Tip #37: You don’t become ostentatious just because you have cable

August 1, 1999

I ❤ MTV! Oh, it is the BEST, but unfortunately we don’t get cable. I mean, HELLO—everyone gets cable. You can’t be ostentatious, swanky, and pretentious of you don’t have cable. Plllleassssse!

Dear Me,

Cable TV shows on E! and Bravo. These are the real ostentatious, swanky, and pretentious people in the world.

Cable TV shows on E! and Bravo. These are the real ostentatious, swanky, and pretentious people in the world.

Start squealing: your grown-up self has cable! Eeeeeeeeeeee! I’m now super ostentatious, swanky, and pretentious (good use of SAT words, by the way). Yes, that’s right; I’ve made it to the top tier of America because I have cable. Instead of going to galas and driving around in my Lambo (code for going to parties thrown by friends and driving in a Toyota Yaris), I stay at home and watch Real Housewives of Beverly Hills on Bravo and Keeping up with the Kardashians on E! You’re not familiar with these shows, but they’re about super ostentatious, swanky, and pretentious assholes too. You keep good (virtual) company.

Is my life better with cable? Technically yes. I think what you really mean by “ostentatious, swanky, and pretentious” is that you can have normal conversations with people without pretending. My biggest problem in high school was when the MTV VMAs aired at the beginning of the school year and I had to listen to everyone talk about them. In the morning, I would eavesdrop on discussions about the VMAs so that by the afternoon I was informed and able to hold down a conversation as though I had actually watched it. But this still didn’t make me swanky enough since I knew in my heart that I had missed the biggest night in TV for teenagers of my generation.

Now I don’t need to pretend. Did you see everyone get slaughtered at the Red Wedding? Why, yes I did! Can you believe that half of Gustavo Fring’s face got blown off by Walt? Super crazy! Did you see Miley grinding Robin Thicke? They’re both tasteless sleazeballs, and I saw it live because finally, in my late twenties, I’m watching the VM-freaking-As!

My life goal: to watch the VMAs live.

My life goal accomplished: to watch the VMAs live.

But I might be behind the times. Yet again. Because when I talk to my co-workers, especially the younger ones, they looooooove saying in a superior voice that they don’t get cable. Why would they? They can download everything for free, if needed. But since they are, for the most part, true environmentalists, they are excessively proud of the fact that they don’t even own a TV. No need to rot your brain, support evil capitalists, create additional waste, AND pay for it all at the same time. Well, I guess the joke’s on me! Note to self: these days, the fast-track to being ostentatious, swanky, and pretentious is to NOT get cable. Who would have thought? Welcome to the future!




I sure was missing out in high school! Yay MTV!!


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