Diary of a Marriage: Show Time

Don’t judge a couple by what’s on their DVR.

iStockphoto courtesy of ThinkStock.com.

One Friday night not too long ago, J. and I were sprawled out on our couch, scrolling through the TV channels. In our quest to find something that would entertain both of us, we were quick to dismiss the shows one by one. We waved off anything in the Housewives franchise (for him), everything sports-related (for me), and all things Kardashian (for both of us). We clicked past the news (too depressing), some faux-reality show on MTV (too young), and about twenty CSI spin-offs (too boring). And then, J. landed on it:

Search for the Amazon Headshrinkers.

We looked at each other in excitement. Yes! A documentary about weird, gory rituals in far-away lands! We instantly turned up the volume and settled in for a cozy night—just the two of us, a bottle of wine, popcorn, and a tribe of spear-wielding Amazonians who slice off enemy heads and then shrink them into little pocket-sized souvenirs.

When it comes to TV compatibility, you’ve either got it or you don’t. And for us—a couple who decided to limit our household to one TV—it was pretty important that our viewing habits meshed. After all, one study found that the average person watches more than four hours of television each day. That means that by the time you’re 65, you will have spent nine years watching TV. So if you and your significant other spend most of that time watching different shows on different TVs, well, that’s technically a whopping nine years spent apart. While J. and I don’t watch nearly that much television on a daily basis, we still probably log enough hours to make a good case for sharing one tube.

Luckily, for the most part our TV preferences are similar, even though I, of course, like to veer off sometimes into Bravo land, while J. gets sucked into the black hole that is ESPN. Still, when we’re having a lazy date night on the couch, we always manage to happily meet somewhere in middle, usually a place where scary prehistoric predators eat one another or odd men get married to their cars. We’ve often commented that if anyone else were to sneak a peek at our DVR, they’d think we were pretty twisted. Monsters Inside Me and I Shouldn’t Be Alive share space with Locked Up Abroad and countless National Geographic programs about things like killer piranhas, cannibals, folk singers being eaten by coyotes and ladies who have 700 cats.

“Thank God we found each other,” I said to J. that night as I reached for another handful of popcorn, just as they rolled grainy footage from the 1960s of a purported headshrinking ceremony. “I mean, who else would watch headshrinking with me?”

J. nodded. “I know. Nat Geo’s awesome.” (Yes, we call it Nat Geo. Still another reason we swear that we’d both be hopelessly single if it weren’t for the other.)

I’m sure other couples spend date night watching sweet romantic comedies or blockbuster action movies. We do that on occasion (I am a female, after all, and what female doesn’t like a good rom-com?) but when it boils down to it, we’d both rather tune into a good old documentary about a man who got eaten by his pet lion. And if most people spend nine years of their life watching television, you might as well find someone who digs Amazonian headshrinking as much as you do.

Do you and your groom have compatible TV personalities? How do you compromise if you don’t?





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