“Size Matters'”

THE MIDDLE SEAT: Column by Steve Matuszak

There are intense differences between men and women, something we have all known since the early days of recorded history. And while some of these differences are basic patterns and some outright stereotypes, there remain basic divisions between the sexes.

I could go on and on about how men cannot handle buffets and women can think and multitask like spaghetti, but today I’d like to focus on movies and technology.

At least between my wife and I, screen size is a huge chasm of passion and indifference. I simply cannot watch a movie unless it is on a large screen. For certain films, I need to see them in the theatre, for others I can wait to watch at home.

When the new “Star Wars” films were released, there was NO WAY I was going to watch the new release months later on a home TV for my FIRST viewing. A romantic comedy, well, it depends. But, point is, I simply cannot watch ANY movie on a tiny screen.

For instance, I don’t watch ANY movies on airplanes – whether on the dinky TV monitors built into the fuselage or on any even dinkier hand held/laptop devices.

I can maybe understand watching a TV show on a laptop streamed through Netflix or on Hulu … maybe. But a movie on a laptop? It just wasn’t meant to be. And you will NEVER catch me watching (especially PAYING FOR) a movie on a hotel room 27” RCA television!

Some hotels are putting flat screens in the rooms, but if its not over 32”, I skip it!

Needless to say, this drives my wife insane! She is perfectly content watching (and PAYING FOR) a movie in a hotel room on a miniature breadbox. And she enjoys watching movies on the small TV in our bedroom (while I stay downstairs and watch on the main TV).

Now, understand that I don’t have a lot of money. I realize we are in a bad economy and I am hurting just like everybody else. We do not have a huge TV at home. We have a very modest sized TV (46”) that was a gift to us so we are blessed and lucky to have it.

But, I am not talking about what I (or you) can (or cannot) own. Sure, money is tight and it’s an issue. I am just saying that, given the choice, I would rather NOT see a movie and wait to see it when I can in the future, rather than watch it on anything tiny.

And yes, when we get financially “set,” I will want a HUGE screen TV. Yes, I am talking 65-70” or more! Or maybe a projector onto an entire wall-size screen in a special viewing room with black leather seats that vibrate and have speakers in them (yes, clearly I have experienced this before and know someone who has this set up).

Now THAT is how you watch a movie – with a HUGE screen! And I don’t care the size of living rooms and other such geographical, spatial physics and feng shui! I just want the picture bigger than life.

And my wife (and most other women I meet) do not seem to care about the size of their TV screens at home, or elsewhere for that matter. “Oh, it’s fine” is what I always hear from the other gender. And isn’t that the fun of the crazy differences between men and women. We just cannot fathom the things the other group is interested in.

I have no interest or passion for arts and crafts like polymer clay, scrapbooking and felting. And I cannot FATHOM why anyone would bother messing around with that stuff. But my wife loves it and that just fascinates me. On the flip side, my wife has no idea why I desire to kayak down CRAZY rapids called “Death’s Kneecap.”

We are separate species, and size seems to be a determining factor in what we love (for those of you who are going somewhere else with the “size thing” – that’s YOUR issue).

Women love small things (stop it!) like babies, toddlers and cute kid’s clothes, puppies and so on. Men love giant planes, cars, trucks, buildings, boulders, mountains, explosions and TV screens.

Are you getting the picture (pardon the pun)? To men, bigger is better and that translates to the movies. Now, you may ask “Why?” Well, I have my theories, but I want to hear from you …. Why do men love big TV screens and other things LARGE and FORBIDDING?

I remember going on a ride at Disney in Florida with a friend and yelling “feel the death” during the scary part! Why did I feel the need to “add” to her already frightening experiencing by adding “feel the death.”

As I am writing this, I realize I have gotten far away from TVs and technology and entered a dark place of the male soul.

Well, from an alchemist, historical, epic, spiritual perspective, men were born “outside the garden.” Maybe that’s why our marriage therapist told my wife “men don’t see dirt” (in a home) – i.e. – we are used to dirty things, big things.

And, if something big turns out to be good, then we want to blow it up or knock it down. What’s up with that? But, wait … not a huge expensive flat screen TV, we would NOT want to damage that – because then we couldn’t watch our movies.

But, if we were rich and money didn’t matter and we could have an extra one, then we would go to a tall building and drop the 70” Samsung over the side to watch it shatter on the ground. Is anyone getting this? Am I alone? Do you watch streaming media on a cell phone? Are there women out there CRAVING a rear projection basement movie den?


  1. Steve,
    Great article, This is so true..
    I was blessed many years ago. when the economy was good, my wife surprised me on my birthday with a 60″ LCD HD Beast and all I could say was WOW.
    It is in its proper place, the man cave, where Madden 04,05,06,07,08,09,10,11 & hopefully 12′ have been played loud and proud. On superbowl parties where are the guys? in the basement on the big screen and the ladies upstairs on the 42″ screen. Not just anything can be watched or played on this TV of Joy. It is reserved, she could not be replaced and must be taken care of and loved and though others on the street have 50″ screens they dont have the Beast.

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