Did you know that most new TVs come with something called an HDMI cord that connects your TV to your cable box, and that you can use that same cord to disconnect your cable box and plug your TV to your laptop and what’s playing on your laptop will play on your TV screen? After having all of this technology at our disposal for years, Jon and I recently figured out how to do this and spent a quiet evening at home watching old American Justice from YouTube on our tube.
American Justice is an old documentary series about horrific crimes hosted by a crusty old man named Bill Curtis who records voiceover for the show and also introduces segments standing outside in a trench coat. He’s sometimes on the steps of a courthouse or in a dark alley, but my favourite location is when he steps beyond police tape and around investigators to deliver his intros. We, the viewers, are supposed to believe he’s disrupting an ACTUAL CRIME SCENE to tell us about the show we’re going to watch. It’s ludicrous, but he has such phony newsman gravitas that I sometimes believe police and investigators were like, “Don’t mind us, Bill! You do your segments wherever you like, we’ll move the bloody corpse.” This was a long digression that has nothing to do with what I’m talking about, so if you reread this blog entry, feel free to skip the preceding paragraph.
Anyway, this episode of American Justice was about this married couple, both lawyers, who were accused of criminal negligence causing death. Compounding suspicions heaped upon the couple was the fact that they were presently in the process of adopting a violent prisoner in the hopes that he would be remanded into their custody if paroled. When questioned why this couple would want to “adopt” a full grown violent man, they admitted that it was the only way they could legally take part in a kind of three way couplehood. Both the husband and wife loved this scary prisoner and wanted to take him to their marriage bed. We never did find out what happened to them because our wireless connection was suddenly lost and we rung our hands, cursed our internet provider, and sulked until it was bedtime.
Dream: Invite a third person into our relationship.
Goal: Achievable. Before you all start worrying or picturing a disgusting bedroom closet filled with candle wax and feather boas, rest assured that this would not be a sex or love thing. We’re fine. The reason we need a third person in our relationship is that we need a guy or gal who knows how to fix the wireless, hook the computer up to the TV, tell the neighbors to shut up after 11 pm, and make a goddamn palatable curry. I know there are people out there who can do these things because every time I whine, “I wish I could watch the internet on my TV…” or, “I wish I could drain my tub faster…”, people seem to have a million suggestions on how these thing get accomplished! So I just need to encourage them to basically be on call for me and the Doc in exchange for… what exactly?
Plan: Hire a Work Experience Husband.
When I worked in a restaurant and in various retail jobs, my various employers would occasionally hire on Work Experience students. As I understood it, Work Experience was a course one could take in high school that put a student into a job for a few hours a week to get a feel for the work environment. The student got course credit, the employer got cheap labour and someone to take care of the menial tasks. It was really win-win.
We need such a thing for our relationship for those times when we both, unfortunately, are incompetent to the same degree in the same arena. Thankfully, that doesn’t happen often. I can unclog a drain and Jon can file an insurance claim, for instance. But nothing feels worse than that those moments when both of us throw our hands up and admit that we don’t know what to do. It is in those scenarios that I feel like there will be a knock at the door and members of some council will strip me of my status as a grown-up. “You obviously aren’t prepared for adulthood,” they will say. “We’ll get you on a bus to your parents’ house immediately.”
That hopeless feeling is particularly crushing when we idly contemplate the Someday Kid (the kid we might have someday). How will we care for a child when we can’t darn a sock, use the broiler, hang a picture?
Our Work Experience Husband would be able to do all that and more, but disappear when we needed him to, allowing us to preserve the idea that we’ve got it all figured out. Maybe we should all be each other’s Interim Spouse, from time to time. Jon could file legal and government paperwork for that couple that instinctively throws all legal-looking letters in the fireplace. I could tie neckties and pan fry steaks for the couple hosting work colleagues for dinner. Another friend of mine can rig up electronics, another could reorganize kitchens and closets for maximum efficiency. I guess the key is not expanding your team, necessarily, but being available to pinch-hit when required and hope that others return the favour. That’s a form of justice I completely understand.