Tuesday, December 22, 2015

NyQuil has Nothing on Sandra Bullock

True Story: Sandra Bullock has superpowers.
Over the course of our marriage, Kate and I have learned the essential art of compromise regarding many things large and small. Nowhere has compromise been more essential and more difficult to achieve than in our television viewing. With a few rare exceptions, we are on completely opposite ends of the entire television viewing process. Some examples:
1) Content. I like basketball, KT does not. We experimented last Winter with cutting the cord on cable, meaning I was out of luck for basketball content sparing the few games on network television. KT would undoubtedly call the experiment a success as basketball was on our television a full 90% less than normal. For me, it was an abject failure. I didn't fully realize the extent I missed watching the beautiful game until I re-upped basic cable for this season (because, holy cow, have you seen the Timberwolves?!?!) Given the option, I would gladly sit back, watch and analyze a 7th grade B-Squad basketball game from start to finish if it were televised. KT, on the other hand, would happily ignore the NCAA Championship game even if the Gophers made a miraculous run to the final. Our compromise is this: Basketball is allowed on our television provided it is either A) The Minnesota Timberwolves, B) The Minnesota Gophers or C) The month of March. Apart from this, basketball is allowed until KT has said any combination of the following comments three times: "I'm bored", "Snore", "Enough fucking basketball already". At this point, the channel must be turned. Which brings us to example two.
2) The remote. I like to think of myself as a pretty adept remote user. I have memorized where the essential buttons are (Last/Guide/Info) and what channel number the stations I am interested in are. KT, for all her many talents, seriously sucks at using the remote. After she has made her three qualifying comments (see above), I am obliged to hand the remote over to her. For KT, it seems the remote exists of only one button: channel up. Once she commandeers the remote, she methodically presses channel up to scan through the channels until she finds something she is interested in. Considering that television was most likely tuned to basketball and the cable company tends to lump the sports channels together, this is an incredibly long and boring process. Basketball, *click*, more basketball, *click*, SportsCenter, *click*, hockey, *click*, blacked out game, *click*, blacked out game (repeat about 20 times). Usually, she becomes frustrated and loses interest after about 20 minutes and the TV ends up tuned to the Home Shopping Network or C-Span. KT has no interest in the Home Shopping Network or C-Span, but her attention span has reached it's limit (shiny things!) and so there the TV remains. If she does manage to find a show she wants to watch, she usually has somehow managed to change the settings so that everything is in Spanish. If I were a better person, I would simply take over the remote duties and flip between Bravo, E!, MTV and the other channels she is actually interested in, but I'm not a good person and I've learned that if I sit still and quiet for long enough, she eventually forgets that she has remote privileges and I can sneak the channel back to basketball for a good 20 minutes before she realizes what I've done.
3) Television while sleeping. KT must have the television on all night in order to sleep. I fought this for a few years as I prefer a pitch black room when I sleep. We tried a sleep timer, a sleeping mask to cover my eyes and even separate sleeping quarters. Over time, I came to accept that the television will be on all night and have learned to sleep through it. The only time we have a conflict is on the rare occasions that I wake up in the middle of the night with a touch of insomnia and change the channel. Even in the deepest stages of sleep, KT will groggily mutter "I was watching that" before the television has even fully tuned in a new channel. I've tried reasoning with her, explaining that no, she wasn't watching as her glasses were several inches away from her face and she was facing away from the television and she had a six inch line of drool trailing from her mouth to her pillow, but she insists that I have rudely interrupted a show she was intimately involved in and demands I immediately turn back. I can't argue what I don't understand, so turn it back I do.
4) Taking a nap in front of the television. KT absolutely insists that in order to successfully fall asleep, the television must be tuned to a program which she finds interesting. She claims that if the TV is tuned to something she finds boring (basketball, for example) she cannot fall asleep. It's an absolutely absurd concept which flies in the face of one the most universal tenets of mankind: If you are bored, you become sleepy. If you are captivated by something, you remain alert. Each time I've tried to drop this universal truth on her, however, she counters by excruciating example. She will stubbornly sit through a three hour basketball game during her nap time, neither watching the game nor falling asleep (but complaining plenty). Give her five minutes with The Real Housewives of the Kardashians, however, and she is sound asleep. It doesn't make any sense and I have abandoned all hope of understanding it. It would be impossible for us to take a nap at the same time in the same room if were not for the phenomenon more commonly known as Sandra Bullock.
5). Sandra Bullock. Both KT and I like Sandra Bullock. She is a fine actor, has roles is several good movies and seems like an all-around pleasant person. Neither of us would consider her our "favorite" performer, but we both appreciate her craft and have positive feelings about her. That being said, neither one of us has ever been able to stay awake for an entire Sandra Bullock movie. We joked about it for years, but as the evidence continued (and continues) to mount, it can no longer be ignored. Irregardless of the time of day or the particular movie, it has been proven with 100% accuracy that both of us will fall asleep before the movie has ended. I have consciously attempted to prove the theory false, failing each time. More alarmingly, we have mentioned this phenomenon to others (Greta and Audrey in particular) who, after reflection, are unable to tell us the ending of any Sandra Bullock movie either. It's eerie and a little unsettling. What kind of powers does this woman possess that allows her to lull us so quickly to sleep? Do other suffer from Sandra Bullock Induced Sleep Syndrome (S.B.I.S.S.) or is it unique to our family? Please, share. It would be comforting to know we aren't alone.

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