Author Topic: When the host family's TV marathon disturbs or offends you  (Read 5575 times)

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Thipu1

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Re: When the host family's TV marathon disturbs or offends you
« Reply #45 on: January 05, 2014, 11:40:10 AM »
Put me in the 'it depends' camp. 

If we're having party to watch a sporting event or a 'Twilight Zone' marathon, people know what they're getting into and the TV will be on while we eat.

During ordinary meals, we usually put on a cool jazz radio station at a low enough volume to allow for easy conversation. 

When SIL visited, we did have the TV on during dinner.  It was a very relaxed meal.  We were eating call-in ribs and they wanted to watch 'Wheel of Fortune'.  No problem there.  We all had a good time. 

The problem arises when the entertainment is, shall we say, of 'a specialized taste'which not all guests share and do not know will be aired before they arrive. 

What can you do in that situation?  Not much except offer your thanks to the hosts and go home. 

     


Yvaine

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Re: When the host family's TV marathon disturbs or offends you
« Reply #46 on: January 05, 2014, 11:48:15 AM »
Their house, their TV station.  It would not be my place to ask them to change it, I would simply make my excuses and leave.

But these were friends! Not just random people. I'd be really sad if a friend decided to leave rather than to tell me she felt uncomfortable with what was on the TV. It would certainly make me feel we weren't as close friends as I thought we were, if she didn't trust me enough to speak up.

Yeah, and in some cases the host might not have even noticed the content had become inappropriate for dinner viewing, if she was wrapped up in hosting duties or had just tuned it out as background noise. I was working at a casual restaurant once where TVs were on at all times, and one of the managers had tuned it to an educational channel that day because he liked that better than the news channel it was usually on, but he was a little absent-minded and had wandered off to tinker with something...we had to flag him down and tell him a surgery show had started and we needed to get the remote from him and turn that off!  :o (We couldn't have easily done it ourselves as the TVs were about 15 feet off the ground, before anyone asks, and finding the manager was quicker than digging up the ladder.) He had no idea and was appalled! So I think in the first situation, I'd have gotten the host's attention and just said something like "Hey, can we watch something besides surgery while we eat?" The crying/tissues incident is so weird that I wonder if the host thought the OP was having allergy trouble instead of crying, and trying to help without drawing embarrassing attention to her.

m2kbug

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Re: When the host family's TV marathon disturbs or offends you
« Reply #47 on: January 05, 2014, 11:59:58 AM »
Typically the TV goes off during dinner in most situations or switch it to one of the radio channels (in the case of cable/satellite).  It depends on the formality and the household.  It's often left on and can be seen at my sister's house, which is fine by me.  I think if it was that disturbing, I would ask to turn it off or change the channel during the meal, turn down the volume, or sit someplace where it isn't so easily seen.  Was the sole purpose of the day to do the marathon, because this would be a time to skip a gathering if the show is not to your liking.  Otherwise, I see nothing wrong with turning off the TV during the meal or finding something a little more suitable.  You can explain to the host that you are highly sensitive to this particular show and cannot manage watching it, in which case, I would hope they could comply for you, but again, if it was a "movie marathon day," which was part of the agenda, then you probably should plan on just not attending.   

I don't get typically get turned off my food from icky stuff.  It just doesn't bother me, and while sad, it wouldn't be that disturbing to tolerate it during dinner or if that's what's on during my visit.  I would hope there is some conversation and I can avoid the programming, but when the purpose is to watch the show that I am really, really not interested in, I would probably just not go or only stay for a short while. 

EllenS

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Re: When the host family's TV marathon disturbs or offends you
« Reply #48 on: January 05, 2014, 08:52:42 PM »
I wonder, also if the host-friend has a different attitude toward crying over a show?  I know people who say things like "Oh, that show was sooooooo good, I cried the whole time!"

She may have interpreted the tears as a sign that OP was really "into" the show, rather than that it was deeply disturbing and she wanted it to stop.  Handing over the Kleenex may have been the nonverbal equivalent of "I know, right?"

misha412

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Re: When the host family's TV marathon disturbs or offends you
« Reply #49 on: January 05, 2014, 09:54:53 PM »
Personally, I cannot watch any show that involves cruelty to animals. Even commercials on TV from the ASPCA showing abused animals upsets me. I would likely make myself scarce or make my excuses and leave.

I was always raised with the notion of it is the host's home, their TV, their choice.

As to the idea of having a TV on when guest are around, it depends (as many others have said). Long-term multiple day visits, the TV will be on at some point. A casual get together where TV or a movie is on the agenda, it will be on. A dinner party or more formal gathering, it will not be on.


aussie_chick

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Re: When the host family's TV marathon disturbs or offends you
« Reply #50 on: January 05, 2014, 11:37:25 PM »
I wonder, also if the host-friend has a different attitude toward crying over a show?  I know people who say things like "Oh, that show was sooooooo good, I cried the whole time!"

She may have interpreted the tears as a sign that OP was really "into" the show, rather than that it was deeply disturbing and she wanted it to stop.  Handing over the Kleenex may have been the nonverbal equivalent of "I know, right?"

This is an interesting point. I hadn't considered it. I often cry in movies (and the occasional TV show too) an still say I really enjoyed it. Maybe the host didn't understand the tears.

TurtleDove

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Re: When the host family's TV marathon disturbs or offends you
« Reply #51 on: January 05, 2014, 11:41:33 PM »
Yeah, I think since these are friends it makes sense to just be clear. No magic words or etiquette really. Just, "hey, can we change the channel? This offends me."

Venus193

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Re: When the host family's TV marathon disturbs or offends you
« Reply #52 on: January 06, 2014, 07:33:24 AM »
I wonder, also if the host-friend has a different attitude toward crying over a show?  I know people who say things like "Oh, that show was sooooooo good, I cried the whole time!"

She may have interpreted the tears as a sign that OP was really "into" the show, rather than that it was deeply disturbing and she wanted it to stop.  Handing over the Kleenex may have been the nonverbal equivalent of "I know, right?"

This is an interesting point. I hadn't considered it. I often cry in movies (and the occasional TV show too) an still say I really enjoyed it. Maybe the host didn't understand the tears.

This is it. 

A long time ago she, her sister, and I watched two things together that provoked tears and I hosted the occasions.  (One was the fourth Star Trek movie and the other was the first-season finale of Beauty and the Beast).  I had cried over these two fictional stories previously and thought I wouldn't do so a second time.  I was wrong on both occasions.

I do not like to cry in front of other people, so I cannot recall ever setting myself up for it at any time since.  During the years since those occasions I've been in the business world where tears are career suicide, so I have mostly toughened myself in regard to them.

Animal death is the one thing I can't handle and the ASPCA messages get to me, too.

lmyrs

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Re: When the host family's TV marathon disturbs or offends you
« Reply #53 on: January 06, 2014, 11:26:52 AM »
I admit, I am confused about the purpose and nature of this gathering. It doesn't seem like the point was to eat dinner and watch tv. Yet, it's not unusual for the tv to be on in this home, just not on this show. I'm one who sometimes has been to places where the tv is on "in the background" and we just ignore it while chatting. But it seems the OP and her friend were actively watching the program not using it as background. OP, can you clarify? Because, if the point was to visit, and you ended up just watching tv, I genuinely do not understand why you didn't leave??

Venus193

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Re: When the host family's TV marathon disturbs or offends you
« Reply #54 on: January 06, 2014, 11:32:16 AM »
Some of my friends are serious TV addicts.  This one is particularly fond of programs like this and she recently went back to work after 4.5 years of unemployment, so I guess she misses having TV at work.

I think we've exhausted this topic at this point because I have decided that next time I'm invited I will suggest we play board games instead.

Thanks for all your input.