The Real Lives of Navy Wives: Excessive TV Watching

Okay, maybe this doesn’t apply to all wives of deployed servicemen, but it does to me.

When Damon is gone, I watch a lot of TV.  More than I should admit.  But here’s the thing.  I have a small child who goes to bed at 7:30.  While I’d love to quell my loneliness by jetting over to my friends’ houses for nightly happy hours, I’m pretty sure leaving my toddler alone in the home is frowned upon.  So that leaves the TV to keep me company.

I’d like to say I read and stuff – and I do that, too* – but at the end of a long day of taking care of my kid all by myself, I just want to zone out.  My brain no longer functions on “Reading Literature” levels, but more like “Real Housewives” levels.

Netflix and Hulu have been THE WORST INVENTIONS for military spouses.  Besides the Cricut.  Damon was on detachment in Australia for the majority of March (rough life, I know).  During that month – thanks to Netflix – I watched the entire first season of Scandal.  In about four days.  (To be fair, that first season was only seven episodes.)  And then – thanks to Hulu – I caught up on the current second season.  In about another four days.  I was actually relieved when I caught up and had to wait each week for a new episode with the rest of the population, because as I discovered, watching a high-intensity show like that back-to-back does bad things to your psyche.  We’re talking jitters, anxiety, insomnia.  Damn Olivia Pope for being so addicting!

After Scandal, a friend recommended I start Grey’s Anatomy after learning I had never seen it.  Why not, I thought?  I wasn’t getting anywhere on my Book Club’s selection of Emma (See!  I have good intentions!), so I started the series from the beginning.

What a mistake.  Once Damon left for deployment last June, I got sucked in, and fast.  But my brain couldn’t handle all the drama. Oh my gosh, a show as emotionally fraught as Grey’s is definitely not a show to watch by yourself night-in-night-out.  All the dying – It’s quite distressing.

But because these characters are in my living room every single night, I get attached to them.  I know in my head that they’re fictional, but in my heart, they are so much more.  So when the writers do something stupid like, say, kill off George, I am utterly distraught.  Distraught!  And I have no one to talk to about it because IT HAPPENED FIVE YEARS AGO!  Fast-forward a week (about four seasons in deployment-viewing time) after killing off a lot of other people, the writers cap it off by killing Mark Sloan!  For the love of all that is holy – WHY MUST YOU CRUSH MY SOUL?!

I was devastated, a broken woman.  But loyal to my “friends” (that is, the characters who weren’t the victims of casting disputes and budget cuts), I forged through that 9th season and upon viewing completion, collapsed in a state of emotional wreckage.  Thankfully, I finished all available episodes and managed to pull myself together before Damon returned home a few weeks ago.  With Damon back, I rejoined the world of the living and spent far too much money on babysitters in order to enjoy evenings out of the living room.

But now he’s gone again, back on deployment, and I’m at a loss.  I need a new deployment show.  Preferably one that doesn’t involve draining my tear ducts on a nightly basis, or turns me into a hypochondriac, or induces panic attacks.  Any recommendations?

*I will also take book recommendations.  Because I do actually love to read.  So much so that when I read a really great book, I feel hollow inside, because I will inevitably have to wade through several not-great books before getting to another great one.   I am currently stuck in about three not-great books, which only heightens my television dependency.  Help break the cycle.  Recommend a good book.


  1. I know you said you would NEVER, under any circumstances, knit, but you’d be surprised how much brain work is involved in following the patterns. Which is why I can only make scarves. But your brain is bigger! Try The Language of Flowers and stick with it, because it will make you mad. XOX,
    Diana Big

    • Diana, I don’t remember this conversation about knitting. I think you made it up!

  2. Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. This will keep you busy for about 9 months.

  3. I took your dad’s advice and read the C.J. Box Joe Pickett series. Now I am on to Daniel Silva and Gabriel Allon. I truly loved Joe Pickett.

    • I got to meet C.J. Box, and now I’m intrigued by the Joe Pickett series!

  4. Revenge! not a book, but the best tv series out there. and it’s only just about to start season 3, so you’d have a lot of action packed drama to catch up on, and THEN you’d have to wait every week to watch the new ones. For books, I’ve been reading Karen Kingsbury (Christian fiction). They’re entertaining, easy reads, and keep your head in the right place!

    • I think Revenge is going to be the next show. Thanks for the show AND book recommendations 🙂

  5. For light reading I enjoy Janet Evanovich. She writes a series about a female bond enforcement agent. To me the books are funny. Quick reads too. The first one is One for the Money. It is also a movie, but the book is better.

  6. I love Karin Slaughter and Lisa Gardner for murder mysteries. Lisa Scottoline is good, too – Kristin Hannah. For TV, just got hooked on Blue Bloods – you don’t have to go all the way back, but it might help.

    • Thanks, Marlene. I’ll look into them!

  7. Second vote for Revenge, which we’re Netflixing Season 2 of right now. Also: Longmire, House of Cards, Homeland, and Castle.

    • I think Revenge it is. Never heard of Longmire, but I’ll have to look it up. Thanks for the recommendations!

  8. Love Sherlock on BBC through Netflix. Now I have to find a way to watch the new episodes with no BBC in our cable package. Argh!!!! And knitting, highly suggest learning to knit.

  9. I just binge watched Fringe. It can be tad icky, but you have a kid so I bet you have seen worse. It’s not too old and thanks to Netflix a lot of my friends were binge watching it at the same time. Plus, J.J. Abrams learned from lost and actually gave it a GOOD ENDING.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *