Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Money, Money, Money

We don't have cable. We're Amish.

OK, so we're not technically Amish. That's just what I tell people when they ask me, "Did you watch last night's episode of Jersey Shore?"

Because, you know, that's something I certainly would watch if I did have cable. *shudder*

Instead of cable, we have a Roku player. Now, I'm not a cutting-edge kinda gal, but I was among the first of my friends to own one. That meant I got one glorious shot at techno-superiority. "What? You haven't heard of it? Let me explain it to you, my unenlightened friend."

This from the girl who doesn't own a smart phone and is still figuring out how Twitter works.

In short, the Roku lets us stream Netflix to our TV. I can also rent movies on demand from Amazon, listen to Pandora, and see all the pictures from my flickr account. This is how I watch all the Buffy the Vampire Slayer my little heart desires. Which is a lot. I'm halfway through season six! Although I don't like how dark Willow is getting. She doesn't seem like the same charact—

But I digress.

Something big has happened on the Roku front. A cable channel has become available on the Roku. For a fee, of course. That's unique because channels are usually in contracts with cable providers that keep them from offering their programming elsewhere.

What channel is it? Discovery? History? Something wonderful like that?

No. It's called WealthTV.  It's got shows about dazzling houses and European getaways! Shows about fancy cars, fancy planes, fancy gadgets! Shows about high society from Danielle Staub of The Real Housewives of New Jersey! (I'll let you insert your own sarcastic comment there.)

And it's got The Ellen Show, apparently. I'm not sure how she fits in with the theme, but that's about the only show in the lineup that I'd watch. She does dress well. And she gives away lots of fun, relatively expensive stuff. Maybe that's it.

I'll admit that I like seeing nice houses. Cars, eh. Planes, eh. But houses I'll look at. Drool over. Wish I had.

But I have a house. I don't need a house. I sometimes would like a bigger house—no, not even a bigger house. Just one with a better distribution of space. Or a basement. A basement would be nice. Somewhere to stash toys.

Then I think how fortunate I am to have a home. Yes, we chose a smaller home so we could afford it on one salary when children came along. It was smart, and I love my little house. But then greed starts to sneak in. I want bigger! Better! I have friends with gorgeous, giant houses that are so incredible. My heart sinks when I visit, thinking, "I'll probably never have a house this big."

When I reassess what my needs are, I realize I don't need a house that big. Want and need are two very different sentiments. Our little house is big enough for the three of us. People have raised larger families in less space than we have. My mother-in-law and her three younger sisters shared a room not much larger than my closet.

No. Joke.

It's just beyond reason that there's a channel devoted entirely to an opulent lifestyle. I think they have a few shows on philanthropy to even things out. Still, there's no Philanthropy Channel where you just watch rich people give away their money to charitable organizations all day. Who would watch it?

Needless to say, we won't be subscribing. When they get History or Discovery, maybe. But I don't need to spend money to look at other people's money.

Are you interested in WealthTV? What channel would you be interested in?


  1. I'm not interested in wealth t.v., but I AM interested in you renting movies from Amazon! Why have I never heard of that? Glorious! Also, even though I don't care about wealth t.v., I get sucked into scandalous shows about teenagers like "Gossip Girl" despite the fact that I'm a grown woman. So, there's my confession for the day.

  2. I can't fault you for that! I have every episode of Saved by the Bell on DVD. For reals.

    And renting movies from Amazon is nice when there's something new we want to see right away. Stuff comes out immediately---no waiting period like with Redbox. We saw Inception the weekend it came out on DVD!

  3. My cheap dream in life is to get rid of tv altogether...netflix included. (This is obviously because I have a friend with the entire Buffy series on dvd, and am only waiting for them to get babysitters so we can watch the series finale together with champagne and fancy dresses)

    I've also digressed. Onward to the point: I recently convinced Mr to downgrade our cable package to the "lite" version - provided we upgrade again next football season and get the super-duper NFL package.

    I (almost) win!

  4. I totally get your house envy. We live in a very small house and sometimes I have to really try hard to not be jealous of the beautiful homes some of my friends live in. But then I remember the smaller the house, less to clean! And although my house is small, it works perfect for our family of three. And when we have gatherings at our house, it is amazing how the walls seem to expand to make room!
    And we have cable - please don't ask how many TVs with cable we have in this very small house - it is embarrassing!

  5. Oh, snap, Sommer! Am I supposed to be cleaning this thing? That explains so much...

  6. I feel that it is because of shows like that that we have people in foreclosure. So many people see houses like that and want them. Not because they need a big house like that to house all of the orphaned children they are adopting. No instead what they are seeing is Self Worth.
    So they lock themselves into this huge house which makes them feel SO special and important for a moment but then they just feel stressed. Stressed because they have to work so hard to make the mortgage. Stressed because if their financial life changes the LEAST little bit (and it always does) they are screwed and stressed because they can do nothing but sit in that house. They don't have the money to go out to dinner, go to a show or explore the world.
    That's why I think it is so important to have unconditional self love with no outside temporary sources. In my mind, that's the only way to truly experience and understand God's love for us :-)

  7. I'd say we're more Amish than you because we just have an antenna. We can't pick up NBC or CW, but we get lots of PBS channels and we can watch our favorite family show: Wipeout!
    I've noticed that as we have moved away from watching tv so much, there are less wants... sometimes what you don't know is a good thing!

  8. Heheh Amish. Memories.

    We got Mr. Frederick Roku for Xmas two years ago and he's obsessed. John has Xbox so we can get Netflix through that, love it. We can also rent movies thru Xbox like you can through Amazon. Ah, technology.

    You have house envy for a bigger house. I have house envy for Indianapolis mortgage payments!

  9. Yeah, I'd want to watch that about as much as I'd want to watch the food network while starving.

    Why tempt yourself?

  10. My hubby is a little bit of a gamer, so we had the xbox and we watch Netflix through that and we LOVE it! My fave thing about it is there's no commercials! We just recently finished all 5 seasons of The Office!! (do you like that show?) ANYWAY...

    We just bought our first home almost two years ago and we love everything about it! But I still find myself being discontent sometimes!! It's so silly! Great post!

  11. Umm, Catie? There are SIX seasons of The Office. Better get your hubby and sit back down! lol

  12. We have the same thing! No cable and we have the instant NetFlix through the PS3. I didn't know that qualified as Amish!

  13. wowsers, I could have written much of this post. (Hi, I'm Nicole, nice to meet you). I also struggle with wanting a bigger house, and you're right - it IS greed. Thanks for putting it into perspective for me.


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