Picture the scene: it’s Thursday night. My Boyfriend (henceforth known as the BF) and I have been home from work for an hour. He’s just cracked open a beer and is happily destressing from the day on the PS4. I’m in the kitchen with a gin, chatting on the phone to one of my mates and cobbling dinner together out of whatever is in the fridge. (I don’t know about you, but when it comes to cooking after work, I’ve generally lost the will to chef by Thursday. There are only so many days of the week that I can be arsed, you know?)
Anyway, I’ve steamed some veg, cooked some sausages, mashed some potatoes or more likely, slammed a frozen pizza in the oven (it’s Thursday remember). It comes time to ‘dish up’ as my mother would say and I shout the traditional five-minute warning to the BF.
“Five minutes to finish killing things! Can you find something for us to watch?”
He shouts the traditional response, “Yep”.
Traditional rituals completed, I start thinking about all the good shows we’ve got recorded and wondering what he will pick for our viewing pleasure.
It’s been a long day/week/year/decade at work for both of us and whilst he’s had a bit of a game, I’ve been preparing food for us to eat so that we don’t go hungry and have something to soak up the booze with. In other words, he’s had his fun, now it’s time for my fun. This is just the way that relationships work.
Like many other people on this planet, we spend most of our weekday evenings in front of the tellybox. In fact, since coronavirus occurred, we generally spend every night in front of the tellybox. What a fabulous opportunity to brainwash a nation. Maybe ‘they’ already are and we just haven’t noticed…. (cue the soundtrack to ‘The Twilight Zone’).
So, I am literally a captive audience and there is so much entertaining content to choose from. There’s ‘Gangs of London’ on NowTV, ‘Killing Eve’ on BBC iPlayer, ‘The Mandalorian’ on Disney Plus, ‘Homecoming’ on Amazon Prime and that’s just a few highlights. There are also oodles of comedy programmes and creative shows like ‘The Great British Sewing Bee’ for us to sink our eyes into. We are spoilt for content and interesting things to watch whilst we switch our brains off and relax.
I come into the lounge with our hearty meal (pizza), take my spot on the sofa (yes we eat on our laps, don’t you judge me) and get settled for an evening’s entertainment. I look up at the screen, fork halfway to my mouth, slight smile of anticipation etched on my face and then I realise that something has gone terribly wrong.
What has the BF chosen? What do I get to watch whilst I’m eating the dinner that I have lovingly prepared? Fucking Monty Don. It’s 8 o’clock at night and I get to watch another bloody gardening programme starring fucking Monty Don. I almost choked on my gin.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Monty Don. He seems like a lovely man with lovely dogs who creates lovely gardens but he is just not what I want to spend my few, precious, evening viewing hours watching. Gardening shows should only be watched on Sunday, like Countryfile and The Antiques Roadshow, not on a bloody Thursday night! What the hell is going on?
I look at the BF, scowl deepening on my face, and he is absolutely glued to the screen. In fact, I haven’t seen him this relaxed all day. My heart softens slightly. I look at the tellybox. There are images of beautiful flowers in gorgeous cascades of purple and mauve whilst Monty’s soothing voice advises on the best type of soil to plant them. I guess it’s not so bad and maybe I can sit through this one episode. I just have this niggle though, this question itching at the back of my mind….
When did we become so fucking middle-aged?!