Deirdre Reilly: Maybe my husband would pay more attention to me if I was in HD

Deirdre Reilly

My husband is currently on a mission. He is more focused than he was when he was saying his vows during our wedding, and almost as focused as he was during the last Super Bowl. He is trying to get all our televisions working properly in every room, and put all our remotes (we call them zappers) in their allocated areas. Sports is a huge part of his life (it helps him relax, blah, blah, blah), so the TVs in our house are Priority One.

Men and women view television viewing differently. Men are in love with something called “HD,” which women, through their specialized DNA, just cannot see. HD apparently makes sports even better, if that is possible. As I am trying to watch “Dancing with the Stars” (which, along with “American Idol,” is always on TV) and folding laundry, my husband pops in and says, “Hon, why aren’t you watching that in HD?” My antenna goes up immediately; I know he is going to come in and start changing channels while Carrie Ann is criticizing someone, and I want to hear that. I also pull in my stomach and do random leg lifts when I watch “Dancing with the Stars (they’re all so toned, it’s annoying), so the last thing I need is any HD pressure. But he comes in and grabs the zapper and puts in a number way up in the 800s. “See?” he says excitedly, grinning. “Isn’t that better?” No, it isn’t better – I can’t see any difference at all, and I missed hearing Carrie Ann tell someone that their dance was worthless. But, I gamely say, “That is so much crisper and clearer! Thank you!” 

Our HD broke recently, and my husband, the man who has carried a briefcase under his arm for a full year because the strap broke, called within a minute and a half of our initial HD failure. He struggled through four or five Verizon voice prompts – I heard his terse, HD-deprived voice saying “cable,” then pause, then “technical” – and then he got a real person on the line. As I was moving in and out of the room, I heard him start to get all chummy with the cable guy (“You’re right, Todd – I need to see the finals, and I won’t even watch if it’s not HD, why bother.”) Todd? Was he already calling this guy “Todd?” He just learned to spell my middle name last year after 23 years of marriage; he gave me a birthday card with “Ann” spelled wrong; it had an “e” at the end!  

Apparently Todd was very concerned with our lack of HD, and he explained that you solve this lack of HD by turning off the TV and allowing it to “re-set.” Right during “Dancing With the Stars!” My husband shrugged to me apologetically as he turned off the set, and Todd said something, and the TV came on, and he answered, “Still no HD, Todd.” I raised my hand, like I was in school. “I want to watch this in non-HD TV,” I said hesitantly, motioning to the TV. He gave me the gentle, condescending look you would give a toddler who says they want to play with the steak knives – he was going to protect me from myself. He and Todd had formed a real bond by now, and my husband was offering Todd little fragments of our life while Todd pushed buttons or connected wires at headquarters – “Our 18-year-old has an Ortiz shirt that is vintage,” I heard him say, and, “The old Boston Garden was amazing; I was there all the time.” The TV finally came on, and the HD was working. Then, as a bonus, ol’ Todd re-set each zapper to a specific TV, while my husband told him about my 8-year-old’s hockey season. 

Now my husband has assigned a zapper to each room, and woe be unto you if you move the zapper from its designated area. “Look what I found in the basement,” he will say accusingly to the older boys, who just shrug – they are in the phase of life where they are hitting things with our cars and losing their iPods with “literally everything I care about” loaded onto them, so misplaced zappers are not high on the list. My husband looks at me – who is the zapper-mover? He cannot rest until he has made an arrest in the case.

So all our HD is now working – not that I can tell any difference – and for the moment, there is peace in our little world. I hope our buddy Todd is standing by – this goodness can only last so long!

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