Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Feeling desperate

I have few pleasures in this life. Spending time with the boy is one - obviously. As are reading a good book, writing a good book (see the subtle plug there?), eating chocolate and watching Desperate Housewives.
I can’t express how happy Tuesdays make me. I wake up, tired and grumpy ready for another day at the office. I wake the boy and sit through an infernal episode of Noddy while he eats his breakfast.
I try to multi-task getting both him and me ready, and the house tidy, before we head out into the morning traffic. For the record the traffic from the Waterside to the cityside on the average morning does not help my mood. I’ve learned to control my rage that little bit to the point where I don’t actually swear like a trooper the whole way, but by the time I’ve arrived at nursery school I’m generally frazzled.
I then spend five minutes playing with my child and secretly comparing his abilities with the other boys and girls in his class before getting in the car again and hitting the rush hour traffic at St. Columb’s College before arriving at work just after nine.
It feels, as I’m sure many women know, often as if i completed a full days work before I’ve even sat down on my desk. And then, I have eight or nine hours of hard graft to ‘look forward’ to. My face is often as sour as they come by 9.30 and it is only when I look through the TV pages in the ‘Journal’ that I remember to my eternal joy that Tuesday is ‘Desperate Housewives’ night.
All of a sudden my day has a purpose. I start flying through my work, knowing that at 9.50pm I’ll be sat, glass of wine in hand, watching the latest dramas on Wysteria Lane unfold. I’ll be able to cry with Lynette, laugh at Bree and cringe at Susan. I will envy Gabby’s shoes and dresses and wonder just how much plastic surgery Edie has had. I will swoon when Mike is on screen and wish all men were as considerate and handsome as Tom.
And when it is all over, I’ll text my friends and they will reply contentedly that another Tuesday evening has delivered some top quality entertainment. I go to sleep on a Tuesday with a smile on my face. Except this week, it went wrong.
This week, Susan didn’t humiliate herself, Bree didn’t crack under the pressure of new motherhood and we didn’t see Mike take off his top. Because this week, there was no ‘Desperate Housewives’. This week, there was football. Fecking football. And it has left me so enraged that this is only one thing that I could write this column about.
Why, oh why, does quality viewing always have to be interrupted so that we can watch some overpaid ego-tastic men kick a teeny tiny ball around a field? It is, no matter how you try and dress it up with big pay cheques and glamorous wives and girlfriends, only a game. Why does it deserve four hours of televisual coverage on a night when ‘Desperate Housewives’ should be helping me cope with the pressures of the average working week? Surely a game of football is only 90 minutes long? Even giving some time for a half time break and a little commentary, there is no way it needs to be stretched out to four hours of utter boredom and frustration for some real life desperate housewives.
They say men aren’t great conversationalists but somehow it seems the men of RTE 2 had a staggering four hours worth of blethering to do about football. I mean, what in fairness is there in football that necessitates such rambling? Surely it’s a matter of someone kicking a ball, while someone else tries to stop him. And there might be some really fast running every now and again and someone might fall down and ‘pretend’ he is in the agonies when we all know he just wants a wee breather from all the running.
Do the programmers at RTE think this is acceptable behaviour? It was little consolation that they decided to show a documentary on Chick Lit featuring Poolbeg on the other channel while the football was ongoing. (See my other subtle plug there?). I was so disgusted that I went to bed early while I heard my phone pinging to life with text messages from friends as equally unimpressed as I was.
Of course we’re all worried they will do the same thing next week and Desperate Housewives will face the same fate as Coronation Street which gets moved around all the time to accommodate football matches. Now what I don’t get is why they can’t show the football on the channels no one watches anyway? Like BBC2...or Channel 9. That way it wouldn’t interupt our viewing pleasure one bit. You men folk could still watch it whenever the notion took you to tax your brain by watching the fast running and we women could still get out fix of quality drama. Everyone walks away happy and each Wednesday morning I’ll be in a much finer mood for having had my fix. It’s hardly rocket science - or the offside rule - is it?

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