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No investigation needed to uncover a serious case of MCS at my house:

Man Cave Syndrome.

Big D built it; the clones have followed him down into the basement.  The screen is eight feet wide.  The sound system can, literally, blow their socks off, and sometimes it makes their hair blow back just slightly like that off-camera fan that the models use.  The sectional couch is its own small planet with some type of gravitational pull that affects the male bits in a way I can’t detect.

Three years into the man cave era, I can finally turn on the TV in the basement and make a screen light up, sound come on and run a dvd all at once.  Sometimes.  For years the kids would groan if Dad had to leave the house on a weekend evening; that meant they would have to watch me try to make the electronics work, instead of actually watching something on the electronics. For them, the only interesting part of those evenings was the new swear words they might hear me mutter under my breath, or after 15 minutes of pushing every button on every remote maniacally, the juicy words I might say quite loudly.

The cave is just not my scene.

I have no one to blame if I am upstairs with no one to talk to but myself (and no TV I can watch either).  I was the one to voluntarily remove TVs from all the main floor rooms of the house to make us a TV-free family.  It would be great!  We would all gather around after dinner and talk to each other in meaningful conversations!  We would play board games!  No one could beg to watch commercial-laden, mind-numbing television programming if there was no TV to watch, right?  (See previous posts ranting about the effect of TV on children’s little brains and suspend judgement on my sanity now, please).

Of course, the effect was like withholding Captain Crunch from a kid in the ’70’s — now he will buy them each time he goes to the grocery store.  The kids became more and more fascinated with the Mystical TV That Contained Ingredients That Were Not Good For Them.  They started to spend their precious visits to Grandma and Grandpa’s house staring at their TV, even if it wasn’t turned on.

What is my problem?  I had completely unfettered access to the TV as I grew up, and look how well I turned out (right? huh? huh??).  I learned a lot of classical music from Bugs Bunny, and Shakespeare + opera from Gilligan’s Island (“It is to be, or not to be, that is the question that I ask of thee…”).  I became a very knowledgeable shopper from watching The Price Is Right, especially when I am shopping for… a brand new car!!

I know moderation, in all things, is the key.  Faced with the prospect of conversation (and board games) upstairs, it was inevitable that the menfolk in my house would forge their own new frontier in the basement.  Maybe one little TV in the living room, just for me, wouldn’t be so bad…