Wednesday, February 9, 2011

324. HGTV = Crack Cocaine

So I’m watching yet another episode of Selling New York, when I realize, Oh, I’ve already seen this one. It’s the one where that B-list actor wants to buy a downtown loft, but he hasn’t sold his Malibu property yet. That’s okay, I can watch Divine Design. I click over to my TiVo’d list of programs, and select Candace Olson’s lovely show, only to realize … seen it (the hockey player’s basement-turned-rec room). Color Splash? More repeats (beach cottage retreat inspired by a famous Art Deco hotel).

Designed to Sell? I think I’ve probably seen this one, but I can’t remember. Is this the one where the husband refuses to part with all that baseball memorabilia/ clutter? I fast-forward to the last five minutes of the show for the Big Reveal. Huh, no baseball stuff; his hobby is sailing. I guess it was a new one after all.

I scan through the remainder of my TiVo personal menu. TiVo has obediently taped no fewer than 5288 shows for me, all about Houses. How nice of you TiVo, to help support my nasty little habit. I’m figuring out that I have a teeny tiny problem, some might use the word “addiction,” kinder folks would say “affinity.”

When did this happen? It all started when I became a full-time, stay-at-home mom seven years ago. Before I had children, there had actually been a decade-long segment of my life where I chose not to own a TV (essentially, during all of my 20’s). People would say, Don’t you get bored? What do you do? How can you not have a TV? or the one-size-fits-all, You’re crazy.

Oh, if those former friends/ acquaintances could see me now, they’d be so proud. How the pendulum has swung in the other direction!

In my childless and TVless state, I worked three jobs, worked-out, read books (lots of ‘em), socialized, talked on the phone, wrote letters, went out to eat, shopped, travelled, and didn’t much think about what I was “missing” on television. Then along came my new career Being Home with Baby, and my life was transformed. Oh sure, I waited until he was two years old to expose him to Sesame Street, but the onslaught of decorating shows started beckoning to me way before that.

There is just something so enticing about taking a dreary, uninviting room and transforming it with a bucket of paint, new throw pillows, and a black and white photo of a European city. I watch and think, Hey! I could do that!

My tiny house has become a canvas of (failed?) experiments involving paint colors with names like “Barista” and “Tropicana Cabana” and “Sea Life.” People come over, and ooh and ahh politely as I give them the Grand Tour, complete with Before and After photos, my own personal mini-Reveal. At first, these so-called “friends” were laying it on thick, “This looks amazing! What a dramatic difference!” After about two dozen or so people said the same thing over and over and over (and I found out The Husband was not paying them to flatter me and boost my fragile ego), I realized I had a talent: a talent to copy things from TV.

I’m going cold turkey today. No more House shows. I can think of better uses for my time.

If you’ll excuse me, I just made myself a cappuccino, and I’m going to sit down, and peruse the February issue of Elle Décor. And right after that, Traditional Home. And then maybe, if I have enough time, Coastal Living.

(“Mama’s Obsession, Verified”)


  1. Stop it stop it! I was a Holmes on Homes addict, back when I had cable. You're making me want to do things I don't want to do! When my mountain man comes home to the Grande Package of Television Delight and the associated Horrid Bill of Cable Doom, I will tell him that you're a pusher. Then it won't be my fault. Right?

  2. I love it. Don't stop it there is no better paradise than coffee and a design show or magazine!

  3. perfect! my husband had to go get his own TV a couple of years ago because I got so bad. I'm on a maintenance diet now..... one day at a time!

  4. Don't be to hard on yourself, I have no less than 100 Martha Stewart magazines dating back to (well 20 years ago)that I know I will go through and accomplish all the wonderful things Martha has done. These things just take time.time.time.....


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