While it can be easy to decide to design your living room around your TV, this choice can have an adverse effect on your life, causing you and your friends to be constantly drawn to the television. That’s why I decided to arrange my living room in a way that de-emphasized my TV and re-centered other, more important facets of my life – namely, the huge spider that has taken up residence in the corner of my apartment.
Now, my living room setup encourages other activities besides just sitting and watching TV, like sitting and watching the spider for any signs that it’s about to rush me.
Before, when I would get home from work, I would just flop down on the couch and zone out to episode after episode of Gossip Girl. Now, instead of just lying around and watching TV, I’m more inclined to sit straight-backed on a chair while I wield a protective copy of Crime and Punishment, staring unblinkingly at the ever-growing spider web in the corner. I’ve never felt more mentally energized, or more certain that I didn’t have a spider crawling on me at any given moment.
This change has also been instrumental in helping me better connect with the people in my life. When I used to have friends over, we would just throw on The Bachelor while talking, laughing, and generally enjoying each other’s company. While wholesome and entertaining, this activity did nothing to help us really know one another. Now, my friends and I spend hours huddled around the spider’s lair, our tense silence permeated only by asking each other stimulating questions like “Are you sure it’s still alive?” and “Does anyone want to play a card game or something?” and “Holy shit, where did it go? Oh, never mind, it’s right there.”
Since making this adjustment, I’ve grown to understand who my friends are on a deeper and more meaningful level – specifically, who does and does not have paralyzing arachnophobia, and who will stop being friends with me because I am “spider-obsessed” and my place has “weird energy now.” I would’ve never found that out through a pleasant, TV-centric hang!