Rabbit Ears Rock!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

This will be our third summer with rabbit ears.

It always happens about this time of year - we want to, need to, get away from the TV. This year, there were plenty of clues:
  • Little Guy standing in front of a blank screen crying, "Mo Eah-go!" (More Diego)
  • Big Guy instructing me to "pause" live TV so he can go potty. (We didn't get to pause live TV for potty breaks when I was a kid!)
  • A quick look at our DVR selections: Dora, Diego, Thomas, Dinosaur Train, Sesame Street, Curious George. . . hello, does our TV even show adult programs?
  • The realization that they only show Hubby and I enjoy these days is Modern Family. Reality TV is horrible. And, most nights, we are both on our laptops and the TV is off.
  • Hubby is not a huge baseball fan, so the sports channels are not necessary now. Of course they will be necessary come football season, which is why this change is temporary.
As these light bulbs went off, Hubby looked at me and said, "It's time."

So, I called DirecTV and put our account on "hold" for three months. Nothing has to be disconnected, no man has to come out - it just goes off, and comes back on whenever I say. Magic! Now this doesn't mean we have no TV. I got a digital converter box (yes, I sent off for the government coupon last year when "the switch" was advertised!) and that, plus the rabbit ears, gives us plenty of free TV. We can still watch Modern Family, the news, etc., in HD . . . for free. Plus I have enough cartoon DVDs for the boys to watch a new "show" every day this summer.

*Hint: I buy almost all of our cartoon DVDs secondhand. Soooo worth it.

And then of course the real bonus (in case I didn't use the word "free" enough up there) is that we will be saving the $$ every month that we would have spent on channels we weren't watching.

The only awkward part is when we have to explain to a new babysitter, "Yeah, actually, we don't have cable right now."
Blank stare.
"You have to change the channels standing up here. . . but you can still watch 5 or 6 channels!"
Blank stare.
"Don't worry, we have lots of movies."
Some relief.
"And we won't be out late."
Visible exhale.

So, maybe you think we are weird. We probably are. But we see this as part of the essence of summertime. Getting back to the basics. Staying outside longer. More time to talk. Turning off the noise and finding time to think. Summertime simplicity.

What do you think? Would this work for you? Does it work for you? Are you making a mental note to avoid our house until football season? Or does your family have any similar tips for getting back to basics? Would love to hear from you . . .

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6 Responses to “Rabbit Ears Rock!”

  1. Oh to have the courage to try such a thing. Charlie and Daniel have both asked me to fast forward through live events because they don't like commercials!

  2. I should probably chime in on this one since I still cannot convince Jimmy to get us anything other than basic cable. I have to laugh when people talk about "pausing" a show as I have no clue, but I did find Hulu. So as long as you don't mind waiting until the next day, you can still see your basic network shows without commercials. We had rabbit ears for our first 5 years of marriage and only when I had a "pregnancy moment" filled with tears did Jimmy agree to the basic package (which covers ESPN for football). The cable guy actually laughed at us when he hooked it up. I do envy dvr, but I also believe it helps us to curtail our tv watching and save money. I think we pay $15 a month. I still get my favorite shows in a clear picture even though when Lost ends I don't know what else I am dying to see.....

  3. Okay it is a miracle, I can finally comment.

    I love this idea. I was all psyched and ready to pull the plug when Stephen reminded me that we have a renter, in our garage apt. I cannot do that to her especially since our lease says that we will provide Directv. Bummer.

    Kudos to you and Jim. We are about to have some no TV weeks around here with an occasional movie or so for the boys.

  4. Courtney TollisonMay 22, 2010 at 12:16 PM

    I love it and applaud your efforts! This is a GREAT thing to do!

  5. What an awesome idea! I don't think my husband would go for this at all - but then, he watches way more TV than I do. Maybe he needs to be unplugged for a bit!

  6. Oh to have the courage to try such a thing. Charlie and Daniel have both asked me to fast forward through live events because they don't like commercials!