I was raised with a TV in the main room of our house. I still have very vivid memories of sitting in front of our TV while my parents adjusted the rabbit ears and struggled to figure out how to connect and run the brand new technology known as a VCR. There, my sisters and I sat and watched episodes of shows that were made for a family audience.
As we got older and technology advanced, we eventually got a huge color TV that sat in our family room. That huge TV was about 4 feet wide and 3 feet tall with a diagonal screen size of about 23 inches. My family gathered in the family room to view Full House and The Cosby Show. Some of my most memorable moments with my family were spent sitting in front of our TV.
My parents also got a TV for their bedroom. As a teenager, half the family would gather in my parents' room to watch TV together and the other half gathered in the family room. Nightly, my dad would watch the opening monologue of Jay Leno's The Tonight Show, while I watched the monologue of The Late Show with David Letterman. Eventually my dad would migrate downstairs and join me as we watched David Letterman interview his guests. That routine lasted for years and it still feels odd to me that I no longer go to bed immediately after hearing David Letterman's voice.
Once I got married, I wanted to have the same set-up as my family - a TV in the main room and one in our bedroom. Casey had other plans. She hated the thought of having a TV in the bedroom. In her mind, a TV only distracted from intimacy in the bedroom. Casey believed the bedroom was a place where husband and wife should go to sleep, talk, and, uh, enjoy each other's company. TV was a romance killer. How was romance supposed to happen if Adam Sandler was blaring in the background when we climbed into bed?
There have been a few years here, and a few years there, where we have gone without a TV in our bedroom. And even when we've had a TV in our bedroom, it has remained off when we move upstairs to go to bed about 99% of the time. If there are really good, late football games on and Casey would still like me to be nearby, then the TV in the bedroom gets used. And that's always felt odd to me.
Having the TV there to help me fall asleep is therapeutic and relaxing. When we go on trips and stay in hotels, the first thing I have to do in every hotel is to run through the channels on the TV, even if I know we won't use the TV at all on our trip. I have to know it is there and that it is available. While my wife has a point in regards to the TV interrupting the intimacy of the bedroom, I don't think there is much of difference between using a TV at night in the bedroom and lying in bed while using an iPad or checking a smartphone just before you fall asleep.
For now, we have a TV in our bedroom and I'm going to start using it a bit more as we prepare to fall asleep at night. But if problems arise? I'll rethink my strategy.
-By Cody Coombs
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