We had been married 18 months and had gotten along fine without television when I had an overnight stay in the hospital where I made friends with my roommate. Somehow the topic of televisions came up and she offered us an old set she and her husband no longer used. “It just needs a few tubes replaced,” she said. (Yes, I’m that old.)
We drove to the town where she lived and lugged the monstrosity home. Hubby dutifully removed the back, tested all the tubes, and sorted out which ones needed replacing. I can’t remember what we paid for them, but you can bet it was more than we could afford with my McWages and his college tuition. We did it anyway. And we had ourselves a TV!
Shortly after it quit, my boss offered us a little set a renter had left behind in his storage units. The big TV now served as a stand for the little one. Reception was lousy. When we moved back to Manitoba, we left both TVs behind.
A few years later, my sister and brother-in-law gifted us with another small black and white set after upgrading themselves. By this time we had two kids who gladly watched Mr. Dressup and Fred Penner. My reward at 10 pm after the kids were in bed was to sit down to reruns of M*A*S*H.
One day I was trying to watch the news while working in my kitchen. I set the TV on a stacking stool and the silly thing decided to commit suicide right then and there, pitching itself forward and landing on its face on the floor with a crack.
By this time, we’d been married fifteen years and had yet to actually purchase a TV.
We went a few years without one, and then my grandmother moved into a nursing home. When her kids bought her a new TV to take with her, we inherited her old one—maybe because no one else wanted it. Through their high school years, our kids got teased by their friends about their state-of-the-art TV and the channel selection nob that went kachunk-kachunk as you cranked it around by hand.
When we moved to town, we no longer had an antenna and refused to pay for cable or satellite, but we could usually get one channel with the rabbit ears. When Granny passed away in 2002, we inherited her “new” TV. Finally, we had joined the 1990s!
We hooked the TV up to a DVD player and used it for movies only. At some point, hubby and some of his guy friends began meeting in our home for a weekly Wild at Heart book/video study. One friend brought his own larger TV with him, declaring ours too small for real men to enjoy. When the study was over, he told us to keep the TV since he’d recently bought a flat screen and this one took up too much space.
Fine by us. We had now been married 35 years and had yet to purchase a TV.
Then our daughter and son-in-law offered us a small flat-screen that had been left behind by the previous owners of their new house. You bet we’d take it! After hauling it home from Calgary and donating the big one to Habitat, we discovered the quirky flat screen had a tendency to overheat and shut itself off after 30 or 40 minutes of viewing. For a year, any movie we watched lasted us all week as we viewed it in half hour segments.
This past October marked our 38th wedding anniversary, and in January we finally purchased our very first TV. Discovering the wonders of Netflix, we can now watch an entire movie in an evening, and I’m guaranteed to end my day with a laugh when I watch “Last Man Standing” with Tim Allen.
Stay tuned for 2026 when I finally buy my first cell phone.