MITCHELL’S MUSINGS: Staying in control

One of my many faults around the house is that I pretty much have to have control of the TV remote.

One of my many faults around the house, besides the already well documented not-so-handy situation, is that I  pretty much have to have control of the TV remote.

Now it’s kind of frustrating at one level because I kind of pride myself on being a fairly easy going guy, and I  believe (although I know it’s always dangerous to attribute characteristics to oneself because we’re all about as unbiased on that topic as…..well, like I said it’s always dangerous and usually loaded with unintended irony) most people would call me a fairly relaxed individual, relatively speaking.

But of course that’s my public persona and in the comfort of one’s own home the complexities of one’s personality are more likely to come out and be inflicted on our poor families.

But at least I’m aware of it at some level, and I know it’s a male thing about being in control, I guess, and it’s not like I haven’t tried to let my wife hold the remote. I’m working on it.

However, certain issues arise when she’s in control of our viewing habits, not that there aren’t when I’m at the helm, but I like to think I work the remote a little better to keep everyone happy, sort of.

For example she’ll be watching one of her shows, like Nashville or one of those fixer-upper shows that may or not be indirectly aimed at one of my other inadequacies, and I’ll say “let me see the remote.”

“Why?” she’ll fire back. “We’re not watching hockey.”

“No, no,” I’ll say. “If you press this button twice you can watch it in High Definition.”

“Whatever,” she’ll say.

But I grab it and do it anyway, likely both to prove some stupid point and justify the extra coinage I’m paying every month to get some channels in HD. Obviously I’m cheap enough to want to make sure we’re utilizing a service we’re already paying for.

I then give it back in a gesture of goodwill to show I don’t need to be in control all the time.

“You see, that hunky, handy guy is even better looking in HD,” I say as I start to walk out of the room to give her her space back.

“Right,” she responds, maybe sarcastically, maybe not, but best not to go there.

“Actually, there is a Canucks game on, and seeing how it’s a commercial can we just see what the score is for a sec, honey?”

I’m pushing it now but she seems OK with it (because relationships are all about compromise, right?) as she asks me what channel it’s on, without giving back the remote.

“Um, it’s either 3 or 6 or 9 or one of those five channels in the 200’s or….it’s kind of complicated these days. Do you want me to do it dear?”

She hits the nine button.

“There it is,” she exclaims, pleased with her successful efforts, and likely hoping to get rid of me in a hurry, and I can’t really blame her as there are other TVs in the house.

“OK, but if you hit it again we can watch it in HD and we can get rid of that bar across the bottom that keeps me from seeing the puck….”

“I thought you just need to see the score and if I do that I can’t go right back to my channel, besides the commercial is probably over already….”

She was right and she could’ve added that the Canucks are losing badly anyway but she might not have noticed as she deftly hit the return button to her show, now in HD, thanks to me I might add, but I don’t.

“Hey, you’re getting better with that thing,” I offer and start to sit down to see which house in Italy the American couple is going to purchase – No. 1: close to town and fabulous but more money, No. 2: less money but out of town a little too far and dated, or No. 3: right on budget but needs work and the kitchen is small and the wrong colour and…..

“You’re going to watch this with me?” she asks. OK, it’s official, she didn’t notice the score.

“Yup, and you can keep the remote too,” I offer.

I told you I’m working on it.