We just got back from a church staff retreat in Dallas. The scheduled events themselves were very interesting and gave us lots of topics for further discussion, but the real luxury of the weekend was that the church put us up in a hotel for three nights.
Of course, the first thing we did was turn down the A/C and leave it as low as it would go. This actually made the room uncomfortably cold, to the extent that every minute that I was in the room I had to get under the covers of the big bed so that I wouldn’t get chill bumps and have to shave my legs before the next event. But we weren’t paying the utility bill, dangit, so we kept the cold cranked up.
The other indulgence of a hotel room is the free cable TV. We didn’t buy a digital converter for our retro, 2004-model TV, so we literally get no channels at home. (We get my parents to DVR anything we can’t stand to miss.) Occasionally we’ll debate whether we can afford to spring for the $40 converter box or the standard cable package that we get an advertisement for in the mail. But weekends like this are good reminders of why we continue to keep our TV inaccessable. We’re drawn to cable like flies to honey, like moths to a flame…any time we were in the room, the TV was on and one of us was flipping through the channels.
Nothing tempting was ever on, except for What Not to Wear (which tempted me, but not Stephen) and Survivorman (which tempted Stephen, but not me). But we burned hours of our leisure time watching five-second increments of shows that we were not interested in. The books we had brought to read collected dust on the nightstands while we sat transfixed by the glowing blue screen.
So we’ve renewed our resolve not to sign ourselves up for even the most tempting offers. It’s not that we can’t afford the money (although it could certainly be better spent), but we can’t afford the brain cells we’d certainly lose if we had the option in our living room!