Our relationship had been stagnant for years. I felt like I gave and gave and got very little back in return. Sure there were some bright spots over the years, Orphan Black, Project Runway in the Bravo days and the best adaptation ever of Pride & Prejudice back when A&E actually produced shows with art and entertainment in mind instead of ones about strange addictions and not knowing you are pregnant. Just like the real-life couple inspiration for the movie Love Story (Al & Tipper Gore, minus the leukemia) our very long-term relationship had reached the end of its days. This was no Becky with the good hair type of situation though, nobody cheated, it was simply time to cut the cord and move on so I did.
It was a tough break-up, as all mostly one-sided relationship break ups can be. It was especially tough in the beginning during those long, dark January nights when all I wanted to do was pick up the phone and tell them how sorry I was and that it was all me and not at all them. I missed not being able to mindlessly flip through endless channels of shows that I had zero interest in and home shopping channels I never purchased a single thing from but still watched sometimes because just like Mount Everest they were there. They were always there. But then I remembered how J-Lo said love don’t cost a thing and this particular love was costing me way too much so with Jen’s help I have been able to stay strong and Comcast-free for almost six months now.
It has not been easy but these days cutting the cord does not necessarily mean no cable access. With premiums channels like Showtime and HBO Now available as stand alones and subscription services from iTunes I figured I would just pay for what I really wanted and nobody ever had to put a ring on it. I could come and go as I damned well pleased something I could never do in my previous relationship. I also signed up for Sling TV’s basic internet cable package for $20 a month. With Sling I still have access to a news channel (CNN, not my fave but at least it is not FOX) for when bad things in the world happen and I feel the need to watch people with nebulous credentials say the same stuff over and over again without letting little things like facts get in the way. And while I no longer can watch Tiny House Nation (insert large crocodile tears here), HGTV devotes Monday nights to various tiny house shows so I can still be equally intrigued (a couch that turns into a bed, a ping-pong table AND a desk) and repulsed (composting toilets or people with children living without doors or walls) on a weekly basis. There are enough channels on Sling’s basic package that I can make it work just fine.
Because I like to know what is going on in my own town local channels were a must which meant I had to buy an antenna. I bought two different ones to see which worked best and so far I have to say neither. The Mohu Leaf got mostly positive reviews but it is still hit and miss reception-wise usually on the one channel I want to watch at that one particular moment. I also bought an RCA with good old-fashioned rabbit ears and it is the same damn thing. Supposedly the roof top mounted ones work great but if I wanted something ugly on my house I would get a satellite dish or a Trump banner. I guess I will learn to live with the spotty reception.
Unfortunately Comcast did get to keep the Minnesota Twins in our divorce. Years ago the Twins sold their not-at-all-immortal souls to Fox Sports North so the only way to see any of their home games on television is with a cable subscription. I figured if my dad could listen to Twins games on the radio then I could too and given how embarrassingly bad they are playing this year it’s probably for the best that I can’t actually see them because listening is tough enough. It is possible to buy a subscription from MLB for away games so if they ever start playing better than the Bad News Bears before Walter Matthau took over as coach I may sign up.
It took a little while to get used but I am feeling pretty good about this break up. The amount of money I am saving is a major plus and I am finally starting to make some headway through my long-ass Netflix queue. Because so many people are cutting the cord and the millennials never connected to one in the first place it is inevitable that the Comcasts of the world will figure out a way to capitalize on some sort of à la carte pricing structure but until then I think I am going to be okay out here on my own.