You know you and your spouse can be classified as “old married people” when you each have your own shows that you watch in separate rooms–and you’re both OK with that. Darling Husband and I do have shows we only watch together, like “Bones,” and “House.” But TV watching now is nothing like when we were first married. Maybe that’s because we only had one “good TV” back then and a small apartment. Anyway, we would at least be in the same room together even if one of us didn’t care for what was on the tube.
Oh, how times have changed. Not too long ago, I had set up shop in our bedroom to either read or see what was on TV that night. I settled on some special about the upcoming marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton. In walks Darling Husband, who sees what’s on and exclaims, “Are you kidding me?! Are you really watching this?” With a sigh, I handed over the remote, and within seconds, we had gone from royal wedding to UFC.
Confession time: Way back when, I was fixated on the Royals. I had scrapbooks of newspaper clippings about Charles and Lady Diana, Andrew and Sarah Ferguson. I woke up at still-dark-in-the-a.m. to watch both of those weddings live. I was an expert on Princess Diana’s fashion choices, and I watched with dismay the TV coverage of her death and funeral. Total geek, I know. Now, a lot older and more educated in the ways of the world, I’m still drawn in by the prospect of another royal wedding. The pageantry, the glamour, the tradition all are exciting to me. And Darling Husband just doesn’t get it.
So I ask you, what makes men beating the crap out of each other in a cage any better or less ridiculous than a documentary about the wedding of the heir to the British throne? This is not boxing, a time-tested, Olympic sport. And I don’t even understand the attraction of that. Mixed martial arts, or MMA as the genre is called, is a whole different animal. The fighters are generally covered in tattoos (some of which are so obscene they have to be blacked out for television), and they come parading to the Octagon (as the ring –or cage–is called) with their peeps, all dressed up in gangsta attire. The crowd of spectators is generally made up of 20-somethings, dressed in their own hoodlum outfits and flat-bill ball caps, whooping it up with lots of gangsta hand gestures.
What makes all of that appealing to a 40-something, father of 2, career military man? Is it any sillier for a college educated mom of a certain age to be entertained by a royal wedding and all of its spectacle? Watching Ultimate Fighter on Spike network, with all of its incredibly inappropriate commercials, seems a lot like watching a “Dukes of Hazzard” episode. It’s a lot of action and some comedy all wrapped up in nostalgia for Darling Husband’s younger days. It’s 1981 all over again! The same goes for me and the latest royal wedding. I get the dose of nostalgia along with the sense of history, plus the cool factor of having visited the places where all the action is taking place.
See, Darling Husband. We’re not so different in our TV tastes. We’re just old.