A man and his TV

There’s just something about a man and his TV.

My wife has her books, and now, at long last, I have my TV.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always had one. For the past five years or so, I’ve had a useful 32-inch Vizio flat screen in my living room. It had always performed admirably, but I was feeling the itch.

So many of my friends had moved on to bigger and better TVs, all in the 50-inch range. And I had to have one. I just had to.

Shortly before we received our tax returns, I carefully broached the subject of a new TV with my wife, fully expecting an eye roll and an “Are you crazy? We already have two, why could we possibly need another?”

Yeah, about that other one. We have another 32-inch hooked up in the bedroom. I can’t sleep without the sound of a TV.

It’s a sickness.

But I wanted a smart TV. Those 32-inchers were regular old dumb TVs. The Vizio had a Chromecast hooked to the back, and while that’s quite the useful tool, it’s just not the same.

So, after asking the question, I braced for the answer.

Even after I laid out what I thought was an airtight case, she had every right to say no.

But here’s the thing, she said yes.

Wait, what?!

She said yes.

But why?!

“I got tired of you asking,” she said.

Without even realizing it, I  guess I had worn her down, but I’ll take it.

As a way of softening the blow, I made a deal. She could buy a crap ton, an actual measurement, of books at Barnes & Noble in exchange for putting up with my incessant need for bigger and better technology.

After all, the tax return was hers, too. I wanted her to get some enjoyment.

What to buy, where to buy

Having cleared what I thought was an insurmountable hurdle, it was on to some research.

I thought I would take advantage of my friends’ knowledge, so I asked them about their ups and downs. I looked online at reviews of several brands and sizes. I looked at Walmart, not to buy mind you, but to further refine my search.

This was a big decision, after all.

I was looking for something with the requisite number of inputs, plus a set of composite plug-ins for my ancient DVD player.

As I continued my investigation, it was becoming apparent I would need to sacrifice size for inputs if I wanted to stay in my price range.

My search led me to a 55-inch Samsung. It had the inputs I needed. The price was right. And I felt comfortable with the brand.

Best Buy in Coralville, my old stomping grounds, would be the destination, plus my wife could go on her book shopping spree at the same mall.

Two birds, one stone. Efficiency at its finest. Or so I thought.

A little (big) problem

A week ago Saturday, Megan and I loaded into my car for that trip of a lifetime.

I could feel the excitement build as we neared Coral Ridge Mall. But I was also a little nervous since this was such a big purchase, and I was afraid of screwing it up. I can’t imagine my wife being OK with another TV purchase for at least another five years, so I had to get this right.

After arriving, I asked some questions just to be sure and found out something interesting, and it may help you around Christmastime when the annual tradition of cheap TVs brings hordes of angry shoppers to their local big-box stores.

According to the salesman, companies can sell those TVs at such a discounted price because their parts are made elsewhere. So while you received quite the deal on Black Friday, the quality may not be as great.

Buyer beware, indeed.

After ensuring that wasn’t the case for my TV, I handed the salesman my debit card. My proud purchase was loaded onto a cart, and they told me to bring my vehicle around to the front.

And therein lies the rub.

I pulled my car up, popped the trunk and soon realized it wouldn’t fit. Not even a little bit. And no, my back seat wouldn’t fold down.

“No problem,” I thought. “I’ll just open one of the rear doors, and it’ll slide right in.”

Nope. In fact, if it was just 1 inch wider, it would’ve fit, but no.

So, they had to take the TV back inside.

It wasn’t a problem, they assured me. They would simply have to check it back into the store until I could make arrangements to bring it home.

I thought that was absurd. Why go through all of that when they could just hold it for a few hours?

In my mind, I thought checking it back into the store meant they could sell it out from underneath me while I waited. That didn’t seem right, so I took the TV back, in a huff, and said, “I’ll figure it out.”

I’m a smart guy, at least I thought so.

Megan and I angrily lugged it out of the store and across the parking lot and spent the better part of an hour, as a frigid winter wind blew across that arctic tundra, trying to figure out how to get this monstrosity into our car. And I found out that at no point was my car that wide. It just wasn’t going to work, no matter how I twisted and turned.

I was beside myself. After all the research and time I put into finding the right TV, I neglected to bring the right vehicle, and that, and that alone, was preventing me from bringing it home.

Are you freakin’ kidding me?

Well, after many phone calls to Megan’s and my parents, we hatched a plan.

I decided to take it back into the store and ask — one more time — if they could hold it for a few hours while my mom brought a truck from an hour and a half away.

As it turns out, I misunderstood. Best Buy checking it back in was its way of holding the item, and the clerks assured me it wouldn’t be sold while I waited.

I felt like an idiot. And that feeling was only compounded by the look my wife gave me after spending an hour outside in Siberia.

If there wasn’t such a crowd, I’m convinced Megan would’ve killed me. Then, she would’ve revived me, only to off me again, so angry and annoyed was she.

So, I made another deal.

“How about you buy even more books?” I said sheepishly.

Penance paid

While we waited for my mom’s arrival, off we went to Barnes & Noble while Megan dropped a small fortune on more books than I even knew existed.

But she deserved every bit of every page of every book she bought, as much as I put her through that day.

In the back of my mind, however, I wondered if the truck could hold the TV. Would it? Sure it would. But would it? My OCD brain didn’t want to let it go.

What a waste of a trip that would be for my mom.

Soon, she arrived, parking the truck in front of the store. It took a little bit to check the TV back out, but they eventually wheeled it back out, only to realize it wouldn’t fit in the bed of the truck.

Come on. Seriously, come on.

Perhaps it would fit in the extended cab.

Like a glove, thankfully.

After my mom took my car back home, I decided I still had more penance to serve, so I had Megan choose our restaurant. Wherever she wanted.

Olive Garden. Yipee.

But again, she deserved every bit of it. And then some.

(Oh, and side note, I made sure it was worth my parents’ while to lug that truck all the way up to Coralville for my stupid mistake.)

That glorious TV

After dinner, we made it home, unpacked the TV and carefully set it up. Only then did I realize how big they meant by 55 inches.

Wow.

But it was worth it. All the time, the money, the trouble. Every bit of it.

Soon, Major League Baseball will gear up in earnest with Opening Day. And don’t forget the NCAA Tournament. Plus, the NHL and NBA seasons are going strong.

And the shows, my goodness. I couldn’t even imagine how “Designated Survivor” would look emblazoned on that glorious screen.

Honestly, I haven’t stopped swooning, and I’m learning more and more. And the more I learn, the happier I am.

After all, there’s just something about a man and his TV.

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