Sunday, November 09, 2008

the home-tv saga

i always get annoyed when my brother invites friends over to watch soccer on weekends, especially during the "golden hours" in the evening after dinner - when i usually love to just chill out on the sofa, sip some hot tea while idly watching some tv serial or movie. it felt like an invasion of my personal/private stay-home moments.

there are 2 tvs at home, one in the common living room area, the other in my parents' bedroom. my brother pays for the subscription of the starhub cable channels - linked only to the living room tv set (because he wanted to watch ESPN and the soccer/sports channels), so that naturally gives him the "authority" to expect me to move aside as and when he wants to watch his soccer matches. that seriously irritates me (to an extent the thought of moving out always comes up whenever that happens) cuz i think it's very unfair given that the living room is a common space and the tv there is supposed to be a family-shared property.. but i always gave in anyway, since i didn't want to kick up a big fuss when his friends or gf is over at our place.

but i guess everyone has their limits.

last weekend, i was couching on the sofa watching "armageddon" on channel 5 (10pm show) after dinner. about 1.5 hours into the show (near show-climax), my brother and his gf suddenly appeared at the door, and said they had to watch a soccer match right away. it was not a question, not a request, just a statement. it's like they knew i have no choice but to give way and retreat into my bedroom. to tell the truth, i had watched "armageddon" years ago, so it wasn't really a big deal having to miss the show ending. but the annoyance from always having to give up the living room (which is a common entertainment area for everyone in the family) and tv to them just made my blood boil - maybe i'm a petty sister, but i just didn't like the fact that i'm subject to all that just because my brother decided to pay for the cable channels subscription. anyway, i gave them a very very annoyed look, held my silence, picked up my tea and retreated to my bedroom to read a novel instead. my parents were already asleep in their bedroom, and i wasn't desperate enough to sneak in to disturb them by switching on their tv. the week passed by the grudge didn't evaporate.

this weekend, history repeated itself.

i was watching the saturday night movie "the cheetah girls" on channel 5 last evening, when my brother and his gf came home. i was still halfway through dinner in front of the tv, when he came over and said, "erh sis, we are going to switch the channel to watch soccer now." this was all too familiar, only this time i flared up and responded in a slightly raised tone, "all you know is to come home and ask me to go away. that's all you do and everytime i just have to do your bidding." i knew that would make his gf feel uncomfortable, but i didn't care (plus i think PMS made it harder to control my temper). i spitefully picked up my unfinished food, retreated to my bedroom and SLAMMED the door - making my dismay very obvious. for the rest of the night, i didn't speak a word to either of them... and i ended up staying up the entire night finishing off the 392-page novel i had been reading. by the time i was done and ready to turn in, it was already 8am in the morning. and when i woke up in the afternoon, brother and gf had already left.

things were quiet and peaceful (i got to enjoy the living room again) until brother and gf showed up just now at 6:00pm... with a new mini television! i instantly knew what that meant (and it made me feel guilty for losing my temper last night), but stubborn me just refused to act a bit excited or apologetic. it isn't an expensive brand, but i certainly didn't expect him to go out and buy home a tv for me. it is actually a very nice thing to do, especially coming from him. i had also been contemplating getting myself a real cool flat-screen tv for my own bedroom (complete with DVD player etc.) but given the current economic situation, i felt that could wait. now that he's gotten one for me, i don't have to worry about that anymore.

it is still a big surprise.

now i feel like a big baddy for acting the way i did last night.
but then again, maybe if i hadn't shown my dismay so obviously, perhaps i would still have been taken for granted? :P

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