A conversation with my wife (Tales of mere existence)
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How a simple trip to the video store can bring up EVERYTHING that's wrong with your relationship.


We got to the video store and she said, ‘so, what do you wanna watch?’, and I said, ‘I don’t know, what do you wanna watch?’, and she said, ‘I don’t really care, anything will do’, and I said, yeah, I’m not that picky either, whatever you want is fine’.

And so we were going through the comedy aisle and she picked up some Julia Roberts movie and she said, ‘how about this?’, and I said, ‘well, maybe, but let’s keep looking’, and she said, ‘why? What’s wrong with it?’, and I said, ‘nothing, nothing, but we just got here, let’s look around a little bit more’, and so she put it back, and then like about two seconds later she picked up "Sleepless in Seattle" and she said, ‘have you seen this?’, and I said, ‘err, no, I don’t think so’, and I started to walk out of the comedy aisle.

I heard her say, ‘I’ve seen it, it’s good’, as I got over to the drama section. I started looking through a few titles and found a movie I liked. I was reading the back of the box when she joined me and said, ‘I guess you don’t wanna see a comedy tonight’, and I said, kind of jokingly, ‘well, comedy’s fine, I guess I’m not really in the mood to see one were where everybody gets married in the end’. And then she said kind of seriously, ‘well, ok, but I don’t really wanna see one of those were everybody dies in the end either’, and she went browsing around the aisle.

I put the movie I was looking at back where I found it. Then I got an idea, ‘hey, I know a good one, and I went to find S and pulled out "Shawshank Redemption". ‘This is a really good one’, I said, ‘I think you’ll like it’. ‘Oh’, she said, ‘umm, ok’. I kept going, ‘really, it’s good, I saw it over Jim’s house and it’s great’. And she said, ‘you wanna watch something you’ve already seen?’, and I said, ‘I’ll totally be into seeing it again, I think you’ll like it’, and she said, ‘well, mmm, ok, if- if you really want to, we can get it’.

So I said, ‘not in the mood for a serious one, uh?’ and she said, ‘no, no, no, no, we can get it’, and I said, ‘we can keep looking if you want’, and she said, ‘no, no, we can get that’, and I said, ‘no, let’s keep on looking".

I looked at my watch. I had to be up early the next morning. She pulled "The Hunt for Red October" and said, ‘have you seen this?’, and I said, ‘I don’t know, I don’t remember seeing it’. She said, ‘do you wanna watch it?’, and I said, ‘sure! That will be fine’.

And she said, ‘well, what do you mean by "fine"?’, and I said, ‘well, that will be fine, I wouldn’t mind seeing that’, and she said, ‘what do you mean by "you wouldn’t mind"?’, and I said, ‘well, I mean I’ll be alright with seeing that’, and she said a little louder, ‘well, fine means fine, it doesn’t really mean you wanna see it, so what you’re saying is that you don’t really want to see it’.

I interrupted and said as brightly as I could, ‘hey, wait a second, why don’t we get one of those 60’s musicals that you like’, and she said, ‘why? You don’t like them’, and I said, ‘well, I’m not usually too into the stories but, you know, they’re really colourful and the choreography is interesting’, and she said, ‘but you don’t like the stories’, and I said, ‘well, not usually, but they’re still fine to watch because they’re so melodramatic’, and she said, ‘so you wanna get a movie that I like so you can laugh at it, so you can make fun of me, is that what you’re saying?’

I stopped for a minute and took a deep breath, and then I smiled at her and said as gently as I could, ‘look, we might not be able to settle at something today, so why don’t we go back and watch something we’ve already got at home?’

‘Honey, why don’t we just watch something we’ve already got at home?’

‘Honey, baby, what the matter?’

And she said, ‘you don’t love me anymore’, and I said, ‘of course I do’, and she said, ‘no, you don’t’, and I said, ‘come on, what’s all that got to do with it’, and she said, ‘I don’t know’, and I said, ‘of course I still love you’, and she said, ‘no, you don’t’, and I said, ‘I just don’t wanna argue tonight, and since we can’t agree on a movie I though we just watch something we’ve already got’, and she said, ‘you’re yelling at me, why are you yelling at me, don’t yell at me’.

I stopped again, and then I said, ‘look, please, I just really don’t wanna fight , she said, ‘I don’t wanna fight either’, and I said, ‘let’s get out of here’, and she said, ‘ok’, and I said, ‘ok?’, and she said, ‘ok’, and we left.

We didn’t really say anything on the way home and we didn’t say much while we were cooking dinner. We didn’t really say much when we sat down with our plates on the couch. I was putting my feet up on the coffee table as she turned on the TV an old rerun of "Married with children" was on.


GOT TO= arrived

STORE(AmE)= shop (BrE)

ANYTHING WILL DO= anything will be ok for what we want

PICKY= fussy. Someone who is picky is difficult to please and only likes a small range of things (an informal word).

EITHER= the first syllable is pronounced like EE in AmE but usually like EYE in BrE. "Either" is the opposite of too:
- I like that – I like that too
- I don’t like that – I don’t like that either

WHATEVER YOU WANT= anything you want, it doesn’t matter what

IS FINE= is ok

AISLE= a long narrow gap (like a corridor) separating rows of seats (or video racks in this case), for example in a church, so that people can move around. In a video store, the "comedy aisle" is the section where comedy videos are.

HOW ABOUT THIS?= what do you think of this?, do you like this?, is this ok?

KEEP + -ING= continue

WHAT’S WRONG?= what’s the problem?

WE JUST GOT HERE= the word JUST with the past tense in AmE (or the present perfect in BrE) is used to express recent past, something that happened a little moment ago. GET+place= arrive.

I DON’T THINK SO= No (a colloquial expression, made famous by Bart Simpson)

DRAMA= comedy stories (films, plays, novels, etc.) have a happy ending; drama stories have a bad ending, often tragic.

LOOK THROUGH= examine, look carefully to get the information you’re looking for

I GUESS= I suppose, I think

I’M IN THE MOOD TO DO IT= I want to do it, I feel like doing it. With nouns we use FOR, e.g. "I’m not in the mood for comedies"

KIND OF= more or less

BROWSING= look at several things in a casual unhurried way

I KEPT GOING= I continued talking

WANNA= want to

I’LL TOTALLY BE INTO +-ing= I will love doing it. The expression "I be into doing something" is wrong grammar, slang, used by some people in AmE. After prepositions and conjunctions we use –ing, like here.

IF YOU REALLY WANT TO= The particle TO is sometimes used as a "proverb". Just as a pronoun is substituting for a noun, a proverb is substituting for a verb (and its complements). In this example, TO means "to watch it".

I DON’T REMEMBER SEEING IT= The verb REMEMBER may be followed by infinitive with TO or by –ING, but there’s a difference in meaning:
- I remember talking to her= (past) I remember that I have talked to her in the past
- please, remember to visit your aunt= (future) don’t forget to do it when you go to London

SURE= of course!

FINE= ok

WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY...= what are you trying to tell me when you say that?

I WOULDN’T MIND SEEING THAT= the verb MIND is followed by –ING

ALRIGHT= all right (both spellings are possible, but the one with one word is getting more popular at present)

BRIGHTLY= happily, cheerfully

WAIT A SECOND= we say this phrase when we changed our mind or have a new idea

I’M NOT INTO THE STORIES= I don’t like the stories. "I’m not too into the stories"= I don’t like the stories very much.

COLOURFUL= with many colours

CHOREOGRAPHY= the design of dances

MELODRAMATIC= something melodramatic is a drama (something tragic), but the reaction to it or the way it is told, is exaggerated.

TO TAKE A DEEP BREATH= to breathe in deeply (as when you’re trying to control yourself and take time to think before saying something you’ll regret)

WE MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO DO IT= maybe we can’t do it

HONEY= a loving way of addressing your partner (boyfriend, wife, etc) =BABY, DARLING

WHAT’S THE MATTER= what’s wrong? What’s the problem?

WHAT’S ALL THAT GOT TO DO WITH IT?= what is the relationship between all that and this?
- That’s got nothing to do with me= there is no relationship between that and me

ARGUE= to have a verbal fight

YELL= shout (uses the preposition AT)

COUCH= sofa

COFFEE TABLE= a small low table, often beside the sofa (sometimes called "tea table" in BrE)

"Married with children"= the title of an American TV programme

IT WAS ON= it was on TV.

RERUN= A movie they are putting on TV again.