Back in the good ol’ college days and then in our early, young, and carefree days of marriage, James and I had cable. I had cable in college because who am I to stand in the way of my roommates who want cable and then it was included in our first apartment. So, you know, we HAD to watch it. My channel of choice was always HGTV. What a great network. You got to live vicariously through all the people buying their fancy vacation homes (marvelous for us when we were living in our 500-some-odd-square-foot apartment) and see the beautiful redecorations designers did with nothing more than some old scrap wood and a toothbrush. Fantastic. I could watch that network for hours.
James, however, always chose the cooking/food shows. Top Chef, Iron Chef America, Chopped, The Best Thing I Ever Ate, The Next Food Network Star, Unwrapped, Man vs Food, you name it, we watched it. And while I occasionally relinquished the remote to James so we could watch his food shows, I never really got into them as much as he did.
Until now. You see, we decided to not get cable when we bought our house for a myriad of reasons. Saved us a lot of time, money, and probably eyesight. We really watch a lot less TV when we have less TV to watch. In the summers there’s even less stuff to watch that’s actually interesting (except for SYTYCD, of course. Best. Show. Ever.). This summer, however, we got addicted to two shows: MasterChef and Hell’s Kitchen (way to take over our TV lives, Fox). We first started watching them because of James’s aforementioned affinity for food shows and because we needed something to do when Maciek would only sleep in our arms (Netflix instant watch saved me there, too (sorry for all the asides)). Quickly I got addicted to them, too, however.
This is where the crazy part sets in. I CANNOT GO TO RESTAURANTS ANYMORE. I just can’t! The whole time I’m thinking about what those chefs are doing back there and what the restaurant is doing wrong (that’s thanks to Kitchen Nightmares, also Fox. Fox has as tight of a grip on us as Gordon Ramsay has on Fox, apparently) and the plating of my meal. For James’s birthday we went to a nice restaurant and during every lull in the conversation my mind kept wandering back to those chefs in the kitchen. Are they getting yelled at? Are their dishes getting sent back? Is a famous British chef throwing them out of the kitchen? Then, tonight, we went out for a good friend’s birthday and even though my meal was DELICIOUS, my very first thought when they put the plate down was, “Um, this plate could use some wiping.” Now, you have to understand that there was absolutely nothing wrong with the plate. It wasn’t dirty, it wasn’t carelessly thrown together. I just saw a smudge or two of food/sauce and I thought to myself, “These people would have had some serious points deducted for plating.”
Sad, I know. And this is precisely why it’s a very good thing that the summer is almost over and once the shows finish up, I can go back to being my normal, sane, not-food-obsessed self again. Now if only I could make myself forget that HGTV posts some of their episodes online.