Opinion: Together, again – and again and again and again


As Mary Ellen and I sit watching the televised news, we are constantly reminded that we are considered “elderly” and therefore at increased risk of the coronavirus. As a result, medical experts are suggesting we stay at home (together) unless it is absolutely necessary that we go out.

What is really at risk is our relationship. Different hobbies, interests and social commitments have always allowed us to keep a modest degree of separation during the day, meaning evenings were the perfect time to share our day’s activities, spending a couple of hours watching TV (together).

But now, we are home (together) almost all day, stuck with each other (note: Mary Ellen didn’t like the word “stuck” when I showed her this column, so I asked her to come up with a better word. I still haven’t heard back).

This quarantine has provided us pretty much all day to binge. It has meant researching some of the other popular programs we’ve missed because we currently have soooo much time (together).

“Mary Ellen, I think I’d like to watch that new series about Captain Jean-Luc Picard.”

“Dick, that’s on CBS All Access. We don’t get that service.”

“OK, let’s watch that new documentary on Hillary Clinton.”

“Nope, that’s on Hulu.”

“This is silly. I’ll just watch baseball all day.”

“That’s MLB TV. Forty bucks a month. And baseball has been postponed, anyway.”

I tried one more time.

“There’s a good show on Apple TV called …”

“Dick, stop. We don’t subscribe to that service. And don’t even think about the Disney Channel. You can kiss the ‘Mickey Mouse Clubhouse’ goodbye.”

“OK, here’s a good one, ‘Better Call Saul.’”

“That’s on Sling, I think. We don’t have it.”
“Sling? Is that really a thing? Wait, do we get Cozi TV?”

“Yes, we do. Let’s see, today is 12 hours of ‘Gunsmoke’ and the next 12 hours are ‘Mr. Ed.’”

“This is silly. We already pay for Netflix, Amazon and HBO. Let’s watch Steven King’s ‘The Outsiders.’”

“We already watched that … nine episodes. Why buy new stuff when you can’t remember what you saw a month ago?”

Just for fun, I added up the cost of every cable and streaming service , which got me to about $650 a month. It would be a lot cheaper if Mary Ellen and I went to the movies every day instead — unless we bought popcorn, of course.

Oh, wait, we’re not supposed to leave the house unless it is absolutely necessary. But after a week inside (together), I’m beginning to think it will be.


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