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The Intimacy of Media Consumption: Are fights over what to watch more destructive than you think? written by Anonymous

Posted By Rebecca Eckler on June 16, 2011

Tagged: Anonymous, Rave

I’ve been with my partner for nearly 8 years now, and while recollecting some of our fondest times, and also still living them out, I’m finding a pattern.

Maybe this is just our personalities or the nature of what we are individually drawn to, but even outside of my relationship, I find that sitting down and watching a piece of cinema or other quality media is something you can only do with certain people. I don’t mean just going to the theater, I mean enjoying something of mutual emotional value in a state of total, passive bliss.

One of my dearest friends recalls me waiting in the hallway in front of her door on my steno-chair, holding back on watching an episode of a certain show, so that I could do it with her. And who could forget curling up with said friend with a laptop and Rear Window?

In terms of my romances, I know many people have the issue of fighting over “what to see.” So many still joke to me about never agreeing with their spouses on what to watch, as if it’s a given that women always want to watch a certain kind of program and men another. I have found that perhaps since my relationship with the Poetry Man is so grounded in aesthetics, this has never been an issue.

And I mean never.

Okay well, maybe sometimes I’m not in the mood for Mario Bava-Vincent Price fare but once I chillax and get into it I’m always rewarded. And vice-versa. Bill can say what he wants about 8 1/2 but I know he was secretly, at the very least, somewhat compelled. Also I don’t think I would have been able to continue living with him if he hadn’t seen it.

When we lived separately and only had limited quantities of time together on the weekend, we tried to squeeze in every bit of media we could. Our dates always included a viddy at the cinnie or as many installments of Six Feet Under you could get into a Sunday afternoon. And yes I feel that completing these episodic voyages in their totality with a viewing-companion enhances the experience a great deal. The discussions that arise out of allowing a narrative to entirely capture your mutual subconscious creates a powerful bond between humans. And of course a shorthand, peppered with pop-culture reference ensues.

Of course this can apply to literature as well. Once Bill read La Peste in French while I did in English. So romantic.

On our “honeymoon” we opted to visit Stratford and Shaw, for play-going madness. We also had to make sure the B&B had a DVD player so we could fit in some of Ken Burns’s The Civil War, and a smattering of other gems that included Brian De Palma’s Raising Cain.

I can verify that this did indeed offer aphrodisiac benefits.

I can hardly even imagine my relationship with Bill without these shared experiences and yes, a lot of our bond is based on a mutual love of quiet reflection. But whether reading poolside or strolling riverside, crossing the William Hutt bridge and escalating our voices over the directorial choices of Des McAnuff, our most cherished memories are really only ever arts-related.

So are our fights.

So am I just lucky that I found someone whose interests so closely resemble mine? Or am I not the only woman who doesn’t have to pull teeth to get her way in the TV room?

However I can’t say it’s an accident that I found a guy who hates sports and held onto him for dear life.

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One Response to The Intimacy of Media Consumption: Are fights over what to watch more destructive than you think? written by Anonymous

  1. Chloe says:

    You are lucky. Both of my previous serious boyfriends thought that watching Friends was an acceptable usage of media time.

    Remember also that watching 45 simple minutes of footage with said friend oftentimes capitulated into a 2 hour-long ordeal when you account for all the time spent setting up, getting comfy, acquiring snacks, rewinding to compensate for interruptions due to laughter/outrage, re-watching amazing moments, capturing screen shots, and delivering post-show analysis.

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