So there I was, minding my own business as I vacuumed. I may have even been singing. Off key, naturally, but at least no one else could hear thanks to the roar of the vacuum.
I started cleaning around the computer desk and made a face when I came across one of Tom’s toenails. I’m sorry, but that’s disgusting. You don’t pick your nails and then toss it on the ground. I also sucked up various crumbs—those didn’t just belong to Tom. I admit, I’m not the neatest eater so some of those crumbs—mmm, one came from a Swiss Cake Roll—were mine.
And then it happened. The vacuum got too close to the cords that Tom leaves out on the floor and sucked one up. I heard the sickening snapping sound and knew that it was probably a goner.
“NOOOOO!” I shouted, dramatically dropping to my knees. I knew exactly what the cord was from: the headphones that Tom uses to play his online game. And these aren’t just regular earphones: these are microphone earphones so he can converse with other players. If they were regular earphones then it wouldn’t have been a problem: I have a set that I found for Target for 75% off waiting in the closet. But these were his special earphones.
I thought maybe, just maybe, that the cord would be okay.
I started pulling the cord out gently and then saw that oops, it had totally broken apart.
For a brief second I went, “Maybe I could TAPE it back together,” but I quickly realized that was a silly idea.
I knew I had to call Tom. I knew waiting until he saw the headphones on his own was a bad idea.
Maybe I could blame it on Natalie! And when Tom discovers the broken headphones I can be all, ‘That silly girl!’”
Of course then Natalie would be a mini Hercules if she could yank apart the cord. And then suppose Tom thinks she’s super strong and enters her in a Strong Baby contest and is baffled when Natalie can’t pull apart the string. He’ll be all, “But she ripped my cord with her bare hands!” and I’ll have to admit what I’ve done…
So I knew I had to tell him. I pulled out my cell phone and sent him a text message since he was still at work:
I broke ur headphones...I love u!
Five minutes later the phone rang.
It was Tom.
“Well hi there, handsome!” I said cheerfully.
“Did you break my headphones?” Tom demanded.
“Me? I didn’t break them per say. The vacuum did. That darn Dyson with all its massive vacuum strength,” I babbled.
“Are my headphones broken?” Tom tried again.
I sucked in my breath. “Well....” I stared at the shriveled cord. “Yes..”
Tom sighed. “I have a game planned tonight. I need those.”
I swallowed. “Well…”
“You owe me,” Tom fumed.
What does THAT mean? Sex, probably.
“Of course, of course,” I agreed. “Look, I’m going to the store tomorrow, I can pick you up another set.”
“Do you know what set I need?” Tom wondered.
Well. “Headphones. With a microphone!” I said happily.
Tom groaned. “You can’t just get any headphones with a microphone,” he told me.
“You can’t?” I asked.
“No. You can’t. You don’t know which ones I need. The ones that I had probably aren’t even made anymore. You don’t know what to look for,” Tom complained.
“So tell me! Let me find a piece of paper and a pen and you can tell me,” I said and then looked around for some paper and a pen. I really need to clean our kitchen counters. It’s piled with old mail and coupons and…what in the world? Is that an Andes Mint? Mmmm, Andes Mints…
“Look, we’ll just go to the store when I get home from work. I need the headphones tonight,” Tom said. “And you owe me,” he said again before he hang up.
So we went to the store when he came home and he couldn’t find what he needed. I found a pair of headphones and went, “Here you go!” and he looked them over and said, “Not what I need, Amber…”
“But..it has a microphone and it says it’s for gaming,” I said, pointing to the box.
“These aren’t right,” Tom argued.
He’s probably going to order a set online. When we got home he messaged his friends and said he wouldn’t be on his game for awhile. (I imagine he typed: “Wife Broke Headphone. Wife Owes Me. Wink Wink”)
And then he came and sat on the couch and stared at me because he needed to be entertained.
“Isn’t this a good show?” I asked, gesturing to the TV, hoping that he’d stop staring. And then when he wasn’t staring he’d be pacing the room as though he were searching for something. He’d pad into the kitchen, come back out into the living room, circle the living room, go back into the kitchen, head down the hall, come back into the kitchen and into the living room and back to the couch....where he’d sit and stare for a bit and then he’d get up and do the pacing thing all over again.
“What IS this show?” Tom wondered, making a face.
I was watching 18 Kids and Counting and was wondering how Michelle’s uterus hasn’t fallen out yet.
“You know. It’s about that family with all the kids.”
Tom looked horrified. “I’d lose my mind if I had all those kids.”
And then he got up and started to pace again.
We need those headphones.