If marriage has taught me anything, it has taught me that one of the keys to a happy relationship is being able to communicate with your spouse. Finding things to talk about with the love of your life isn’t as easy as it might seem. I would put it right up there next to learning Mandarin Chinese
Thankfully, my wife and I, during our almost 12 years of marriage, have been able to communicate fairly easily. It helps that my wife could apply for a job as a CIA interrogator and it helps that I am hilarious. Actually, I think I’m hilarious, my wife used to think I was hilarious. Now she thinks I’m an idiot.
In any event, our communication skills are good, even if she stopped laughing at my jokes after our 4th Wedding Anniversary. I respect her opinions and she respects my opinions (as long as they are her opinions). Sometimes we talk about serious things, like how we are going to pay the mortgage without one of us selling our bodies. Sometimes we talk about nonsense, like how glitter got all over the floor. But most of all, and thankfully, we talk.
“There is nothing on TV tonight. We should watch a movie.” I said this as a statement even if it sounded like a question when I said it.
“There’s nothing on? Not one thing?” If I didn’t know any better, I don’t think my wife wanted to watch a movie.
“Well, I’ve just spent the last hour surfing the 300 channels at our disposal and our DVR recordings. The most compelling things I found were the entire 4th season of Wizards of Waverly Place or repeats of Futurama.”
“What movie do you want to wat…you already picked out a movie didn’t you?” My wife can read me like the (comic) book that I am.
“Sigh. Really? Again? Is that the one with the ‘…gonna need a bigger boat’?”
“Yes and yes.”
“How many times have you seen that movie?” It is a well-known fact, the number of times a man has seen a movie is directly proportional to how much his wife will want to watch said movie. Since I have seen Jaws at least 100 times, I went down a different avenue with my answer.
“But I haven’t seen it in so long.” I made sure to stress the ‘so’ to add emphasis and persuasion.
“Fine, put it in. Just don’t sing the theme song.”
“Da Dum. Da Dum. Dadumdadumdumdumdum…sorry.”
“How long is this movie?”
“It’s 10 o’clock at night and I spent 2 hours helping a 4th grader and a 1st grader with their homework, want to break that down in hours for me Mr. Timex.” Sarcasm is the weapon of choice in our house.
Since she unsheathed hers first, I parried her sarcasm with my own, “2 hours. Why? You have a date tonight?”
“I could only be so lucky. No, I want to go to bed.” Even though my wife is in her mid-30’s she has the sleep schedule of an 80 year old with an iron deficiency.
“Bed? It’s early.” Watching Jaws would be no fun if I couldn’t pretend I was the shark and bite her leg for most of the movie.
“Yeah, I’m tired. I had a long day.” I was about to ask her what she did all day long but thought better of it. For my own sake.
“It’ll be over by midnight Grandma. You should be fine.”
“Keep it up and we’ll watch Sweet Home Alabama.” Sometimes her messages are veiled in ambiguity and sometimes her messages are received loudly and clearly. I considered this one of those loudly and clearly times.
I dove in to the cabinet which held our DVD’s. It is a cabinet that would remind you of the hanger at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark. The one with all the crates.
“Where is it?” I sounded slightly more panicked than I would have liked to.
“How would I know where you put Jaws?”
“Did you do something with it?”
“Yeah. I hid it.” My wife can wield sarcasm like a ninja wields a katana.
“You did?” Now I sounded like one of my kids when I tell them they have to go to church.
“No you idiot. I have no idea where it is.”
“That’s great. That was the 25th Anniversary Edition.” Only a man could or would assign the type of value to a DVD that my voice just did.
“I’m not going to wait all night until you find the movie.”
“Just give me a minute.” I arbitrarily chose a ‘minute’ because I knew if I said anything longer she was going to put an end to movie night. In reality, a minute could last a half an hour.
“Got it! It was behind a bunch of Barney movies which, why do we still have those movies? The kids don’t watch Barney anymore? Unless they were kept to purposefully hide Jaws?”
“Don’t you think you’re stretching on that?”
“Of course, like a rubber band, but you still haven’t answered my ridiculous accusation.”
“Shut up and put the movie in. And you’re rubbing my feet if we have to watch this.”
So we watched Jaws. I rubbed her feet. I pretended to be the shark and bit her leg a few times. She pretended to be mad but laughed every time I did it. We kept talking through the movie. My wife asked who was next to be killed, what those yellow barrels were supposed to do, and which one was Quint (6 different times). And when she wasn’t paying attention, I even sung the theme song.