Taking Out the Trash

I stayed awake most of the night after the season premiere of a favorite (ok. . . the only) television show I watch. I knew I just couldn’t watch it anymore. The sexual content had increased THAT much.

But it wasn’t until I asked my seminary students the next morning how they could reduce those influences in their lives that the idea held any potential action for me.

the book in the trashHere I was advocating a return to virtue in our lesson but personally holding on to the humor of a genuinely funny portrayal of the American workplace that happened to also be mixed with off-color, offensive and sexually explicit jokes.

Honestly, the show didn’t start out that way, I wanted to say in my defense. But I wondered if it had gotten worse over the years or I had just become more uncomfortable with the jokes? I also didn’t want to admit to my students or myself that I might miss it.

I verbalized my dilemma, without naming the show. “I think I need to find the courage to just stop watching,” I said, “Even though it is part of my regular routine.”

I made a similar stand to my husband when I went home, trying to not sound prudish or  holier-than-thou. That’s not so easy. Fortunately, he agreed with me.

But, I just don’t know how I would have done it if I’d had to stand up to other teenagers who didn’t agree, like my students often do. Many of these teens are doing that all the time and in a more matter-of-fact way than I ever did when I was their age.

A few years ago, when I told my kids I had to finish a book that I didn’t like at all, they asked, “Why?” So I returned it. That’s what I mean about matter-of-fact.

Without a television show to follow, I finally had time to start that book I’d bought at the library book sale. But I didn’t get very far before I found it also contained way more sexual content than I expected or felt comfortable reading.

I remembered the lesson. And how the younger generation inspired me with courage. After only a brief pause this time, I pitched it. And in the bathroom trash, of all places.


  1. Raya
    Nov 5, 2009

    yup- I remember when we pitched cable. We were down to 1 show we felt comfortable watching and then realized 1 show was not worth $50/ month. It was really sad to have a parental lock on almost every channel.

    Now we only have dvds and that makes it so much easier to control what comes into our house. It also makes it easier to get rid of things we don’t like.

  2. allysha
    Nov 5, 2009

    Good for you.

Submit a Comment

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