Traverse City Record-Eagle

June 30, 2013

Marta Hepler Drahos: Large-screen TV a little overwhelming


Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — After refinancing our house for a much lower interest rate and paying off some debt we set aside a little money for those unexpected emergencies. With just one of us working now, any disposable income comes from the occasional computer tech job my retired husband picks up.

After a particularly flush couple of months, we decide to spring for the large-screen TV we’ve always wanted for the bedroom.

I’m a night owl by nature and have trouble falling asleep when I need to. I’ve tried all the remedies — warm drinks, reading myself to sleep — but nothing seems to work like a few late-night episodes of “House Hunter” or “Flea Market Flip.”

The only problem is that the TV in the bedroom is an older, smaller model that sits on a cabinet near the foot of the bed, requiring us to crane our necks and strain our eyes to see it.

I find what I want at a big-box store and we argue a bit. “That’s way too big,” my husband says, but I think it’s just right for the big bedroom wall.

We take the TV home and unpack it, and the first inkling of doubt begins to creep in.

It’s heavy — so heavy that I can’t imagine the two of us holding it while climbing ladders, then lifting it above our heads to place it on the wall mount.

After what seems like hours, during which my husband removes the optional stand from the TV and installs the wall bracket, it’s finally time to mount the thing.

Sure enough, it’s so heavy that I almost drop my end while climbing my ladder and my husband wrenches his back from the exertion of keeping it from falling.

After two tries, with a rest in between, we finally succeed. “It’s perfect,” I announce, as more doubt sets in. The TV overwhelms the wall and seems to change the very atmosphere of the room.

My husband fiddles with the wiring for a while, then turns on the TV and adjusts the settings until the picture comes on.

I hop into bed for a better view and am stunned by what I see.

The picture is so big that it’s dizzying. My husband can’t take it in all at once and has to track left to right with his eyes.

After all his effort, I’m afraid to admit that I was wrong. I can’t imagine having to take the TV down, repack it and haul it back to the store. So I say nothing, and my husband pretends enthusiasm along with me.

A day or two goes by, during which I do nothing but think about the TV. I know I can’t live with it, and I know returning it for a smaller one will not only solve the problem but save us money.

Finally I swallow my pride and casually say, “You know, I’ve been thinking about the TV. I think you were right — it is too big for that wall.”

To his credit, my husband refrains from saying I told you so.

The next TV is much easier to handle and easy on the eyes. In fact, it’s perfect. Really.