My family is upper-middle-class in a lot of ways. For one, we earn enough money to pay the bills and leave something in the bank every month. We have access to constant technology upgrades, yet still remain thrifty enough to make our appliances last longer than their warranty periods. We all go to work and/or school regularly, we see movies at least twice a month, and we maintain the average 2.3 cars in a single garage. (One car works only about three-tenths of the time, so the use of the decimal point isn't too far-fetched.)
We also watch TV, for that matter. In fact, what amazes me is not merely the fact that we watch TV -- it's the fact that we somehow manage to share what few television sets we have in the house.
I suspect that my general resistance to TV has something to do with it. My inability to keep to a regular viewing schedule effectively takes me out of the household's unified schedule. While everybody catches their favorite programs, I usually stick to the PC and end up watching whatever everybody else watches.
My mother, for instance, is a news junkie. That is to say, she tunes in to CNN and all the other news channels on a very regular basis -- say, three or four times a day. The beauty of her arrangement is that she can literally catch her media interests any time; Even if she only has five minutes to catch whatever's on the tube, there's always a readable sidebar running along the bottom of the screen.
My sister, on the other hand, is a sports watcher who thrives on both professional and college basketball games. The seasonal nature of these programs, however, means that we're usually forced to make room for her only at certain times of the year. Otherwise she mostly does her homework and watches what we watch.
CSI, however, is a notable exception. My siblings consider the show to be one of the cornerstones of their existence. While I do admire the form and style of the show, I don't think that I would contemplate suicide if it ever got canceled, and I must therefore be less of a fan than they are.
Apart from the aforementioned forensic investigation hour, my brother also pinpoints specific shows for his personal attention. That is to say, he watches a lot of cartoons, divided evenly between episodes of Justice League Unlimited, and series of the pure animé persuasion. We actually share similar tastes when it comes to our programming; I just mind missing my shows a lot less than he does.
This leaves two members of the household help who've each been with us for at least twenty years, and they get the bulk of the TV time. While they do consume good helpings of the local variety shows and reruns of Pinoy Big Brother, most of their fare consists of knock-down, drag-out WWF Wrestlemania. They can outline a laundry list of favorite wrestlers from the mid-90s onwards, and they knew about Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit long before their tragedies hit the headlines. I suppose I should be counting our blessings, though -- at least they haven't started openly discussing flying scissor-locks, cannonball death jumps, and signature moves. Yet.
Why do I suddenly raise my family's strange viewing habits, you ask? Well... let me put it this way: In every middle-class family, somebody's got to pay the cable bills. Exactly how that duty fell to the person who watches the least TV is something for the books.
But hey, it could be worse. I mean, I could be driving three-tenths of a car.