It’s not that my husband is a bad listener.
It’s that I have a truly terrible sense of timing.
We He is watching baseball… it looks to me like BAL is playing NYY. (Baltimore and New York? Please don’t judge me for not being sure about which teams those actually are.)
I should, of course, know better than to launch into a story about the Thirty One party I just went to and all the stuff I wanted to buy (but didn’t, because I have incredible restraint) during the bottom of the ninth inning.
But, sadly, I have yet to learn my lesson and I did launch into that story. Jonathan calmly paused the TV and listened, eying the screen as the numbers in the corner told him how far behind he was getting in the game. Thank goodness for DVR and all that fancy stuff.
“There is this really pretty big bag that is big enough to pack clothes for an overnight trip but small enough that it COULD be a purse…”
…”and I filled out a wishlist thing that she will have so IF you need Christmas ideas, you can ask her…”
…”and ON the wishlist I put a star and an exclamation point beside what I REALLY REALLY want so you can be SURE to get the thing I REALLY REALLY want…”
Suddenly, with no warning, the channel changed and instead of baseball players frozen on the screen, we were watching the vice presidential debate.
Jonathan’s jaw dropped. My jaw clamped shut.
“I was recording this! It changed the channel… I just missed six minutes of the game!” he said, trying very hard to be nice about it.
“I’m so sorry,” I said mournfully. “It was my fault, wasn’t it?” I asked, sure that he would assure me it really wasn’t.
“Yes.” he said. “It was your fault.”
I stared at him.
“Just… wait. Wait until a commercial break,” he said.
I waited. And while I waited, I put away groceries and stored up things in my head I needed to say.
As soon as the first commercial came on, Jonathan hit the mute button and signaled for me to speak.
“OKAY. These fingers on this hand hurt, but it doesn’t feel like my carpal tunnel in my other hand does so I’m afraid it’s arthritis but it really hurts so much I want to cry. And also today at work I was Googling hypoglycemia, and one of the results was Sudden Death from Hypoglycemia. And so I made a doctor’s appointment. And…”
But the commercial break was over, and so was my talking window. The TV volume turned up and I muted. We were now into the tenth inning of the game.
I began to store up more things to tell him.
More players came up to bat, and more players got out. Then, finally, there was another commercial break.
The mute button was hit. I started talking. I told him about some funny things that happened at work and about how I just lost my balance and fell over at the party and almost landed on someone and how it was really funny. Then the commercial break came to an end.
By the third commercial break, he started suggesting that I just type it all up and send it to him in an email.
I sighed, frustrated that anything would be more important than my very random, but oh so important, collection of stories and anecdotes and tales about hurting fingers.
“Is this the World Series?” I asked, only half-joking (maybe I should take some of my efforts to learn football and direct them toward baseball).
“No,” he told me, then used up my fourth commercial break to explain things about leagues and tournaments and playoffs and how teams get to the World Series (which is not yet happening).
By the fifth commercial break, I had many, many things built up to say, and some of them were very long stories, so I did not stop at the end of the break. I kept right on talking, into the eleventh inning and through the beginning of the twelfth. Jonathan seemed to understand that these were the most important stories of the bunch, so he kept the TV muted and let me use his ears while his eyes stayed on the TV. But that’s okay… he was listening. I know, because he responded.
I hate to see what will happen when I have things to say during the real World Series. I might need to stuff my mouth full of something, or install an actual mute button. Or leave the house and find someone else to listen to me.
Also… someone needs to get a home run, because this is the longest baseball game EVER and I think I’m on permanent mute to make up for that fifth-commercial break incident… and I still have more things to say.
EDIT: The original title of this post was, “When you have things to say but the game goes into extra overtime…” But my husband insistently and forcefully informed me that in baseball, overtime is NOT called overtime, but extra innings. In football, basketball, and other sports, it is overtime. But not in baseball. Why.