I spent some time in Burlington, Vermont last weekend. The company flew me in early Sunday, so I would have time to check out the area a bit before my interview. I explored Church Street Marketplace, which was quaint and charming. I picked up some maple candies and a shirt with a moose on it for my nephew. Side note: Has anyone ever seen a wild moose? I’d really like to one day. I thought I might have my chance in Burlington. I remember watching the fields and forests so carefully when I was in the Lake Placid area of New York last winter. Why is it so hard to spot a moose? Those things are huge.

Group launching a canoe on Lake Champlain.
Group launching a canoe on Lake Champlain.

So no moose sightings, but I did walk down to Lake Champlain. It’s a huge and gorgeous lake. Sixth largest in the United States, I was told. The waterfront was buzzing. People were out enjoying the dog days of summer. Sailboats, kayaks and canoes were abundant. There was a concert on one end of the park. I could have gone, or I could have found a bar to meet Burlingtoners (Burlingtonians? Burlinghamsters?) and watch the Seahawks-49ers game that I had a beer riding on, but I wanted to go hang out in my hotel room. After all, I can hang out at bars and go kayaking in Manhattan. I can’t wear comfy yoga pants that won’t get covered in kitty fur and lounge around a room I don’t have to clean while watching cable TV in Manhattan.

Three years ago, when I was heading for a breakup and anxious about how I’d deal with my alone time, my therapist told me TV night didn’t have to be depressing. I could make it into an event. I could pour myself a glass of wine, make a tasty dinner or plan some home spa indulgences while I watch. I liked that idea. I also took up knitting, so my hands would be too busy to mindlessly surf the Internet. I try to schedule one free night per week now to read magazines or watch TV or whatever, but I usually find something I’d rather be doing.

As I started taking classes and taking up new activities and living in New York, those alone nights became rare and more of a treat. I haven’t had TV in a while, so that hotel evening with a TV all to myself was exciting – even if there was nothing I wanted to watch until the game started – and then it got delayed an hour. Still, it felt like an indulgence. I brought a beer, just like old times. I was thinking, “I could get used to this.”

Question is: Do I really want to? I was watching some home-search show on HGTV because it was on, but I wasn’t that into it. Watching TV just to watch TV is not a habit I want to get back into. I feel good about the fact that TV nights are a challenge for me now. Since I don’t have a TV, I watch the few shows I’m into (The Daily Show, Colbert Report, 2 Broke Girls, How I Met Your Mother and Parks and Recreation) later online or on Aereo (Such a steal for $8 per month, but only available in a few cities right now). So I’m not going to buy a TV and subscribe to cable right now. Maybe once I’ve had a moose sighting.

Tell me about your viewing. Would you be lost without your TV? Do you do the online thing?


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