Wednesday, November 15, 2006

domestic boredom.

A few weeks ago, when my mom was still in town visiting….we received a phone call from Nielson Ratings. I answered the phone and they assured me that they were not trying to sell me anything, etc. You know – the usual plea to keep you on the phone. He told me that it was not a sales call and that I "could shape TV and entertainment". Wow. Now I must tell you something about myself. I don't work, but if I did I would want people to treat me and my job respectfully. So, while I have NO tolerance for telemarketers, sales calls, fundraisers (let's be honest, the only fundraisers a person is inclined to give to is one that is at the person's hearts and interests – not some random police officer or firefighter who wants you to give money), I gave him a fair fighting chance to not waste my time. After all, he promised me that he wasn't selling anything and that it would take no longer than five minutes. I told him that it better not, because I was feeding my son dinner and making dinner at the moment. So he continues on, confirming that I am, indeed, old enough for his survey and that yes, I do watch TV. Ha. Do I ever. More TV than I ever did in high school, college, post college/pre-married times….and now I watch kids' programming to go with it. While I am answering his questions, my mom and husband keep looking at me quizzically and shaking their heads at me – communicating the ridiculous fact that I am still entertaining this "call." I begin carrying on conversation with my immediate family members while I am still on the phone – defending myself and the man on the phone that this is ONLY a survey and that "no, he is not selling me anything." I apologize and tell the man to continue on with his litany of questions. He finishes with his questions, confirms my mailing address because he is going to send me a TV SURVEY – that I get to keep for a week and note every single thing I watch on television….ha! It is only later that I am finding out how embarrassing and self-revealing this can be. He is getting toward the end of his speech, and adds at end, "And as a reward for agreeing to our survey, we will send you $15 for your time and patience." Because I'm feeling annoyed and feisty that my mom and husband are thinking I'm crazy for appeasing the man on the phone, I reply, "Ha! I just made $15!! You can't talk now, I am a breadwinner too!" The guy on the phone is laughing at this point, and says, "Thank you Mrs. Brooks for your time and for being a sweetheart. We'll be mailing that survey to you. Have a wonderful night." I hang up the phone and say, "See? I'm a sweetheart." My husband decides to be funny by replying, "There is a name for people who are paid money to be called 'sweetheart'." Whatever.

As this week draws to a close, and I am on my last day of jotting down what it is that we all watch on TV. It's funny how self-conscious it can make you. Most mornings we watch Sesame Street and Handy Manny on TV. I know that I am not a parent that relies too much on TV for my child, and so thankfully, there is a box you can check if the TV is on and no one is watching. But, now I am realizing how much the TV is on and no one is watching – it's on right now, and I am not even in the living room. Then there's the self-consciousness of Rob. He says the other night, "Great. Now they know that I'm whipped, because 'Friends' was on for 15 minutes and then mid-show it got changed to 'The Bachelor'." he he. J I am proud to say that I do not and will not ever be a soap opera junkie. Whether or not that is a trade-off or justification for the fact that I watch "The Bachelor", I don't know. Then there were times where neither of us wanted to turn the TV on because we were too lazy to write it down! We'd see the other one turn the TV on and one of us would say, "Did you write it in?" trying to catch the other. Let me draw this pointless story to a close. It was mildly amusing, not too painless, and with $15 in my pocket, you can now say you know someone who has participated in the Nielson TV Ratings. I always wondered who those people were. Even my mother-in-law said the same thing. Well, rest assured, those people exist. And they are probably all stay at home moms who are sweethearts! J