagne. There was a sizable blue-and-white spark, and after that, a prolonged hissing sound that slowly died down.

Both of us jerked our heads up, and turned to our big TV screen. White threads of smoke behind it turned gray, thinned down and vanished before our eyes. We both got up from our seats, and exclaimed, "can’t believe it could happen!" I reached for the remote, but halfway to it, I waved my hand and let Abe grab it and push the "on" button a few times.

It was obvious to me, before my husband realized it, that our TV had died.

Abe looked me incredulously, exhaled, and muttered unhappily, "of course, Costco’s warranty has expired long ago." Then we reached for our respective computers (my iPad and his Mac Air), and sat back down to continue our dinner. It was just a brief interruption of our evening routine, and none of us missed any of our favorite shows that night. Abe watched his CNN, Fox and Dancing with the Stars, and I quickly checked this morning’s The View, GMA (only the fun segments), and the first ten minutes of yesterday’s Jay Leno.

At the end of that day, after our regular evening walk, and after both of us were done with our regular FaceTime chats with the parents and kids on our iPhones, Abe remembered, "we need to do something about the big TV, don't we?" and went to our bedroom. "We do," I agreed. I followed him, and cozied myself up in our bed with my Nook. Abe snuggled next to me and turned on another computer. This computer is connected to a big monitor hanging across our bed, and has a remote control, making it convenient to browse the Internet, check e-mail, or do anything on the big screen, while in bed. So, before he fell asleep, he watched more news and some YouTube videos of old jazz musicians his best friend recommended.

I am not going to bore you with the stories of the good old days, when we had one TV set in our home, and if it was broken, our regular life would come to a stop. We would become frustrated and lost, missing our favorite shows and falling behind on the news, until our TV was repaired. It’s totally different now. Now, there are multiple options with which to stay on top of one’s entertainment routine. Nothing ever gets missed unless one completely shuts off all the electricity in his or her home. But, even that is not fool-proof -- there are still Starbucks, mobile phones, public libraries, book stores and hotel lobbies with free WiFi. All to help you stay current. I discovered that even Mills and Peninsula hospitals have a free Internet connection -- so I watched an episode of last night’s ’Idol’ show, while in line for my regular blood test.

In our defense, I would like to state that Abe and I are not TV junkies at all. We choose what we watch, don't approve of most of today’s reality shows, and still have a lot of time to reconnect. We have our daily long walks, we meet with kids and our friends frequently, we go out reasonably often to movies, museums, theaters and to the JCC for our exercise classes.

We live quite an active life -- it’s just that, with all these options available, I am wondering when our big TV will be working again...

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