I moved into my apartment almost five years ago. Four-and-a-half, if you want to get technical. There I was, fresh-ish off… my car?…having moved to DC, where I spent the first three weeks bouncing between three different friends’ apartments while I looked for a job and a place to live, never staying at one place too long for fear of making a nuisance of myself as a houseguest.*
My apartment hunt didn’t last very long because A) I hate looking for apartments, and 2) I’m lazy, and III) there was an apartment available in a building across the street from one of the apartments where I was staying, so 4) because of A, 2 and the convenience factor of III (having friends nearby), I snatched it up and moved in my stuff, signing a lease just a few days after I officially accepted a job.
Yes, things clearly fell into place quite quickly, much of which I chalk up to luck and God’s will. I could end this here and leave the story at that – how I moved to DC with little more than the clothes on my back**, landed on my feet and TA DA! LOOK AT ME NOW, WORLD.
Except that’s boring, and totally not the point.
The point is, after I moved into my apartment, and after I went to the Best Buy in Tenleytown and purchased a television, I brought said television home, plugged it in, and HOT DAMN, MOTHERFUCKERS, I HAD CABLE!
And thus began my cable adventures.
‘Adventures’ might be pumping it up a bit. There really was no more adventure than me plugging in my television, seeing that I had cable channels, and absently wondering if I was supposed to have cable. Was this included with my rent? Or was I inadvertently stealing it from someone else? I shrugged my shoulders and decided I’d just go with it, because it was good cable, too. All the channels, plus HBO and Showtime. My friends, to say the least, were not a little jealous.
After almost a year, right when I was getting interested in the first season of Big Love, I turned on my television one night only to discover that I no longer had HBO or Showtime. Bummer, I thought to myself, but it’s a give. I didn’t watch it all that often, truth be told, so I didn’t feel like I was missing anything. Besides, I reminded myself, it’s not like I’m paying for it.
And then, about 18 months after that, right as I was getting very interested in this new show (Have you heard of it? So good, so intriguing, the style! The culture! The research that must go into it!) I’d caught called Mad Men*** I lost AMC and a couple other channels (that I didn’t watch anyway, so I didn’t really care).
While I am a friendly neighbor, I’ve never really been friends with anyone in my building, so I didn’t know whether this was happening to other people, or just me. And I wasn’t about to call Comcast and be all, “Bitches! Bring Don Draper back to my apartment!” lest they were all suddenly, “Woman! You haven’t paid for cable in three years, we are cutting your ass off!” I didn’t want to jinx anything, so I just kept quiet and suffered the sacrifice of Sterling Cooper****.
And then it happened.
It was after a recent TND, and the girls had left and I’d flipped on the television for some background noise as I cleaned up plates and wine bottles. I automatically turned to HGTV, but instead of Suzanne Wong’s bizarrely placid face and dead eyes staring at me I was greeted with a stagnant screen with a Comcast message telling me something about now the cable was digital and something about me needing a box. Damn, I thought to myself, I lost HGTV. I flipped up a channel and down a channel, the same stagnant message appearing again and again. I breathed a slight sigh of relief when I got into the 60s and saw that I wasn’t completely without cable channels—I still, at least, had TNT, USA, and a few other channels. I readjusted my mindset, breathed deeply over the loss of Bravo, and carried on.
But a couple weeks later, after another TND, again as I was cleaning up plates, shuttling empty wine bottles to the recycling bin (I’m green and eco-friendly in my boozing!) I flipped on the TV, tuned into USA in hopes of catching an episode of White Collar or maybe Psyche, only to discover…they were gone.
THEY WERE ALL GONE.
I stared at the remote for a minute, then flipped to the 20s, noting that it appeared I had all the basics. Plus WGN and some channel called ion.
(I mean, thank sweet baby Jeebus for WGN, because everyone knows I love watching the WGN News at 9, even though, you know, I don’t even live in Chicago. I like to keep up with the haps, whatever, no judging.)
I quickly scrolled through the channels again, all of the non-local network ones posting the same stagnant screen telling me I needed a cable box and to call Comcast and everything would be dandy.
Except for that part about how I haven’t called Comcast ever, and really have no inclination to start now. Not that I think they’re going to berate me for bogarting their cable for the past 4 years, but because, well, I really don’t want another bill added to my current roster of bills. And when I think about it, there’s not all that much that I watch on the cable channels that I can’t find on Hulu or get through Netflix, and you know what? It turns out that I’ve become accustomed to not watching commercials, and watching entire series of shows in one sitting. It’s quite lovely, truth be told.
So for now, I’m without cable. And after an initial minor panic (It’s change! Panic! PAAA-NIIIIIC!) I’m quite cool with this new turn of events.
Though I will say that may have been the last time I have those bitches over for dinner. Who knows what I’ll lose next. Cable’s gone, maybe next time it’ll be my microwave.
*I have since been informed that I am actually quite the splendid houseguest because guess what Molly likes to do when bored and job hunting in a new city? Bake cupcakes. That just so happen to be ready as soon as you walk in the door from work. Yeah, that’s right. AWESOME!
**Total lie. I had a whole moving POD full of crap that eventually showed up a week after I moved in.
*** GIRL. Don’t EVEN get me started on how much I lurv that show and how much I would give my left big toe to have a date with Roger Sterling and have him order me one of those lovely wines. GIRL. FOR SERIOUS.
****Which actually worked out for the best, because it spawned Mad Men Mondays, where friends and I gather to watch that week’s episode, eat massive amounts of artery-clogging popcorn and yell at the television and rewind our favorite parts. God bless you, JMac, for paying for cable with DVR.