I didn’t watch the Oscars tonight.

This is not really any kind of momentous admission or anything.  I hadn’t planned to watch the Oscars.  I don’t think I’ve seen anything that is nominated.  Not even for the little stuff.  Certainly none of the best picture nominees and I don’t think any of the best actor options.  One thing that most people I know know (and now all of you will know as well) is that Amy and I don’t have a TV.  We haven’t had one at all since we got married.  This has had some interesting effects on our marriage.

1. Talking – We talk a lot.  To each other, primarily.  Apart from the odd evening when we’ll zone out with five or six episodes of House or Dr. Who (we don’t have a TV but we do have a monitor, XBox and the Internet), we usually spend at least an hour just talking and connecting.  We’ll talk about our respective days, or work, or what we’re reading or lots of other things.  When we were in pre-marriage counselling (highly recommended), we took a test that ranked some of our strengths and weaknesses.  One of our strongest strengths (if that’s not too redundant) was communication.  I think this has helped us deal with some of our less strong strengths (or ‘weaknesses’ for those of you who refuse to seek out every available silver lining).  In addition to conversation, in the first year we were married, no TV gave me the opportunity to start reading aloud to Amy.  We were reading Terry Pratchett Discworld books side by side and I kept saying “Oh, you have to hear this” and reading  a paragraph or a page aloud.  Eventually we just decided it would be easier for me to read them aloud in their entirety.  We’ve maintained this as a tradition a pretty significant percentage of the nights since then.  We’re presently nearly finished our second read-through of the entire series.

2.  Saving money – If you don’t see advertising, it significantly reduces your desire to buy stuff.  It’s pretty straightforward.  We almost never go out to movies because we have no idea what’s playing or coming out soon or coming to DVD.  We go to the drive-in in Fonthill about twice a year (usually 2-3 movies for $9 each.  Very hard to beat) but only if there’s something we particularly want to see.  We’ve seen both Narnia movies, Get Smart, Iron Man, Pirates of the Carribbean 2 and a bunch of other movies that way.  I really highly recommend the drive in.  You don’t get stuck listening to other people talk all the way through the movie, you can talk all the way through the movie and it’s significantly cheaper.  On the (slight) downside, you sit in your car and have to stay up pretty much all night.  The first time we went, it was a Saturday night, we saw a triple-feature, we got home at 5:00am and I was songleading at morning worship the next day.  This was also the last time I lead (led?  I’m bad at that one) singing on a Sunday morning.  The two are probably not related.

We are still exposed to quite a lot of advertising (radio, flyers, Internet, that kind of thing) but it’s amazing how much less pervasive it is without the main event of TV.  We may look at getting one next year for the Olympics (there’s just something about having them in Canada and only a 3 hour time difference that makes us really want to watch them) but we have no plans to get cable.  Our house has a built-in antenna of some kind (the control box is in the basement) and that ought to pick up CBC.  Seven minutes left.  Good for me but apologies to those of you who won’t get it until tomorrow.

a love beyond what we can comprehend