We miss seeing others in person, but through the magic of Facetime and Zoom we have been able to keep in touch. Most of our friends have been similarly stuck at home, so there isn’t that much to talk about—except movies and TV shows.
“Hi, Bob and Cathy, it’s Dick and Mary Ellen. Have you seen Your Honor with Bryan Cranston on Showtime? It’s great. Lots to think about.”
“Sorry guys, we don’t get Showtime. But have you seen Frozen II on Disney+?”
“No, we don’t get Disney+. Surely you’ve seen the award-winner The Shape of Water on Amazon Prime. There’s so much to discuss about that one.”
“Dick, we don’t subscribe to Amazon Prime.”
“Okay, Bob, let’s talk again when the pandemic is over.”
We called our friends John and Jane. “Hi, guys, we have an idea for a fun evening. Let’s all watch The Crown on Netflix and make fun of the royal family.
“Dick, we don’t have Netflix. But we found a great show on the Food Network, Amy Schumer Learns to Cook.”
“We don’t get the Food Network.”
“But surely you have Vudu TV?”
“We didn’t want to take a chance. It sounded like a cult. I bet my brother has it.”
We made several other calls, becoming nervous that we were running out of friends we were compatible with. My wife loves old movies but we found very few TCM subscribers. We discovered that the Wideners had satellite TV. They told us it was unlikely we had many interests in common. I felt like they were dishing us, so that was the end of that relationship.
We tried to find folks who subscribed to Acorn TV, and who enjoyed British mysteries as much as we do, but most of our friends have Hulu, which I had wrongly assumed was just travel shows about Hawaii. My sister watches a lot of YouTube TV, a service I thought was limited to cat videos. I called my friend Mikki who said she just has an antenna on top her TV. Too bad. We had been friends for 30 years.
I had an idea. “Mary Ellen, I’m going to create an Excel spreadsheet where people can sign up and find other people who share similar services. This would be a boon to friendships during this time of isolation.”
“I’m very impressed, Dick.”
“So, you like the concept?”
“No, it’s nutty, but I’m impressed you know how to use Excel.”
I logged onto eHarmony and Match.com to see if they even considered viewing options as an important issue in establishing a relationship. I even went on an adult site called Be Naughty, but when I entered my age, I was automatically transferred to Silver Singles.
With the hundreds of personal interests compared on these dating sites, there wasn’t a single question about cable TV or streaming preferences. Just the same old unimportant inquiries: God-fearing or agnostic? Smoker or nonsmoker? Permanent or casual relationship? Drinker or abstainer? All fine and good, but where was: Showtime or Epix? STARZ or Cinemax? Chromecast or Xbox?
The bottom line is we are looking for a friendship with another couple who has HBO, Amazon and Netflix. You obviously would need basic cable. If you don’t have it, please have it installed. Hooking up is half the fun.

Dick Wolfsie appears weekdays on television sharing his humor, stories and video essays. His column appears weekly in The Paper of Montgomery County. E-mail Dick at Wolfsie@ aol.com.