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Published: Sunday, March 9, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Fake date basks in glow of the TV

Have you ever read one of those books about marriage that advises you and your spouse to go on a date every week?

That always sounds good in theory — until you're faced with the prospect of paying for a babysitter. Go grab that extra $50 laying around and then scrounge up more money for a restaurant. Oh, wait…

Maybe instead of date night you could have fake-date night. You and your spouse can sit on the couch and watch TV. All you have to do is agree on something to watch that you both like.

Good luck with that!

"If I have to sit through one more episode of 'The Colbert Report' I'll gouge out my eye," one of you says. Then the other one says "'Once Upon a Time?' Isn't that for tween girls?"

OK, instead of fake-date night, how about you both watch television at the same time, but in separate rooms?

Welcome to a happy marriage. Here are your two remote controls.

Television negotiations become even trickier when your options change. My husband and I cut cable two years ago. Sure, we've saved almost $2,000, but Netflix thinks we're stupid.

When we turn on the Wii, Netflix gives us suggestions like: "Because you've watched 'Angelina Ballerina' try 'Strawberry Shortcake.'"

Excuse me, but who pays for this subscription? At least Comcast didn't assume we were 4 years old! Cable also offered "How I Met Your Mother," which is one of the few television shows my husband and I both like.

But miracles happen every day and most especially on TV. Last fall we discovered "Battlestar Galactica," the Sci-Fi channel series about a space-age Exodus. We were both instantly entranced, and then couldn't believe that the other person liked it equally as much.

I am especially shocked because action, violence and robot seduction aren't normally my thing. But 75 episodes later, I am forever changed. Now, every time I turn on Roomba to vacuum my living room, I'm not sure if I should kiss it, or run away and hide.

Another show we've stumbled upon that both of us enjoy is "Alaska, the Last Frontier." It tells the story of three generations of homesteaders living off the land. Unfortunately, it's produced by the Discovery Channel, which means they recap what happens every five minutes.

"Atz Lee is hunting for bears. [Commercial break.] Atz Lee is going to kill a bear. [Commercial break.] Atz Lee sees the bear through the scope of his rifle. [Commercial break.] For real this time; Atz Lee is killing a bear."

Apparently, the Discovery Channel thinks we have short-term memory loss.

Meanwhile Netflix won't let us forget anything ever. It's latest advisement said: "Because you've watched 'Dexter's Laboratory' you might like 'Ben 10.'"

Another show about aliens? I'll get the popcorn.

Jennifer Bardsley is an Edmonds mom of two and blogs at teachingmybabytoread.com.

Story tags » Parenting

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