Can a 47-inch LCD HD TV save a relationship?
As loyal B> readers might have noticed, there is a cute little link on the sidebar for THEsarahandbryan.com. Yes! Getting married! Love dove! Shove with a baseball glove! Married!
But five years of courtship are not without their ups and downs and for much of 2007, we were not only down, we were out. Fin. Scanning the ads on Craigslist, checking the old black book, and hitting on interns.
And in fall of 2007, it was Bryan’s duty to find a new apartment. “Our place” had been “my place” before he moved in during the spring of 2005. My furniture. My appliances. My closet. I wanted it all back for myself and him and his hockey card collection gone. So he started to get ready for a life back on his own.
Top of his list was replacing the Pioneer Elite HD 64-inch rear projection TV I had insisted that he sell before he moved in with me.
Too big for my living room, I said. With the attached media cabinet, it was nearly 9 feet across. Unacceptable, we’d have to have the sofa in the next room to have a proper viewing distance, I countered to every argument for keeping the TV. Of course a 64-inch TV was better for having people over the Super Bowl at his old place, (no one missed Janet’s nipple on screen that large), but what was going to be the point if we could only fit five or six people tops in our newly combined living room with an electronics monster of that size? My 39-inch TV was more than big enough and we could have guests. And with a tear in his eye, he sold it to an old friend of mine. (Rumor has it that Bryan could not look back on his former baby when he saw my friend’s kids starting to tap on the screen with their grubby little fingers and pleading for Animal Planet.)
And for two football seasons, every weekend he’d make a comment about how much better the Steelers would look on a bigger TV. The Steelers had a Super Bowl season with the 39-inch TV, and he didn’t have a ready defense against my “YOU DON’T FUCK WITH THE MOJO” argument. The smaller TV stayed, joined on Sundays in by the even smaller 29-inch TV so we could have more than one game going at a time. Two TVs that on Sundays, would take up almost as much space as his departed love.
Now he was going to have his own place. Which meant he could go buy whatever TV he wanted. But before he moves, can he borrow my car, it has more trunk space? Sure.
What was this? He bought the GODDAMN TV before he moved? Jesus fucking hot dog stick, stuff was supposed to be leaving my house, not coming in.
But it was here and he still hadn’t found a new place, so reluctantly I allowed Bryan set it up. It was Saturday night, and the last thing I wanted was something that was going to interfere with watching the Steelers-Browns game the next morning. (Always watched with our very good friend and Browns believer, Jeremy Smith. It had not yet not been deterimed who was going to get Jeremy in the break-up or if we’d be able to maintain shared custody.) I helped get it out of the box and on to the now too-small TV stand. Hooked up the DirecTV box and turned on the power. I prayed it worked okay so I wouldn’t have to spend the first game of the season at the over-grown frat house, Big Wangs.
A shift happened. I cannot explain it. I cannot even tell you what college game we flipped on to see how it looked. It didn’t matter that it wasn’t an HD feed. It was glorious and it was in my living room. Prettiest belle at the ball. I called Jeremy to make sure he was coming over. He had to see what Bryan had brought home. Home. Maybe still our home.
By 9 o’clock, I had already called DirecTV. How soon could they get an installer out to upgrade the dish and receiver? How much more was the HD NFL Sunday ticket? How much was it going to cost to get an HD DVR? The full HD package upgrade? Don’t worry about it Bryan said, I might find my own place soon. Don’t waste your money. But the TV was so pretty, and I felt like I owed it to everyone involved to make this situation work. Who knew when Bryan was really leaving. About $500 later I had my next hot date set; a technician could be at our place Tuesday.
I worked from home that Tuesday and worriedly listened for the sounds of breaking Spanish tile as the DirecTV guy stomped around on the roof. I’d call Bryan’s office and give him updates. No, it’s still not in HD yet, he was was moving the other Tivo to the bedroom first. Yes, I offered him something to drink. Yes, I had cash on hand to tip or bribe if I needed to. Yes, I am watching where he is drilling and yes it is okay that this eating up my whole day. It was going to be worth it. Bryan and I danced around talking about what this meant for us.
Once it was completely hooked up, we couldn’t take our eyes of it. We watched Dodger games and Angels games, something we never did unless the Pirates were involved. I’d walk in the living room and just yell, “PRETTY!” even if all Bryan was watching was Orange County Choppers.
The two consecutive Sundays in HD. Three consecutive Sundays with the new TV and three consecutive Steeler wins.
Week Four of the 2007 season, and we got ready to head to Arizona for the game against the Cardinals. (Tickets bought in a fit of “we can still be friends and go on trips together, right?” earlier that summer.) We’d both been dating a few other people, but on the drive out to Phoenix we talked about we should go to Plummers and look for a nicer entertainment unit. Something a bit more modern. Maybe repaint the living room. The day after the Steelers loss, we raced home to the TV. We weren’t back together, but we didn’t feel broken up either.
By Week Seven, Bryan was ready to withstand the taunts and goading of our Cincy loving friend Volney, who insisted that if we were broken up, Bryan should stop rooting for the Steelers. They had been my team. He should switch to his team. Bry stood his ground. The Steelers and the TV were still in the living room. Still our living room.
Somewhere in there, my old 39 inch Sony became the secondary game day TV and the smaller set was given away. Maybe a few tears in there too, when I realized I didn’t want him to see anyone else.
We joked about it. I joked I couldn’t let that TV go. Heck with him, I loved the TV. Maybe he’d like trade for the KitchenAid, the Wii, and… yeah. It couldn’t be matched. But the HD dish was here, he couldn’t leave yet.
By the Pats game in Week 14, we were back together. The days before the game we had spent on a family retreat up the coast, and had made our excuse to leave early enough to race home to see the Steelers GODDAMN WHY DIDN’T THEY JUST RUN IT IN AT THE END OF THE GAME OR THROW TO MILLER LOOKING AT THIS OLD POST STILL MAKES ME MAD.
But we were back together in a new comfortable way. The highs of the first few years were back. I could still tell Bryan to get out of the house and listen to the game in his car if he got too emotional, but the truth of the matter was he was staying more even-keeled so he could stay inside with me (and the TV).
We have already ruled out having our dog in the wedding, but would it be too much to ask our venue hosting our event to give our TV a seat of honor for the reception?