Fighting for custody of the remote

Ahh, domestic bliss. Great, isn't it? Till you want to watch Star Trek, that is. We chronicle the inevitable carnage that results from a couple sharing a TV

Stepford wife

Frank Sinatra once famously sang ‘Love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage.’ Indeed, ‘It’s an institute you can’t disparage.’ However, I beg to differ; for while love and marriage might be the perfect mix, the combination of marriage and classic episodes of Star Trek doesn’t sit quite so well.

There’s nothing better than spending a lazy weekend in front of the TV, watching Kirk and co hamming it up, with wobbly sets and unconvincing props. I’m not a Trekkie at all, but this is a pleasure I’ve enjoyed since I was a teenager.

However, I’m a married man now, and my regular Trek fix has had to stop (along with several forms of deviant behaviour). Why? Because my wife doesn’t like it, and as we spend most of our time together, I don’t get to watch it any more. She doesn’t get it, so she wants to change the channel. Not doing so just leads to an argument, which is to be avoided at all costs – anything for a quiet life.

Of course, Star Trek is just one example of what I have to sacrifice for wedded bliss. I also miss out on a large number of other sci-fi movies and TV programmes, as well as Have I Got News For You, and a lot of rock music. Luckily, FarScape finished before we were married, because I’d never have been able to watch that.

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Obviously, marriage is not a necessary ingredient, as anyone in a long-term relationship will recognise this situation. They’ll also be familiar with the joy and the feeling of accomplishment that comes when you finally manage to get your partner hooked on one of your favourite shows. In my case, I had my wife watching Lost and Invasion every week. I also got her to sit through Serenity – an achievement equalled only by the creation of the entire universe.

At this point, I can almost hear the inevitable cries of ‘under the thumb!’ Surely I should stand my ground and say, ‘Look here, I want to watch several hours of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and you’ve have to like or lump it.’ However, it’s not the 70s (as much as I sometimes wish it was) and this kind of caddish behaviour just isn’t allowed any more. The traditional patriarchal society has given way to a fairer, and more balanced way of life, where women get to hold the remote control sometimes. As much as I feel the absence of time-loops, wormholes and alien invaders, I have to say I like things this way.

And it’s not all bad. As part of this whole equality thing, my wife doesn’t get to watch Sex In The City or Desperate Housewives. While I miss those Shatner pauses, it’s all worth it to not have to see Sarah Jessica Parker’s equine mug on my telly any more.