TV Tyrant

If I turn on the television in a room that contains other people, I generally ask, “What should we watch?” or, “So-and-so is coming on now; do you want to watch it?” or, at least, “Do you mind if I watch —“

That’s just common courtesy, right?

So why is it that my husband and I walk into the family room together, and he turns on the television to his choice of programs, without any concession to the fact that I might want to see something different? This is normal for him. He does the same thing if he walks into a room someone else is already sitting in. No matter who else is in the room, he turns on what he wants to watch without asking for anyone else’s preference.

I’ve talked to several people — all of them women — who tell me their husbands do the same, that this is a guy thing. Is that true? If any guys are reading this, is that your modus operandi too, or do you make a point of soliciting the opinions of others in the room?

If you turn on what you want to see, regardless of who else is present, can you explain your rationale? Because it seems rude to me, and I know that my husband and my friends’ husbands are not generally rude people. So I would like to understand the reasoning.

  • Do you assume that whatever you want will be the top pick of everyone in the room?
  • Do you believe you have the right to first dibs on the remote? If so, why you?
  • Are you so focused on your own choice of television programs that you’ve failed to notice that other people are present?
  • Are you convinced that the television tastes of your wife, children, or other inhabitants of your household are so atrociously bad that they do not deserve to be indulged?
  • Do you just not care what anyone else might want?

I would like to think there are more charitable reasons, but nothing else occurs to me that could explain it.

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