Having plenty of time to spend with family is one of the great pleasures of the holidays, but boy am I glad the kids are back in school. Maybe now I can reclaim some ground I inadvertently gave up while they were home over the Christmas break.
My first mistake was ever entertaining the idea of bringing home a shiny new Xbox as a
Christmas present for our 13-year-old son. But I did and then I compounded the error by suggesting we set it up on the family TV – my TV. My wife got it for me as a Father’s Day gift last summer and I’ve been under its spell ever since.
The new TV, at least for me, represents a giant leap into 21st century video entertainment. It’s our first flat screen, high-definition TV and it now occupies the spot where a TV I bought back in the late 1980s once stood.
Yes, you read that right. As a matter of fact, before my wife finally took pity on me, all of our TVs were ancient relics from our youth and as HD ready as the VCRs we had to hook them up to just to enjoy all the channels cable has to offer.
Our new TV is neither the biggest nor the most expensive on the market these days but at least it’s modern. And, I suspect our neighbors are relieved we have it since they don’t see me as much in the evening anymore. Now, when I want to bask in the glow of high-definition, flat screen awesomeness, I simply flip on my own TV instead of imposing on their good graces. I wonder if they miss me?
Before the Xbox, my wife and kids went along with my delusion that the new TV was my domain. With the Xbox set up on it, they’ve ceased pretending.
It’s my own fault, really. I usually make our son play his video games on the TV down in the basement. But it was Christmas morning when the Xbox made its first appearance in our home and I was still in the spirit of giving when I offered to hook it up to my TV. (Okay, maybe the spirit wasn’t all that moved me. I also wanted to see how cool the Xbox looked on a flat-screen.)
When I suggested it, I was thinking it would only be temporary. “Just for a few days,” I said to myself.
Now I fear this is going to be one of those temporary things that become permanent, like the new crowns the dentist installed in my mouth last month.
While I come to terms with the thought that my TV might remain Xbox central for the foreseeable future, I can’t even take refuge in the last place you’d think would really be mine. My car.
That’s because our pop music loving ten-year-old daughter has usurped control of the radio. She’s got all the pre-sets programmed to her stations and the gift of an iPod touch this
Christmas just made matters worse. Now, when she can’t find a song she likes on a local station, she hooks up her iPod to the auxiliary jack in the dashboard and cranks her own music.
Only time will tell, but the strategic blunders I made this Christmas could take much of the new year to correct.
I think I’ll start with the family room chair I’m accustomed to claiming. My wife’s birthday is coming up next month. I’m thinking if I get a matching recliner for her, I might at least gain back control of mine.
And if that doesn’t work? Then I guess I’ll just have to get used to the fact that I may no longer have control over even the last vestiges of my territory.