A Whisper of FOMO
TV is Mostly Missing from my Life
I remember Dad and Granddad struggling with the boxy TV as they brought it up the front steps. We were getting our first TV! I was ten and my baby sister had been born on December 29, and my parents’ income tax refund for 1952 had paid for the TV. That mild spring day must have been about May 1953.
There were few shows in those days and KDKA was our only station. There was a staticky test pattern if you forgot and turned the TV on in the early morning before they started broadcasting for the day.
Over the next seven years my favorite programs included Father Knows Best, Leave it to Beaver, I Remember Mama, The Lone Ranger, Maverick, I Love Lucy. We watched The Ed Sullivan Show the night he introduced Elvis. My mother was horrified by his sexy gyrations and his weird new music dubbed “rock and roll.”
I went off to college, TV left my life, and I didn’t miss it. Until late November 1963. The world stood still that fateful day on November 22 and for the next three days. We witnessed none of the live TV coverage surrounding the horror of President Kennedy’s assassination and the pageantry of his lying-in-state in the Capitol rotunda and the funeral. Later, friends chided us because we had not invited ourselves to watch with them.
Eventually, my husband and I settled in a home of our own, and we bought a TV for the spare bedroom we furnished as a den. And it sat there. We seldom watched it. I’ve moved on three times since then, and I eventually bought a TV where I live now.
We were not at home on 9/11, but our host’s daughter called him as we were eating breakfast in Santa Barbara. He turned on the TV and we shared the nation’s nightmare of that chaotic coverage.
These days, I try to watch PBS’s News Hour on Monday for their Politics discussion and Friday for Brooks and Capehart, but other than that I seldom watch TV. I read the news online, but the TV is there for whatever unfolding high drama might come next. I have little fear of missing out.