Tuesday, October 7, 2008

New Toys for the Hotalens

When Jamie and I got married, we had two old tv's both of which Jamie brought into the marriage. I honestly have no idea where they came from. We put the nicer - and I use that term very loosely - one in our living room in our apartment and the other we kept in our bedroom. At first, we had rabbit ears in the living room and just used the one in the bedroom for the occasional DVD. Then football season rolled around and the rabbit ears would no longer suffice for Jamison. Every time Florida State played he had to walk down to the complex's weight room and run on the treadmill for a few hours to watch the game. So he talked me into getting satellite (not without much weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth, and I don't mean that figuratively). So we watched football and tv movies and college basketball in the living room, but kept the one in our bedroom for movies only. I'm unwavering in my no-tv-in-the-bedroom stance.

The hand-me-down tv's from I-don't-know-where worked just fine for most of the first year of our marriage. But as time wore on, it became impossible to read anything on the screen. Movies with subtitles were out and sporting events had to be watched from beginning to end to keep up with the score. But we made do. And I did not want to spend the money on a new tv. If we were going to get a new one, it would be a nice one not another cheap set, and we did not want to spend money on that at that time. We might not be able see the score, but we could watch a game or a movie and still enjoy it. We didn't need a new one as far as I was concerned.

Then we moved into our new house. The living room is bigger and when we put the little hand-me-down tv on our lovely built-in shelf not only was it impossible to see, but it looked like a big ol' ugly heap o' trash-picked yuck. Jamie had been talking about getting a new one for a few months, but I was not on board until we moved. I finally had to admit that yes it is impossible to see the picture and, more importantly in my eyes, it looks really tacky. Not to mention that because of the configuration of our living room and the shape of our couch, etc., there's only one place in the living room to put the tv and the couch does not face it.

So I said to Jamie that we could start looking at tv's. And he did. Here's something you should know about Jamie if you don't already: when he decides to make a big purchase, it's a major commitment. He looked at cars from the time we got married in June until the following January (if I remember correctly) before finally buying his Camry. And when it was time to leave the apartment, he spent hours and hours online looking at houses. The positive of this? He becomes very familiar with what he's looking at and recognizes a good deal when he sees it. And then he jumps on it. We did great price-wise with both the car and our house. Jamie held out until he found what we really wanted for a good price and I'm learning that his patience is usually to my benefit. So a few months ago Jamie started looking at tv's every time he was close to a computer. Or in an electronics store. Or came across a flyer in the mail or newspaper. We had agreed on a flatscreen, 42" (those do not look big in the store next to the 50" and 78" and 942" tv's). And I figured we might get one for Christmas. Maybe early next year. It would take months for Jamie to find just the right one for just the right price, I assumed.

We were at Jamie's grandparents this weekend visiting with his mom and siblings who were up from Florida for a few days. Jamie picked up the BrandSmart flyer from the Saturday paper and pointed out a good deal to me on an LG 42" flatscreen. I glanced at it (they all look the same to me) and said, "Um hm yeah that's nice," and didn't really think much of it. Until later that day when we were headed back from Stone Mountain and Jamie said something about everyone coming with him to get our new tv. And then drove to BrandSmart (a short aside: if you've never been to a BrandSmart, you need to. It's fascinating. It's scary. It's huge and full of appliances and electronics and people spending lots of money. And it's very neon. You need to go. Trust me on that one). Well, we went in, looked at the tv he'd seen in the flyer in person, liked it (I'm sure it didn't hurt that the tv was playing the Florida State game and they were winning); he decided it was a good deal and he pounced. Next thing I know, we were trying to figure out how we were going to get this monstrosity into a 7-person minivan with 8 passengers and broken trunk that doesn't open. We couldn't.

So on Sunday, we drove back to BrandSmart (everytime I say BrandSmart I hear it sung in my head choir-of-angels-style like StuffMart from Madame Blueberry...anyone know what I'm talking about? Anyone?). Now we're in our Camry which is not much larger than a minivan crammed with 8 passengers. But we figure out how to get it in there, drive home and set up the biggest - and nicest - tv I've ever owned. It looks much larger in my living room than it did in the store with all those enormous ones next to it.

And so we can read scores again. And I assume subtitles, though I haven't tried yet. And there's a cable cord running across the top of my fireplace and a cable box where my cute little basket of pumpkin spice potpurri once was. I'm told that will be resolved soon. But I do like our new tv and Jamie's very happy about it. And he let me get the Swiffer Wet Jet he's insisted we don't need for months. All I had to do was play the "We just spent a whole lot more than $17 on a new tv I think we can afford a $17 Wet Jet" card.

So if anyone is free on Thursday, I'll be watching Survivor Gabon and The Office on the big screen. With very clean floors. Feel free to join me.


- christy! said...

this post leaves me many points of interest to discuss with you:

1) tim is quite akin to jamie in that 'serious shopper' mode. in the last few years that we've been together, i've seen him buy a car, a laptop, and a 942" tv and get ridiculously good (the 'you'll never get this great of a deal again in your life' kind) prices on them. in our apartment, there is no dine-in area in the kitchen so the living room doubles as the dining room. having this big tv here makes it look like we're obsessive about television shows, when really i'm only obsessed with thursday nights at 9.

2) we represent the stuff-mart
a magical land of retail
would you like to see what's on sale?

3) i never knew you liked survivor. i quit it a few years ago because i had no one to talk about it with (and that's half the enjoyment), but i've been thinking about getting back in to it...

Tara said...

Christy -
About the Survivor thing: I have never been a fan, but Jamie's family used to live and work in Gabon. I just read a book by a doctor that his aunt worked with there and he mentioned her several times. The whole thing made me curious about the place, so I decided to watch the show. I'm enjoying the scenery (though as Jamie's dad just pointed out to me, there's no way any of the animals they show are actually anywhere near them. Even though they go right from animal shot to people shot to make you feel as if that elephant is right outside camp. Elephants, I've learned from all the Hotalen missionaries, are the scariest animal in the jungle and the only one the Africans make their children come inside for. Lion in the camp, no biggie; elephant nearby, time to hide). Anyway, I watched the two hour premier and then last week's episode and am getting into the tribes and the games, and Jamie's at class on Thursday nights. So I may become a full-fledged fan, at least for this season. If you get into it, let me know. Then we can be real geeks and discuss it.

Shannon said...

Oh I got the veggie tales reference you bet! bungee-wungee, bungee-wungee-bungee, here we go bungee come on!

I love you!

Rebecca said...

Pratically everytime I go to Wal-Mart I sing that song in my head! And I can't believe you got a new TV! Jamie's so funny in his spending! One day, I might figure him out! Love and miss you!