In public, I am a pretty restrained individual. I don’t feel the need to voice my political views or offer commentary in group settings. The same holds true for social media. I don’t use my accounts as an avenue to pop off about current events or debate with others.
However, in the comfort of my own home I am a little more uninhibited. I might offer my two cents on certain topics if something irks me on TV. When skimming the newspaper this morning, I saw a certain letter to an advice columnist that almost made me feel like my wife could be writing it if only we haven’t been separated during the majority of this COVID pandemic (just 11 days until we reunite!).
Truth of the matter, I started to develop a habit of freely gracing Sidney with my “expert” commentary when watching television together. Just like the person seeking advice, I could at times drive my wife over the edge with my unsolicited revelations.
I found myself in major violation on a few different fronts…
1. Demeaning the reality shows that Sidney enjoys watching.
2. Predicting what would happen in movies or pointing out inconsistencies in the plot.
3. Yelling at the news over national stories I did not care for.
For a while, I couldn’t help myself from chiming in with my hot takes. It inflated my sense of self with my perceived cleverness and provided an outlet to blow off some steam. But what I was too proud to realize at the time was that my outbursts were completely self-serving.
You see, my commentary made TV-watching for Sid miserable. We both work hard and after the kids are in bed at night, we enjoy relaxing in front of the television. This therapeutic time for both of us was dampened by a certain loudmouth. Sidney was able to communicate this to me and I got better at it. Was it instantaneous? No. But I did gradually improve.
I think the response from Carolyn Hax, the advice columnist, was too flowery and complicated. Just give straight-forward advice, right? I would have told the annoyed wife to have a conversation with her husband and not simply tell him to “go away.” Rather, explain how the commentary not only adds absolutely nothing of value to your television-viewing experience but that it actually detracts from it. Explain how it turns a time of relaxation into a time of dread.
If he is a decent dude, he will get it…pandemic or no pandemic.
Do you have a perspective on armchair commentators? If so, I would love to hear it. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday. Don’t Blink.