JAN: Last week, my husband and I got home late - from our respective recreational activities (basketball game and exercise class.) As I was making dinner, I asked him if he had taped -- or really the correct terminology is DVR-ed, The Tenth Inning. It's a Ken Burns documentary and if you are a baseball fan, stop reading now and go set your own DVR because its AWESOME.
But back to the subject matter. My husband had already DVR-ed the The Tenth Inning. as I pretty much knew he would. Why? Because somehow, its become his job to DVR our entertainment schedule. Now, it's not as if I'm such a Luddite that I don't know how to operate the DVR. In fact, when he's traveling, he'll call and asked me to tape/DVR a game for him. And I'm perfectly competent at getting the job done. (which is amazing considering my track record with other forms of technology) But although we never talk about it, we both know that under normal circumstances, it's his job. He'll even record things that he knows I like, and that only I'll watch (old, sappy movies) because, well, it's his job.
And I wonder, how has this happened?? It's not like this is some sort of gender thing handed down from the generations -- our parents couldn't master the VCR, and never dealt with the DVR. Still, it feels like we are settling into established male/female roles. Is it because men care more about TV?? Because they've commandeered the remote for so long?? Or is this something that only goes on in my house???
HALLIE: I had to laugh, because though we don't DVR...ever...we do get DVDs and play them. My job is to open the Netflix pouch and insert the DVD, then I hand my husband the remote control. Too darned many buttons on that thing if you ask me. On the other hand, in the car I'm the one who drives. Always.
ROBERTA: Ha ha Hallie, that's a funny division of labor. But I can't work the remote either--John always worries that I'll have to watch TV in the bedroom where the system is simpler if something happens to him. We have other splits too--he's been to the vet only once in our 20 years together. I give the report on the pet in question and he gasps at the bill. (It IS always high, but they are worth it!) He usually drives, I usually cook. This subject reminds me we should probably shake things up once in a while, just so we know we can!
JAN: I do the same thing Roberta. I head to the TV in the bedroom where it's not so incredibly complex.
I also don't really care what size the screen is or if I have surround sound.
HANK: I do the DVR'ing around here! Whenever Jonathan tries, well, what can I say. It doesn't seem to work. HOWEVER. When it comes to turning on the televison, or watching a DVD, I am clueless. Literally, honestly, sometimes I can't even get the television to turn ON. ANd if I had to watch a DVD by myself? Well, I couldn't. (How ridiculous is that?)
(Jonathan drives. Jonathan takes out the trash. I usually cook--except for Thursdays, when it's Jonathan's night to do dinner.)
But I work at a TV station, right? And I can't even turn on our TV. (And right, gang, except in the bedroom where it's just--imagine this--clicking "on.")
RHYS: It's because they deliberately make it hard, Hank. Our family room TV has one remote to turn it on, another to move through cable stations and probably a third if we want to view a DVR. Result--I watch TV in kitchen and bedroom rather than admit I don't know which remote is which. And have you noticed--keeping the remote from husbands is like taking away their manhood. They eye it, then they make a gentle suggestion that they just need to check another channel and if you don't give it to them--they wrestle it away from you. Then they go flick, flick flick all darned night!!! Which hunting and gathering gene turned into the channel-surfing gene, I wonder?
JAN: I think you are right Rhys. It's a conspiracy! I'm guessing its the hunting thing. What's everyone else out there think?
And please come back tomorrow for True Crime Tuesday when I talk about the Wisconsin DA who you couldn't make up no matter how hard you tried and whether he'd make a believable villain or not.