I don’t know how our soldiers do it. My son has been home for a few weeks and I have given up my apartment to him and his family so they have a place to stay together to actually be a family. This whole time I have had to just watch DVDs at a friends house because they don’t have regular cable television. I can’t believe how much I miss waking up to the Weather Channel! I know, I know, that sounds so boring but hey, it helps me to get up hearing how much colder/warmer/wet someone else is besides me. I can set my beloved television to turn on at a specific time and even better to turn off at a specific time as well.
This wonderful bit of technology had been my babysitter after school, my best friend when there was a boyfriend breakup as a teen, helped me when I had to spend almost a whole pregnancy in bed because of medical problems. Believe me, had it not been for F Troop and Lost In Space as a kid, or Dallas and Dynasty as a pregnant mother or even now, the Weather Channel, I don’t think I would have been able to escape the harsh realities of regular life sometimes.
So, what does this have to do with being a soldier? Well, if you think about it, they go out on their missions, some for quite a length of time and they have no regularly scheduled programming to help them forget about what they are facing each day. I know it’s there when they return to base camp but still, being able to tune in and tune out (you know what I mean) being a vegie some times helps to take the tinge off a hard day at the office. That’s why I play repetitive computer games after tax season, it’s mind numbing and to me, relaxing.
My tv addiction started out at an early age. Mind you, I read a lot and still do, but some times being able to watch tv was just the best. I might add that I could not stand Lawrence Welk which my Dad made us watch, well, made me watch. My brothers were all older then me and could ditch the geezer tv while I had to stay and just be glad that I had a vivid imagination to offset the dance sequences. Then we went on to Donny and Marie which, to my dismay, I actually enjoyed, but of course not more then Sonny and Cher! I ended up being a little bit country and a little bit of rock and roll myself with Cher length hair of course.
I still do the “danger Will Robinson!” when I want to make my kids laugh and I loved The High Chaparrel and Big Valley. Oh how I wanted to be Audra Barkley!! My kids grew up on Fonzie, Chuck Norris, and He Man. Boy, did they miss out on some good stuff. Sorry Chuck, but Walker, Texas Ranger just does not compare to The Rifleman with Clint or I Spy or the original series of The Saint. Yuppers, those were the days..
And I was realizing, while being asked “what movie do you want to watch tonight” which meant which one did I want to re-re-rewatch, that I am just so spoiled when it comes to my tv habits. Just how much, really, are they missing when they are out in the sand? Do they miss their MTV? Do they care about what Paris is up to? Do they even think about what is going on over in OC? My son didn’t really think much about what he was missing on the tele. He just read when he could and worried about what was coming up. I guess that’s what they all probably do, they have enough to worry about. It’s not like they can say, hey!, wait till the commercial.
Even the music does not reach them at the same time it does here. Why does that surprise me? A song that has been around for a few months was on the radio the other day and my son turned it up and said, “oh, this is cool, I just heard it the other day” and my daughter-in-law giggled, saying how strange it was to think that he was not exposed to these things at the same time we are. All of this makes one think, that which we take for granted, the lines at the store, the day in/day out hum drum life that we sometimes complain about are those exact things they are fighting for. Giving up their lives for on their own day in/day out basis. Makes you stop and think.