|Television-watching freedom at last!
Image courtesy of Rebecca Merrett,
Looking back, I'm surprised I managed to get any homework done once I started sharing my single with the Zenith. I guess it helped that I didn't have cable and was able to pick up only one network, NBC. Still, NBC featured some great programming back in the "olden" days of 1993 and 1994, and I remember watching Seinfeld, ER, Mad About You, and F•R•I•E•N•D•S--all great shows that I still love today.
After I graduated from college, I packed up my TV and went on to graduate school. That tiny TV looked even smaller in my brand-new apartment, but it remained a treasured possession. In fact, I guess you could say I had formed a sentimental attachment to that Zenith. Did I refuse to go out with my friends in favor of staying home with my TV? Of course not. I'm sentimental, not antisocial. Still, that TV had been with me through a lot: it had helped me stay awake during all-night cram sessions, consoled me after fights with boyfriends, helped take my mind off worries that would threaten to keep me from sleep... I used to say that I had two possessions I would do my best to rescue if there was ever a fire: my Skylark and my Zenith, both of which offered me a much-needed escape from life whenever I needed it.
But one day I noticed that the Zenith wasn't working as well as it once had. It turned fickle at the worst possible moments--like during the many but crucial "Will-this-patient-live-or-die" scenes on ER. Sometimes it displayed a picture but had no sound; sometimes there was sound but no picture. I feared I was losing it (the TV, not my mind, although I have friends who would beg to differ). I started babying it, talking to it, cajoling it, even giving it a little slap when it wouldn't listen to me. I didn't know it then, of course, but, for better or for worse--and minus the slapping--that TV was helping me hone my future parenting skills.
No matter my efforts, though, the Zenith continued to decline, yet somehow I couldn't part with it--not even when I finished graduate school and packed up a U-Haul to move 1,300 miles away to Nebraska to teach. Yes, that old, broken-down, works-only-part-of-the-time-but-still-isn't-quite-dead TV made the trip with me.
I know what you're thinking: I was crazy to keep the thing, right? Why didn't I just go out and buy a new one? That would have been the logical solution, I admit, but I've always been much too sentimental about things, and I have an especially hard time parting with anything given to me by someone I love. To add to that, I was moving far away from home and family, from the Midwest to the Plains, from security to uncertainty... No wonder I wanted to cling to something from my past.
So I moved that TV into my new (rented) house. It wasn't long before it wouldn't work at all, but instead of tossing it out, I boxed it up and put it in the basement, where it wouldn't have to see its replacement and where I could still keep my memories. It wasn't until nearly seven years later, as we were packing up yet another U-Haul, this time for my move to Wisconsin, that I allowed my dad to throw that Zenith away. I couldn't do it myself, and somehow it seemed fitting that one of the people who gave it to me was the one to get rid of it. I guess that having it live in the basement for all those years made me realize that I could live without it--and more importantly, that living without it didn't mean that I would be living without the memories.
And that was a big realization right there. I had come to my zenith in regard to my Zenith, just as we are now at the zenith of this challenge. I'm sad that the challenge is over; I had so much fun meeting other bloggers and enjoyed writing to a theme. I'll save the rest of my thoughts for my reflections post on May 7, but I want to say now that I appreciate each and every one of you who takes the time to read my thoughts. Reading your comments has been the highlight of my day. Thank you!
So how about you? Have you ever owned a Zenith or formed a sentimental attachment to an object? (Please tell me I'm not the only one!)