He is sitting at the kitchen table hunched over his laptop computer, in a position that makes me want to tell him to sit up straight.
I am on the couch, sitting cross-legged, laptop on my lap, possibly in a similarly posture-wrecking position. I’ve been writing on and off for the last while, browsing the internet, facebook, my emails, and texting with my friends. I’m supposed to be actually writing but have yet to be inspired. Martin has been working on creating a computer program all morning.
Finally, I have an inspiration! I start to write about a recent girl’s trip to Paris. It’s good, it’s funny, and I’m into it.
Martin suddenly sits up straight and says, “Arrrrgggggg!!!! This is SO frustrating!”
I stop suddenly, mid-sentence, “What is?”
“This stupid program isn’t working! I’ve been working on it all morning and I can’t get past this next step!”
Me, innocently enough, “Oh why not?”
And this is where the lines of communication get blurred.
His response or at least, the way my non-computer lingo savvy brain hears it, minus the missing parts that my brain cannot register, “I have to use a program that allows me to blank blank blank in order to blank blank blank but every time I try to blank it blank blanks!”
Me, supportive, “Oh that’s frustrating! Have you looked it up online to see if anyone else has had this problem?”
“Yes!” he is exasperated but not at me (I think), “but all I find is that blank blank when you blank blank and then blank and blank and also blank blankitty blank. And I don’t want to blank! I just want blank! Why is that not possible? I mean, it’s not like this is blank!!!”
I am making sure I continue to keep eye contact with him during this, which is extremely difficult, because I achingly want to finish the sentence I was writing before I forget it. My head is turned sideways away from my laptop and I can feel the heat from the screen on the right side of my face, calling me like the mermaids of the Odyssey.
“Hmmm,” I say, “that’s really annoying. But what else could it be?”
“I don’t know!!! I think it’s blank but I tried to blank and it just blanks!”
The right side of my face is actually burning. But he’s really upset about this, and it’s moments like these when you need to support your husband and show him you care. Also, I am hoping he’ll offer to put gas in my car for me so… Must stay in the good books.
“Ahhh, ” I say. I’m really searching for appropriate responses. Starting to feel a bit panicky actually. “Well that sucks.” It’s the only thing I can come up with, but I seem to have hit the nail on the head.
“I know!!! Well I think I’ll just blank and if that doesn’t work I’ll have to blank. But I really would rather not.”
Him, “Sigh…” (quite loudly and despondently).
A moment of silence while the right side of my face begins to sweat.
“So what are you working on?”
“Oh!” I reply, excitedly, “I’m writing about the trip to Paris I took with Sylvie and Lisa! Remember I told you about the little boutique we went into and that sales clerk and how she had this very unusual way of figuring out what size we wore, by looking at our butts?”
“Oh yeah, that’s interesting.”
“It was hilarious! We were laughing our heads off!”
“Haha.” (His mouth twitches and his eyes dart back to his computer).
“But we all bought jeans anyway!”
“Oh good. So it was all good.”
He’s looking a bit hot.
“Well, I guess so.”
We stare at each other for a while.
Finally he clears his throat and says, “Well I guess I’ll keep working on it.”
We both dive back into our computer world.