It had been a long five months devoid of a great sitcom. But last night, the season premieres of my favorite shows The Middle and Modern Family finally arrived. I couldn’t wait. I raced through my son’s parent/teacher conferences like an Olympic sprinter. I drove home like a professional NASCAR driver. At 7:01 p.m. Central Standard Time, I plopped down on my couch next to my husband—just in time to see the opening credits for The Middle. Despite the lack of angels, fluffy clouds, and a sin-free life, I had officially entered the pearly gates of heavenly laughter. And then, it started … or should I say, he started … meaning my husband (also known as “Chatty Cathy”).
As The Middle family piled in the car for their camping vacation, he said loudly, “Oh, this reminds me of all the times we went camping together. Do you remember that time, honey, when I set the grill on fire?”
“Sssh,” I said as I put my finger over my lips. “I’m trying to watch my favorite show.”
He nodded and pressed his lips tightly together. Three seconds later, he watched as the children fought in the backseat of their car and then announced, “When my brothers and I used to fight in the backseat, my parents would freak out.”
“Sssssssh!” I said this time more emphatically and with a lot more spit.
“Sorry, geez, someone is sure sensitive tonight,” he muttered as he settled back into his seat. The next three minutes were blissfully quiet … until rain started pouring down on the television family’s tent. “Remember that time when you and I went camping and it rained four inches?” he laughed boisterously, “You looked like a drowned rat. I loved it when you actually tried to wring out your sleeping bag the next morning.”
“Ssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssh!” I was starting to sound like a cranky librarian. I grabbed the remote and pushed the up arrow five hundred and thirty times until the volume was as loud as my hearing-impaired great-grandma’s black and white television back in 1967.
Oh, don’t worry, this isn’t the first time this has happened. For nineteen years, my husband has been talking through television shows, movies, church services, and funerals. His mother tells me he’s been doing it since he first learned that his mouth could be used for more than just eating. On a daily basis while attending Catholic school, apparently he gave the nuns several reasons to use their rulers on his knuckles. His name was on the blackboard in the “Naughty” column more times than any other kid. Why? Because he talked and talked and talked when he wasn’t supposed to be talking.
Fast forward back to my house. Last night. 8:00 p.m. Central Standard Time. Modern Family is about to begin. During the opening scene, it is apparent the television family is vacationing at a dude ranch. By now, the neighbors in the next development can hear our television As a result, my husband now must yell, “WHERE DO YOU THINK THAT DUDE RANCH IS LOCATED? WYOMING, UTAH, OR COLORADO?”
I think my “Sssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssh!” was long enough to claim a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.
“Geeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeez,” he replied, “Sooooooooooorrrrrrryyyyyyyyy.”
We managed to make it through the next thirty minutes with only three more “Sssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssh’s!” and “Geeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeez, sooooooooooorrrrrrryyyyyyyyy’s.” It was a great night.
But if you’re worried that I never get him back, you’re wrong. Last weekend while his favorite college football team played on television, I marched into the room, plopped myself on the couch, stuffed my mouth full of crunchy potato chips, and loudly asked, “WHAT KIND OF CALL IS THAT? WHERE IS THE UMPIRE? WHERE’S THE PUCK? WHAT INNING IS IT? ARE THE BASES LOADED? WOW, DON’T YOU LOVE THOSE CUTE UNIFORMS?”
I think payback is the secret to a happy marriage, don’t you?