Ryan came home from Best Buy tonight, burst through the door, and excitedly held up a thin box. "This is going to fix our TV" he exclaimed. "It's an antenna that plugs into the WALL!" He produced a black box the size of a laptop attached to another black box, multiple wires, and a giant electrial adapter.
He then busily set to the task of setting it up. I was excited too because, as the last holdouts in the entire country to not have cable, I have been getting progressively more annoyed at the way we only get two stations, and one of those is useless CBS ever since "the switch." The other stations all worked IN DIGITAL ON OUR DIGITAL TV just fine until "the switch," but now that we are left with no options, they don't work.
Instead of TV for entertainment Ryan now has me yelling unladylike things about the FCC at the TV as it blinks it's mocking little "no signal" light at me. It's quite charming.
After great effort he got everything plugged in right. We sat side by side on the couch and geared up for some channel surfing magic. Ryan turned on the TV and entered the numbers for ABC. Nothing. Then Fox. Nothing. PBS? Nothing.
Ryan, ever the quiet strength of the family, simply stood up, unplugged everything, waited for a break in the little fillibuster I was conductiong re: #@$#ing cable company conspiracy trying to screw us man, and asked me to hold the back door open so he could take the TV outside to see if it got better reception out there.
Our TV is not large, by current standards, but it is quite bulky and heavy. And I didn't mention to Ryan that it didn't need to work outside, it needed to work inside where there are no doors between me and the refrigerator. But I was curious, so I helped him then went back inside where it wasn't so hot.
Several minutes later I went out on the porch to find Ryan standing in the middle of our yard holding the laptop box part over his head with one hand and aiming the remote at the TV on the porch with the other.
Those two doctoral diplomas in our closet are the only thing standing between us and total redneck-itude.
Unfortunately, being outside on the porch didn't help the reception one bit. Ryan stood sadly in the yard for several minutes saying "I just don't get it" softly as he stared at the blank screen. Then he turned suddenly to the cell tower that sits in the woods a quarter mile from our house and said "HERE IT IS! IT'S RIGHT HERE!!" waving the laptop box part over his head.
Sometimes we also forget that the baby monitor is outside and turned up all the way. We're klassy.
He just finished forlornly packing up the new antenna. He was so disappointed that it didn't work. But he was hopeful that the next level up would work. The next level is "the most powerful household TV antenna on the market."
And the thing is? Ryan doesn't really watch TV. He is doing this for me.
And that is what chivalry looks like when you have a PhD in Electrical Engineering.