Sometimes in marriage, the function of the collaboration might seem like an LLP. If we borrow, in a broad sense, from the legal definition, one partner is less liable in a situation than the other partner, in misdeeds and debts. The counter to that might mean that when things go well, we both take the credit. Tonight’s episode of “Installing a New Modem” was brought to you by our local cable company (who I will not credit, as they will charge me for naming them). We don’t have a choice because we live in the loft and everyone is forced into a relationship with this corporation. Sometimes my FHB and I make decisions, not in haste, but rather out of necessity because our options are few. Of the two of us, he is the person who really uses 97.48% of the television time, and that figure is probably a rather conservative number. I use the internet more, and the home phone, which is the trifecta in this formula, is hardly ever used.
Recently, we were trying to do something called streaming, which apparently has nothing to do with fly fishing, although I thought that was a good guess. We wanted to watch a particular show on Amazon, who will be named, because I get “free” two-day shipping for $99 a year. A corporate “friend”, right? Weeks ago, because we could not watch the show without it doing something called “buffering”, which has nothing to do with nail care, although I thought that too, was a good guess, we had to call for tech support. We would be able to watch five minutes of the show, and then it would “buffer”. It was beyond annoying. So my FHB had a conversation with someone in consumer relations (hah, a misnomer if I ever heard one). Somehow, the end result was that we signed on for another two years, paid several dollars less, with the promise of better, bigger, and more bandwidth (which has nothing to do with the size of a marching band…).The story did not end there, because it did not improve either our ability to watch the show, or our mood, which quickly soured. I spent close to two hours of my life, that I will not get back, talking with some people, who, when the conversation came to an end, informed me that we had done something wrong by not replacing the old modem with the new, faster than lightning speed, modem. The customer is clearly never right.
My FHB went to replace the said modem, and brought it home and then the fun began. I would like to say that the television is important to me, but it is not. It takes up valuable wall space and it is a box filled with noise, rarely sound. However, as in a three-legged race, you have to work as a team, or everyone is unhappy and you trip over one another. We had to re-set the program, come up with a password, copy all sorts of weird code words and this was the last thing I was interested in doing. Yet, do it I did. We both have strengths when it comes to the household technology. Somehow, which is really odd for me to say, but I am better at figuring out the computer. He is far better with the television. I still never know which stations are which number. I understand the microwave, he takes care of the electric toothbrushes. In actuality, we did everything we needed to do and the problem still exists. Oh, yes, did I mention, that the bill for our trifecta, arrived today by email. Gotta love it.
Sometimes, we talk about a snowstorm we had five years ago when we lost all technology and heat and light for five days in our little house in the woods. Even our stove needed an electric start. We talked of being “off the grid”. It was romantic and unrealistic and for the first 72 hours, was almost fun. Then it got cold, and dark and not so much fun. Perspective and context. We are a good team, both in problem solving moments, and in the rest of life. When two people, one who is over six feet and the other is under five feet, run a race tied together, it is a recipe filled with laughter and compromise. Still laughing.