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Solitary or Social?

This post is part of the Dell Family Tech series.

I may be the only one who has this problem, because it’s kind of a weird one, but I trust you so I’m going to just lay it out there.

I can’t watch a whole movie alone by myself.

I can watch one episode of a TV show, maybe, without anyone else around, but I won’t even watch a YouTube video if it’s over three minutes. When I’m home alone, the TV stays off.

I didn’t used to be like this. When I was a kid, I watched hours of TV all by myself. I prayed for there to be no one there when I got home from school so that I wouldn’t be interrupted segueing mindlessly from Gilligan’s Island to Bewitched to Emergency! (Denver in the seventies had a fantastic line-up of after-school programming. It’s a wonder any of us graduated.)

But it’s as though my attention span has grown shorter with adulthood, not longer. Maybe it’s that my responsibilities have increased, and time spent just sitting and staring at a screen doesn’t feel like down-time, it feels like a waste of time.

All this is to say, the only way I can give myself over to a sedentary viewing experience guilt-free is if (a) I’m actually at a movie theater where I’ve paid to go in and sit with a bunch of other people in the dark, or (b) someone at home is watching with me.

We have this Dell computer from the last round of giveaways, and it has a Blu-Ray-capable disc player in it. We also had a gifted Blu-Ray copy of Toy Story 3 lying around, which I didn’t feel like I needed to see again because who wants to cry over their son’s impending lost childhood again? NOT ME. So I never would have put two and two together if my husband hadn’t been out of town and Jackson and I were noodling around the office punching each other. (Jackson’s an only child so I often switch functions between Mother and Annoying Older Sister.)

Have you seen anything on Blu-Ray? I always figured it must be another over-hyped technology meant to drain us of our already shaky DVD-buying budget, but Holy Mother. A Pixar film on Blu-Ray is like the most vivid nightmare you never want to wake up from. Admittedly, Tom Hanks probably gets a lot of the blame credit for that.

So that is my confession. I sort of wish things were different. I kind of wish I were twenty years old and had the stamina to watch fifteen hours of bleak Swedish cinema, but I’m not and I can’t. Which is probably better for you, anyway, unless you like reading long posts about how adorable Max von Sydow is in his chain mail suit.

But maybe it’s not such a bad thing that I can only justify my screen time if it’s a shared experience. Now I just need to figure out how to cuddle a squirming ten-year-old and have a Tarkovsky film festival at the same time.

Thanks to Dell for sponsoring this post. If you’re shopping for a new computer for yourself or your family, Dell’s new Inspiron All-in-One 2320 is very, very nice.

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