Talking Over The Kindle
By Darin Z. Krogh
I gave a “Kindle” to my wife for Christmas. She said thanks, then started downloading books. She hasn't spoken to me since. The situation reminds me of that television commercial where the guy has to text his girlfriend at the table to get her to look up from her iPhone to see the gift he has for her. Except my wife never looks up because she’s always in the middle of some riveting book. I’m waiting for the Kindle battery to wear out.
She was charging the battery the other day. It plugs into a receptacle. I secretly pulled on the charger plug just enough to break the electrical connection but not so much that the human eye could easily detect that sabotage had been committed.
My wife discovered that her Kindle battery was still depleted after charging all night. Then she discovered why. When she did, I noted, out of the corner of my eye, that she was directing “THE LOOK” at me. Sometimes THE LOOK is referred to as the “death ray”. The “death ray” is not peculiar to our marriage. I discovered that fact during my Wednesday afternoon meetings with my buddies where we sip beverages while discussing marital issues, N.F.L. rule changes and large breasts.
After THE LOOK, I suffered pointed questioning from my wife. Her prosecutorial manner was what you might expect from a District Attorney who was born out of a liaison between Perry Mason and Judge Judy. The questions called for my confession, rather than answers. But that was okay, because there was not any time for answers between the rapid fire questions. The initial questions related specifically to the Kindle crime, but later questions moved on to my many character flaws and ended with question, “Why do you always hang the bath towels with the labels showing on the outside?”
At the end (no, more like at the beginning), I confessed. I used the excuse that I missed her conversation. That was the reason I sabotaged the Kindle battery charger, so she would stop reading and talk to me.
As most men know, expressing a desire for more communication with your significant-other, is a bullet-proof excuse for almost anything. Women are susceptible in that area. They worry about “The Relationship”.
After the interrogation, I threw myself on to the mercy of the court. I repeated my yearning for more meaningful conversations. A solution was arrived at.
My wife and I set a time aside each evening right after the news, in which we would discuss relationship issues and topics that are important to each of us.
The first discussions were one sided. Not my side. I tried to be a good listener. Unfortunately, while my wife was speaking, I would often rise and go check on her Kindle battery charger, to make sure it was plugged in securely. I couldn’t help myself.
After a week of these husband-wife chats, I admitted to flunking Conversation 101. Even my wife realized that our plan wasn’t working.
We decided to be more natural about our conversations. My wife and I voted to cancel the nightly "Conversation Hour".
I comforted my wife by suggesting that we could resume the Conversation Hour after next year's football season. Then I thought a bit more, and said, "No, wait, after March Madness." I was too late, her nose was already buried in her Kindle book. She never heard my generous offer.
We did have a conversation the other day. My wife looked up from her Kindle and asked, “Is that the doorbell?” I turned down the volume on the television set and told her that I would go check the front door when the basketball game was over.
We are making progress without forcing conversation.