“Yeah?” he calls over his shoulder, 3/4s of his gaze still on the TV.
“You know how for the last few holidays, Christmas and stuff, we haven’t exchanged gifts or anything?”
“Mmmhhh…” I suspect 3/4s of him is not listening to me, but I can work with 25%.
“I hated that. I know we did it for practical reasons and it was my idea and I hate wasting money and…”
“Mmmhhh… yeah… no, I know, honey…” I wonder what he thinks he’s agreeing with as he nods his head at measured intervals.
“…but it ruined it. I miss celebrating with you. I miss celebrating each other. I don’t care what we spend or if it’s stupid, but I don’t ever want to let another event go by without us taking the time to do something for each other.”
“It’s just not the same when we neglect each other.”
“Yeah honey, that’s great, I know,” his nodding is becoming less convincing as I lose another percentage of his attention to – my God is that a Subway commercial he’s engrossed in?!?
“OK, so we’re agreed then?”
He begins a perfunctory response but forgets why before his mouth is completely open.
“Huh?” he startles, like an infant when a loud noise interrupts their sleep, “What? Yeah, of course!”
“So from now on we exchange gifts or time or something for each other. No more of this ‘oh holidays and stuff are just for kids and we’re fine’ crap?”
I can tell he’s paying attention now, although I’m not sure how long I’ve got.
“Great! Thanks babe. I love you.”
He smiles, obviously glad to be let off some potentially dangerous hook with very little effort or struggle required on his part, “I love you too, honey.”
I turn away, content to let him go back to commercials and made for TV movies. Before I finish cutting up the salad in the other room, I turn back once more and call out over my shoulder…
“Remember, my birthday is this month! January 17th!”
“Son of a bitch.”