The tiebreaker

Communication is key to any relationship. To ensure the Carpenter and I remain connected, I like to keep things light with a game I call, “are you even listening to me?” It’s like a duel without the whole death thing (but potentially more deadly).

Early Saturday morning, the Carpenter sat at the kitchen table drinking coffee with his mistress. Sorry, I meant his iPad. Same difference. He was squinting (because he doesn’t want his mistress to know he needs glasses) and tapping at the touch-screen, fixated on a video game, waging an imaginary war with fictional creatures, oblivious to the fact I had entered the room (I’m not the queen, but “good morning” would suffice).

I stood there watching, bemused. I respect that my partner needs his down time. However, if he is left to sit idle with his devices (pun intended) he will gear down until he is practically in reverse: the whole day will be wasted. I needed to nudge him back into reality. Besides, I had my own chore list to accomplish. Interrupting my man politely, I asked if he could pause the war to check the weather forecast.

It must have been something about my tone that made him look up at me with that annoyed facial expression that read, “are you still here?” But when met with my accusatory “are you still on your iPad?” glare, he flashed that boyish grin. It works every time.

There are three things the Carpenter (and his mistress) enjoy with much enthusiasm: sports scores, imaginary battles and weather porn. As such, he was able to quickly announce the forecast. The day, much like my disposition, was to be warm and sunny.

Pleased with himself for having proved his mistress was more than just a pretty flat screen, the Carpenter headed back into imaginary battle. He dismissed me. I wasn’t ready to be dismissed.

“Sixteen degrees on Friday, you say?” I questioned. “That’s warm.” He grunted.

 “Well, I guess I should probably shave my legs then.”

He looked up with a disgusted wince, “Did you really just say that?” Yes, I did. He listened. Point one for the Carpenter.

Rematch later that night: I thought it would be entertaining to read my favourite Leo his horoscope. The Carpenter pretended to listen, but he only had eyes for his mistress. He didn’t look up. I proclaimed good things were coming his way: career success, personal wealth and adventure. He nodded as if on cue.

“… And you’ll be pregnant in three months, with triplets. Gorilla triplets,” I concluded.

Nothing. Not a word. He was oblivious. Chalk up one point for Kelly. But there was no joy in this victory. The tiebreaker? He’s going to have a heck of a time finding the recharging cable to his battery-operated mistress.

Victory is mine.



Kelly Waterhouse