>Commercial Break

>Watching summer olympics clips these last few evenings has reminded me of something I had almost forgotten: Watching commercial television involves watching television commercials.

I realized that it has literally been years since I’ve watched television commercials. My husband and I are almost always too busy to watch television in the evenings. When we do have time and the desire to sit in front of the TV, we usually watch a movie or an episode from a classic show like “Jeeves & Wooster” or “Barchester Chronicles.”

It reminds me a bit of holding babies. No doubt you are asking yourself how watching TV commercials can possibly have any similarity to holding babies, but work with me here.

After four babies and ten years of changing diapers and wiping spit up, I wasn’t all that eager to hold any baby. I wasn’t one of those matronly women constantly carrying around other people’s babies. But since our baby is almost 23 years old, I’ve had a significant break from babies and I’m more inclined to hold them these days. Especially if the baby is one of my own grandchildren!

In a similar way, my long hiatus from television commercials has made me more receptive to the formerly repulsive concept of commercials. I am still annoyed that commercial breaks make me miss some live action I would like to see, like scoring during beach volleyball games. And I am still convinced most commercials are worthless, like the fall line-up ads, which have reinforced my belief that prime time TV is primarily trash. But I have been surprised to actually enjoy some commercial moments.

For one thing, I am absolutely thrilled to discover that some folks are driving Chevy trucks with more miles on them than any of our vehicles. I didn’t know such vehicles existed.

The new car promotion that will end “Soon…real soon” and the things people miss because they miss cell phone calls are funny, but not funny enough that I remember the brand names.

I enjoy seeing that guy start smiling when he’s talking on his cell phone and making the whole crowd around him smile. I will try to recapture some of that warm feeling the next time I pay our painful cell phone bill.

The Visa ad honoring Michael Phelps is classy and emotional. It almost makes me not totally abhor credit card companies, but not quite.

And I love seeing that cute little American girl and that cute little Chinese girl eating Oreos and interacting through the windows of separate trains. It reminds me of eating Oreos and drinking Hi-C out of a brightly colored aluminum tumbler when I was a little girl visiting my grandma on Sunday afternoons. That’s a pleasant memory, but neither it nor the cute little girl ad makes me go out and purchase sugar-laden, highly-processed chocolate wafers stuck together with sweetened paste.

My favorite commercial moment was watching a chorus sing, “This little light of mine,” while AIG told viewers that people with faith live three years longer. If I had money to invest, I might consider AIG.


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