Let me call someone

It’s always a rich and full experience when my ex-husband comes over to help me assemble something. Or install something. Or repair something.

The results are about the same as they always have been, which is sad. But the volume of the voices is lower and the name-calling has stopped almost entirely. These are improvements. Nothing like a few decades — whether it’s the shoreline or personal relationships — to wear away sharp edges.

Me: Jay, there’s a show I want to see on Netflix, but I can’t get Netflix streaming, so would you come over and help me install this gadget?

Him: Why can’t you just dial it up?

Me: Because my TV is too old, remember?  That’s why I had to get this special gadget.

Him: You haven’t plugged that in yet? It’s been a year since I got it for you.

Me: You got it, but I paid for it, and no, I haven’t installed it. That’s why I want you to come help me.

Him: For God’s sake, all you have to do is plug it in. How hard is that? OK, OK, I’ll come do it for you.


Three months later.

Me: Will you come tomorrow afternoon? I’ll make brunch.

Him: Sure. No horse races on. No basketball. I’ll be there at 2.


The next afternoon. 

Him: Why is this so salty?

Me: I don’t know.

Him: Well, it is. Too salty.

Me: I know. Let’s get started on the gadget.


The ensuing two hours.

Him: What’s your (something) connection?

Me: I don’t know.

Him: What’s your (something) password?

Me: I don’t know.

Him: Well, let’s go look at your router.

Me: What’s that?

Him: I think this is the password.

Me: No, that’s the serial number.


Back at the TV set.

Him: What’s this? Let’s plug it in here.

Me: Then I have to unplug my DVD player.

Him: Do you have an extension cord? Then we can plug in everything.

Me: That means three extension cords plugged up to the TV.

Him: Don’t worry about it.


Some time later.

Him: Why isn’t it coming on?

Me: How many remotes do you have? I count five in your hands.

Him: Why isn’t it coming on?

Me: That’s not the only thing not coming on. Now the computer won’t come on. The phone is out, too.

Him: Whoa. Let’s have a look at the router.  

Me: Please don’t.

Him: What is all of this? There must be 40 cords back here to be plugged in.

Me: Let’s just forget the whole thing. Let’s just put everything back the way it was and I’ll call someone.

Him: No, wait. (Muffled sounds from behind the router, whatever that is, handling electrical cords.) I can fix this.

Me: Let me just call someone.

Him: Let’s try it again.


Back at the TV.

Him: I just don’t understand it. Why isn’t it coming on?

Me: I’m going to call someone.

Him: At least we have your computer back on. And your phone.

Me: I’m going to call someone.

Him: Who?

Me: A geek someone — one of those geek places.

Him: You know, not a bad idea. If you get them, make a double house call. Have them come over to my house and help me with an audio thing I can’t get to work.

Me: Will do. Why don’t you give me back all of those remotes you’re juggling, and I’ll take it from here.

Him: At least you have your computer back on. And your phone. And your TV.  Everything’s working.

Me: Except the Netflix streaming.

Him: Well, that. Sorry.

Me: It’s not important, I promise you.  

Him: Thanks for the brunch. Except, boy, was it salty.

Me: I know. Next time it’ll be better.  Sorry. 

Him: Let me know how the geeks work out and ask them when they can be at my house. 

Me: Sorry.

Him: Sorry.



Connie Cronley is the author of four books, commentator for public radio 89.5 FM and a columnist for TulsaPeople.

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