When my family’s only television set went to the repair shop the other day, my parents, my sister, and I thought we would have a terrible week. How could we get through the long evenings in such a quiet house? What would it be like without all the shows to keep us company? We soon realized, though, that living without television for a while was a stroke of good fortune. It became easy for each of us to enjoy some activities alone, to complete some postponed chores, and to spend rewarding time with each other and friends.
First of all, with no television to compete for our time, we found plenty of hours for personal interests. We all read more that week than we had read during the six months before. For instance, I was able to finish “The Scarlet Letter”, a novel assigned in my English class. Also my younger sister read 300 pages of the last book of the “Twilight” series. We each also enjoyed some hobbies we had ignored for ages. My dad’s old enthusiasm for gardening returned, and he started planting vegetables in his garden.
My mom had time to open her bakery book and bake Italian desserts such as Profiterole and tiramisu. My sister and I played volleyball in the back yard, a sport that we loved since we were younger. In addition, my sister and I both stopped procrastinating with our homework. We both found out that it was really helpful to work on homework ahead of time; therefore I worked on chapter three and four of my Algebra homework for next week. I also finished my study guide for my English test. My sister as well worked on her French and Government assignments.
Second we did chores that had been hanging over our heads for too long. There were many jobs around the house that had needed attention for some time. Cleaning our rooms was the first chore we did; my sister and I cleaned our entire room and vacuumed the carpet. Then my mom cleaned the counter tops and all the shelves of the kitchen. Finally my dad managed to clean his garage and put all of his tools back on the shelves. We also had a chance to do some long- postponed shopping. My father went to SEARS to buy a sofa that was needed in his room.
My mom went to LOWES to buy accessories for her bathroom. My sister and I went to the mall to buy her prom dress and I was able to buy two pairs of jeans and two shirts that I wanted. And each of us also caught up with e-mails and did paperwork that was long overdue. My mom had some office work done, such as sales reports for the committee of her company. My dad finally wrote an e-mail to my grandma that is living in Spain with my aunt Susan. My sister also replied to e-mails from her friends that live in Italy.
And I was able to complete my FASFA application for the fall semester. Finally, and probably most important, we spent time with each other. Instead of just being in the same room together while we stared at a screen, we actually talked for many pleasant hours. My parents and I never had long conversations before, and during that week, we got to know each other more than we did for the past five years. My sister and I talked more about each other and we found out that we have a lot of interests in common. Moreover, for the first time in years, my family played some games together.
My sister enjoys playing Monopoly; therefore, we played almost every night. We also played chest, one of my dad’s favorite games. My mom’s favorite game is dominos; although my sister ended up winning every game. And because we didn’t have to worry about missing this or that show, we had some family friends over on a couple of evenings and spent enjoyable time with them. We would play volleyball in the back yard. After several games we would have dinner in the back patio enjoying the lovely weather while listening to classical music.
And finally after dinner we would make a bonfire and sit around it and remember memories with our friends. Once our television returned, we were not prepared to put it in the attic. But we had a sense of how it can take over our lives if we are not careful. We are now more selective. We turn on the set for our favorite shows, certain sports events, and the news, but we don’t leave it running all evening. As a result, we find we can enjoy television and still have time left over for other activities and interests.