Monday, November 19, 2012


My husband was in Bahrain. I was at home in Saint Cloud. I was attempting to explain to him, yet again, the nightmarish challenge of being me; I was attempting my explanation through the miracle of a long distance cell phone connection.

“No, no, it’s the television in the bedroom that doesn’t work now.”

“What happened?” he asked.

I could almost see him running his hand through his hair. It’s the gesture my husband makes when he wishes he could turn himself into a earless deep sea squid so he doesn’t have to listen to me.

“I told you. I had to take the VCR from the television in the bedroom and hook it up to the TV on the porch so I can exercise out on the porch and now the television in the bedroom doesn’t work anymore.”

“What VCR? We don’t have a VCR.”

Now that he mentioned it, VCR did sound kind of wrong. I crumpled my eyebrows together and came up with a better name.

“Not VCR then. That machine. You know that movie machine.”

“DVD player?” he offered.

“Okay, whatever.”

“And why did you have to unhook the DVD player inside the house?”

I made a rude noise. “Ugh! I told you! Because the channel changer thingy for the movie machine on the porch is lost and I can’t scroll through my exercise tape so I can’t work out and keep my stupid girlish figure so you won’t leave me for an idiot baby bimbo.”

“Tape?” he asked, feeling his way through my mouse maze of thinking. “We . . . we don’t still have . . . tapes? Do we?”

I switched my cell phone from one sweaty ear to the other sweaty ear.

“Okay, fine, not tapes. Whatever those roundish little record looking things are. Good grief. Try to keep up.”


“Yes. That’s it. I had to unhook the DVD player from the television in the bedroom and hook it up to that hunk of junk television on the porch and now I can’t make the television in the bedroom work because there are a thousand wires going to a million kinds of nowhere. Arrrgggghh.”

“Why can’t you exercise in the bedroom?”

“What? Are you kidding me?  I told you why” I said, thinking that I was pretty sure that I had told him why I couldn’t exercise in the bedroom, probably, maybe  . . . “because the rug scoots when I do jumping jacks and the tile hurts my knees. You know my knees, the knees with the burning in the bone parts knees? Who cares? I want to exercise on the porch. That’s why.”

Then he said that thing that makes me wish that I were a Killer Whale playing with my food by tossing it into the air on the Discovery channel.

“Linda, is the TV plugged in?”

I couldn’t answer him because various teeth were colliding up against each other.

He kept right on going. “Why did you unhook the DVD player again?”

“Because if I don’t exercise soon I will break someone.”

“Don’t you mean something?”


Long distance phone calls are tricky. Long distance explanations are challenging. But sometimes, long distances are your best bet when building a happy and healthy marriage.

Linda (High Impact) Zern


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