#TBT: Diary of a TV Addict, 1989-1990

Over spring break, I took the boys back to Illinois to visit my mom. It’s our usual trip (without last spring’s random vomiting, fortunately), and it’s always a good time: along with my mom, we get to see my sister and her family and some of my childhood friends and their kids.

And, while the kids are occupied, I get to dig through boxes of old notebooks that are still piled up in the closet of my childhood bedroom. One particular notebook, from the spring of 1990, caught my attention. The first few pages are a minute-by-minute description of a plane ride to Florida: what I’m wearing (a monstrosity of head-to-toe turquoise and black polka dots, including wrap-around Hammer pants), the breakfast served on the plane (a lemon poppyseed muffin, mixed berry yogurt, a cup of orange juice with a peel-off foil lid), what the clouds looked like. Not much about the trip itself.

There’s a page with the names and physical descriptions of all of my stuffed animals.


Spending time in nature dreaming of the TV shows I’m missing, ca. 1990.

And then, there’s this: “TV Guide For Me,” seven pages of my personalized TV schedule from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. (every day except Monday, which is mysteriously missing, and Sunday – a day of rest from the tube, one can hope), including channel and length of the program. It is a detailed record of an indoor life, an ode to my need for organization and predictability, a testament to my love of television and my own handwriting. A writer (and TV addict) in the making, I suppose.

And here it is, presented without comment, for your enjoyment.





















What were you watching in 1990? What are the Goodwill Games? And why did I include “The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd” (which, I’ve found out, was in syndication on Lifetime)? No 12-year-old liked that show.