I bought my television thirteen years ago when I finally uprooted myself from my childhood bedroom and set out for an apartment of my very own. I immediately purchased a bed and a Peugot pepper mill. If you’re a foodie, you'll totally understand the relevance of the second item. Anyway, I eventually bought bookshelves, a television, dressers, and sofas. But I’d be remiss if I didn't credit my mother for motivating me to make these other purchases. Translation: she threatened to cut me out of the will and dragged me to Ikea and Bed Bath & Beyond, places that I’m allergic to. Five years later, I moved everything down the street to my new condo and there it has remained.
“I’m going out to finally buy a new television,” I said to my mother the other day. “I was just watching the news and I can only see 1/3 of Al Roker.”
“Well it’s about time, PJ.”
She was right. When that weird HD conversion thing occurred, I lost one inch of the picture on either side. No setting option fixes it. And a few months ago the power button on the remote stopped working. So, like, to turn the thing off and on I have to walk up to it and press a button. I drive an Audi, own five Prada purses, and just spent $40 on soap. The time had come for me to put on my big-girl panties and just buy a damn television.
“The 46-inch looks so much better,” I mumbled into my phone while standing in the Best Buy television department, a section of the store bustling with eight salivating men and me.
“So get it,” Leslie said.
“Won’t fit. Well, unless I want a few inches to hang over the edge and block the bookcases that neighbor the television stand.”
“Then move the bookcases,” Leslie suggested.
“Yeah, um, I can’t. The only reason they don’t resemble the Leaning Tower of Pisa is because they can lean against the television stand.”
“No, for real, when will you stop living like a college student? First your sofa breaks and you fix it by propping it up on an upside-down brownie pan and now this. Paige, you’re almost forty.”
“Hey, a handyman fixed my sofa in the fall,” I countered, knowing it still didn’t make up for the fact the sofa cushions have lost their loft and that the side of my bed that I typically ignore is uphill from the side I prefer. And yes, I have regularly flipped the mattress. “Okay, Okay,” I said as if to wave a white flag of surrender, “I’ll get a new TV.”
A few hours later I finally returned home. In my hand was the only purchase I had made: two cupcakes from a boutique bakery two towns over. I turned on my old television and kicked off my shoes. Then I plopped down on my sofa, took a bite of a cupcake, and watched 60 Minutes. Or, more accurately, according to the cutoff logo in the bottom right corner, 60 Minu. But to be honest, having part of Andy Rooney’s ginormous head cropped out of the shot as he spews old man intolerance kinda makes him less annoying.