I don't have cable. When people say this, it usually stands to mean that they have several "basic" channels (as in the case of my childhood, ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and public television). I have none of these. Since connecting the cable in my apartment in December "just to see", I have discovered that one channel, ESPN, comes in crystal clear, and all the other channels fade or get blurry or lose sound the farther you get from channel 15. I also get the workout channel (all women in sports bras, all the time), so I suspect that this arrangement clearly was set up by a former tenant of my apartment - also, clearly, a male.
I rarely find myself missing television. I think if I had TV, I would have it on almost all the time for "background noise", something that I have discovered is completely unnecessary. I also don't have a stereo, so sitting in silence is pretty common in my place.
Also, not having TV, you can avoid those silly conversations with most people. "Ohmygod, have you seen that new commercial? The one for Geico, where the guy is walking down the street and goes--" can be cut off with a shrug and a simple statement of "I don't have cable". This ends the description of the commercial that I haven't seen, and also detours the conversation away from the inevitable "well, you had to see it yourself I guess" moment. In certain circumstances, the commercial watcher will continue with their description, assuming that their powers of storytelling are colorful enough to make me appreciate the humor and cleverness in the advertisement without ever seeing it myself. (Incidentally people, please stop. No one has those powers.)
One thing I do miss about television, however, is TV movies. I swear, I can waste an entire afternoon (okay, weekend) on Lifetime movies or ABC Family originals. The acting is horrible, the plots are predictable, and 9 times out of ten, the film is going to make me cry. Nothing like a good made-for-television cry on a rainy Saturday afternoon, because Kelly just found out that the boy who pressured her into sex, saying he would love her forever, not only knocked her up but also gave her syphilis. Tear-jerker, everytime. Or that Janie Doe, who thought she had a perfect suburban life, found out her husband was actually a stalking psycho killer with big-haired, shoulder-pad wearing girlfriends in 3 counties. Now that's a good plot.
Ok, maybe I lied. Maybe I really do miss television. Because I have to admit that despite my love of sports, especially this time of year, ESPN just doesn't have quite the same affect on me...