Here is my first world problem a few months ago: my stupid iPod Touch keeps going offline so I can’t watch my shows and surf my interwebs and buy more ebooks. I tell myself this isn’t a big problem, of course it isn’t, and then I think how this little rectangle of metal and glass and technological wizardry is the only thing tethering me to the rest of the world when I am cocooned at home in my nursing chair, baby attached to my breast, four-year old clamoring for drawing supplies.
One minute I wallow wonderingly in the smell and feel of baby and the next, I must read something not written or thought by my own hand or I will die.
I will die.
The message “Cannot connect to the network” flashes again, and my rage simmers. The thought that Tom switched our internet provider so he could get March Madness streaming creeps in, joined by his friend the angry thought that Tom has been stealing my contacts for months and now I am out of lenses for my left eye, while my right eye is well-stocked for the forseeable future. I will walk in circles as my half-corrected vision lists me ever to the center. “I thought you knew” he sends by instant message. I send a word that I don’t print here, which shocks the computer he types on at work, I am sure. There is no obvious reason that the computer can go online and the iPod cannot and oh my goodness I hate technology.
He types something about trying the user manual for the router/modem with the internal PPOI protocol something-something password and it infuriates me that this man who cannot find clothes for his daughters in their dresser drawers speaks technology when I do not.
Then he sends me a link to a funny video and, wait I’ll look for it. I know this chat session was in March because that’s when I started writing this post, and I’m looking at the transcript of instant messages and I’m astonished at the escalation of crazed frustration and how patiently Tom keeps suggesting different passwords for resetting the network and calling the helpdesk to get it elevated to a second-level ticket and then he tells me to take a relaxing bath, which I treat with the scorn it deserves, because: pleasant bath with kids wailing at the door? Right.
He sends the video “speaking of feeling stabby” to me. The song (King of Carrot Flowers) is cute, but there are some f-words in the illustrations, so be warned. I think it’s worth it, even though I’m sure my parents would be shocked that that was something Tom sent to me instead of the other way around. But I can’t even describe how that video, Tom sending it to me with the f-words (I adore the f-word in certain contexts, like in Roddy Doyle’s Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha), and the apropos-ness of it, it vanishes my whole filthy awful mood and makes me laugh and cry and love him so much.
His knowing me, knowing what I need, what I like, giving me something I know he probably disapproves of (he is much stricter about that kind of thing and R-rated movies, for e.g. than I am), it’s everything. It is the glue that holds my life together, even when I fear I’ll fly apart.
A couple weeks later we were getting ready for Family Home Evening and one of the kids chose the story of The Good Samaritan for the lesson. Tom comes and whispers in my ear that he wants me to send all the kids upstairs on an errand and he will pretend to hurt himself on the bottom stair and we’ll see if they stop to help him or if they rush back to me to complete their task. We must have bribed them, because it’s not like they jump to fulfill my every request normally.
So they run upstairs and he dramatically falls and Callie rushes down the stairs and jumps over his body to hand me the book I asked for. Avery comes slower and asks him if he’s okay. We unveil the analogy and Callie is so upset that we tricked her, and I reassure her that she gets points for being helpful/obedient.
Sometimes Tom slurps his soup and sometimes he snores all night long. Sometimes he is bashful about calling someone to follow up on something that I want done and sometimes he watches Ultimate Fighting Championship (I guess his standards aren’t that high).
But every single day for the past thirteen years I am so (beyond words, even the f-word) grateful to be his wife.
Happy Anniversary, my love.