Late one evening, I rolled awkwardly onto our bed. My lower back was in spasms. Rolling seemed easier than my usual approach: the Fosbury Flop.
My husband looked at me, breaking his concentration from a rugby game, a minor match he’d recorded and didn’t really care about. “You OK?” he asked.
I moaned. “How long until the game’s over?” I asked.
“Ten minutes or less,” he said. “I’ll fast forward through all the scrums and line-outs.”
“Who’s playing?” Asking this question checked off two of the tick-y boxes of our vows: love and honour.
I can’t remember who he said was playing (“listening” was not part of our vows), but I do recall my husband followed it up by quoting from The Simpsons. It was the episode where Homer was fully engaged in a soccer match he really shouldn’t have cared about. “Marge,” my husband said, imitating Homer, “I’ll just kill myself if Portugal doesn’t win.”
We laughed. He fast forwarded. I squirmed.
A few minutes later, the TV now off, he emerged from the bathroom.
“Can you get me a Tylenol?” I asked.
“One or two?”
He gave me a pill.
“Crap,” I said. “I don’t have any water.”
“Have mine. I have two,” he said, handing me a murky glass. “It’s my glass from last night.”
I swallowed the pill. “I feel a bit like Shakespeare’s wife,” I said. “Like you’ve just left me the second best bed in your will. Which he did, by the way.”
“D’oh,” my husband said, resurrecting his Homer impression. “I… feel… stoop-id.”
He turned off his reading lamp. I put in my earplugs.
Minutes later, he sighed. It must have been loud because I heard it in spite of the orange foam shoved into my ear canals.
“That sounds like a bit of stress,” I shouted. I was on a roll: I could check off “love and honour” again, twice in one day.
“I’m just meditating,” he said.
“You’re levitating?” I said. I wiggled one of my earplugs free.
He laughed. “This is levitating.” His middle finger rose.
“Do you think normal people have these sorts of conversations before bed?” I asked.
My earplug was back in before I heard his answer.
Do you watch sports on TV?
Do you have any bedtime rituals that are rated “G”?