Marital Morse code

Say what you will about technology, but I believe it may be one of the best things to happen to my marriage since the children began to sleep all night in their own beds.

I think parents who want to stay together as a unified team need to learn to use tools and toys to revive their romance. Stop blushing, I mean communication devices. I may have a slightly unhealthy addiction to my mobile gadget, but it turns out the Carpenter shares that compulsion. While many would see that as a dangerous zone of communication dysfunction, I would argue that two mobile phones are better than one.

Texting is our marital Morse code. It is perfect for working parents whose jobs prevent chitchat throughout the day (anyone who knows the Carpenter knows the man does not do chitchat). We need quick, short, to-the-point messages sent with equally succinct, brief responses. Sometimes a simple Y for “yes” or K for “okay” is answer enough.

Occasionally, for fun, I make up responses, like throwing back a J. It amuses me to know he is somewhere nervously wondering what J means in the Kelly Code, yet he is too afraid to ask, for fear of repercussions.

Typically, we use texting for things like “get milk” or to coordinate schedules. There are the dire warning texts: “Do not take money from bank account. In overdraft. Broke.” Boy, that’s handy to know before you hit the grocery store to get the milk.

In this digital age, nothing says romance like text messages with emoticons. I know there is nothing the Carpenter likes more than smiley faces and red hearts showing up on his phone while he’s standing in a herd of construction workers (giggle). My Carpenter may be a man of few words, but sometimes his face says it all. I suspect when he gets those texts he turns a shade of red that does not pair well with his orange construction vest. It’s wrong, I know, but it makes my day in an office pass faster.

Mobile technology is good on those difficult days too, when you really need the empathy of your spouse to have compassion for the stresses in your alternate life (i.e.: work, family, friend-enemies, etc.). I call those “vent texts.” Sometimes you gotta let ’er rip, and your spouse is the safest audience for those rants. The Carpenter is great at vent texts, with language reserved for the job site making his messages a fabulous read.

But my absolute favorite thing about wireless communication is the “oops call.” Some refer to it as the pocket-dial, or in the Carpenter’s case, the “tool and dial.” That is when he calls me and has no idea he’s done so, but I can hear what he’s doing. Once I got to listen to him reprimand a crew of construction workers who apparently did not take direction well.

The Carpenter used his stern work voice and inappropriate adjectives. The “tool and dial” call let’s me play spy. Is it wrong that I found his anger management sexy? He’s a totally different person on a job site (thank goodness).

That leads me to the sex-text; virtual flirtatious innuendo to make up for the fact that all of the above have put a serious dent in your marriage reality.

That’s when you know it is time to turn your mobile phone off.


Kelly Waterhouse