Early is the new late

Once upon a time…

There was a TV show called “The X-Files.” It ran for nine seasons. During my college years, I watched this particular TV show with my friends A. and Doc. I briefly dated A., who was Doc’s roommate at the time. This was, of course, before Doc married Friend and got his Ph.D, or before A. married C. When Doc and Friend started dating, she joined the crowd of Sunday night X-Files watchers at their apartment. A. eventually became extremely busy and left to take a trip overseas to visit C., so the X-Files viewing moved to my place. I was living with my grandmother at the time, who had cable and a big-screen TV, so it was a pretty good trade. Then the Webmaster and I began dating, Friend and Doc got married, and a new tradition was born.

Every Sunday night, Friend and Doc would come over to my house just before 9 pm to watch X-Files. While they had a decent-sized TV in their little mother-in-law apartment that they rented, they didn’t have cable. At least, they didn’t until the Webmaster suggested that they connect the TV to the cable outlet anyway, just for better reception. Then they realized that because the people who owned the house had cable, they could have been watching cable for free the whole time! So then we began to trade off – whenever there was a new show, one couple would show up at the other couple’s home (my place until the Webmaster and I got married, and then they came to our new apartment) just before 9 pm so we wouldn’t miss any of the show. 9 pm was on time, back in those days.

Then we started adding in an occasional dinner to the evening. Not every week, but a trend began. And then Friend and Doc announced that they were buying their first home, and that they were expecting the Brain. We still continued to get together on Sundays for The X-Files. The show ended in 2002, before the Brain was born. But by then, our Sunday nights were no longer about a TV show. They were about spending time fellowshipping, enjoying a meal together, and really building a friendship.

Of course, with the Brain, the Munchkin, Head and now Baby Boy having joined us, we now look at our watches and say, “It’s 9 pm! We’ve got to get the kids to bed!” Back then, 9 pm was on time. Now, it’s bedtime.

It’s amazing to think how much things have changed over the years from the time when Doc and A. and I sat around in their apartment, watching the show and taping it – A. carefully cutting out the commercials – and talking over each new episode. Now, we clean up messy-faced kids who sometimes won’t eat what we put in front of them, stick them in front of a Muppet Show or Veggie Tales episode, and try to squeeze in a little adult conversation around the “Munchkin, stop squeezing Head!” and “Will you please share?” commands that inevitably come out of our mouths as well. What a difference, what a change.

And to think that this all started with a TV show.

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