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2006-09-27

In which I worry a little about the lack of emotional depth in my marriage...

Snippet of a conversation with a 30-year-old man I recently met:

ME: I'm missing the premiere of Gilmore Girls tonight. Does your wife watch the Gilmore Girls?
HIM: We don’t have a tv in our house.
ME: Seriously?
HIM: When my wife and I are home together we like to spend time with each other. We talk or play chess. Sometimes we’ll read.
ME: Seriously?
HIM: Yes. We’d much prefer to spend time talking to each other than sitting in front of the TV.
ME: And you’ve been married for how long?
HIM: Seven years.
ME: Seriously?

This conversation stuck with me. My husband and I watch a lot of TV -- sometimes together, sometimes apart. I was wondering if the opportunity cost of watching that much TV was that we didn’t talk to each other. The economist in me decided to do a little cost/benefit analysis when I got home.

Last night Geoff and I watched Boston Legal together. During the show, I took note of the amount of enjoyment Geoff and I got out of watching Denny Crane et. al., as evidenced by the amount of laughter and the times we said, “That’s my new favorite line!” When the show was over I did a mental comparison of the level of enjoyment versus the projected amount of enjoyment Geoff and I would have had discussing how our days went or the weather or politics, etc. And I have to say, even in this most unscientific analysis, the benefit of watching TV far outweighed the cost of not discussing whether Deval Patrick is a viable candidate for governor given his current financial burdens. So I’m going to go ahead and not worry about the strength of our relationship and just focus on the fact that it’s a new Lost tonight.

Besides, it’s not like Geoff and I didn’t talk last night. In fact, I can remember at least two times I said to him, “Honey, a little to the left – you’re blocking the TV!” Yeah, no worries -- I’ve got your emotional depth right here!