It’s Friday evening and my wife is relaxing on the couch. In my favourite spot. Obviously, I am concerned that this may be the start of a hostile takeover. I am forced to sit on the crap side of the sofa – her side. But I have a plan…
A phone pings.
“Is that you pinging?” she asks. “Who is it?”
I glance at the screen. “I’m surprised it got through,” I say. “The internet’s really patchy over here.”
“Tell me about it,” she replies. Her phone pings. She looks at the screen and laughs.
I miss the good life. I want to ping and laugh again, so I try to sit next to her. She doesn’t move her legs – so I sit on them. “Legs! Legs!” she cries. My phone pings again.
“Two pings in two minutes. Are you having an affair?” she asks.
“Afraid not. Women don’t want a guy with this many wifi blackspots. It’s a party invite.”
“From who?” she asks impatiently. I mention the name of a couple who are daft enough to still send us party invites. “Ok, who else is going?” she asks. I reel off a list of names. My wife stops me when I mention a couple we have known for a long time, and says, “If they’re going – I’m not going.”
“Why?” I ask.
“I don’t like them,” she reveals.
“To be honest…I can’t remember.”
This is odd, my wife usually remembers the cause of all her vendettas. Her last one started in our cafe when a customer came in and made some pretty unreasonable demands…
“You know what he did?” she boomed down the phone to me.
“What?” I said.
“He asked for jacket potato and beans. The bastard.”
“Isn’t that your…Dish of the Day?” I reply.
“Shut up. So I give him it and he says: ‘That looks hot. I don’t like hot food,’ and walks out. Who thinks jacket potato and beans is served cold? He’s dead to me.”
It’s during these dark times that I have to remind her about all the good times.“Come on, think about the positives,” I said. “The vicar comes in every day, and when he runs out of tea you get to say that joke to him.”
“Yes, I suppose.”
“And does he like it when you ask him?”
“No,” she replied and a little warmth returned to her voice.
Talking down angry chefs is something I’ve become really good at. I should open up an angry chef hotline, or a coldline depending on whether you think it should be hot or not.
I am still musing about this and all the unsung support I provide to my wife as she kicks me off the couch. I scurry back to the third world: the signal-free area of the couch.
The door opens slowly and our 13-year-old son skulks in. He is now large enough to wear my clothes, so he does. He sits next to his mum, in my favourite spot, in my favourite top. I hear two pings. Not one of them is me. They both get out their phones, swipe screens and start typing. I check myself just to see if I’m dead or worse…a customer in my cafe.