What part of the term is more important?
“I want the remote,” Julian said as he flopped onto the couch.
“I don’t think so.”
“Excuse me?” He arched one eyebrow.
“It’s my day to pick what we watch,” Sheila said without looking up from the television.
“Are you kiddin’ me right now? I’m two weeks behind on Survivor.”
“Meanin’ you’ve had two weeks to get caught up!”
“Since when did you wanna adhere to the schedule? You don’t object when I give you the remote on my days.”
“That’s because you watch the stupidest reality shows. It’s not your day.”
“You don’t get to judge what I watch when you use the word ‘stupidest’.”
“Okay, but you’re still not gettin’ the remote,” Sheila said.
“It’s my tv; it’s my remote. I allow you to wield it.”
“Oh, do you, now? I think a judge might say the remote is both of ours, especially considerin’ how essential I was to this household while you were waiting to get that job that bought the tv.”
“Just…just gimme the remote,” he said. “I’ll let you have it back in two hours.”
“You’ll ‘let me have it back’? That’s a pretty small promise from someone without the remote.”
“It’s my day off, Sheila! When I was growin’ up, there was no debate over who had the remote. The man of the house watched what he wanted,” Julian said.
“To be fair,” she said, “when you were growin’ up, the world was fueled by Coke and neon colors. I mean, we’re talkin’ forty years of social progress here.”
“Social progress? I just want the remote! I just want to watch some tv!”
“Well, in that case, it’s a good thing for you that I have the remote. Now you’re guaranteed to watch somethin’ decent as opposed to that Survivor drivel.”
“Woah! And what are you plannin’ to watch? Somethin’ deep and philosophical like Fifty Shades of Grey? Again?” he asked.
“It’s a good story!”
“Ok, that right there,” he said, pointing at her, “that lets me know you aren’t ready for the remote. That movie doesn’t even have a story.”
“What, pray tell, is the storyline behind Survivor?”
“You don’t get to use the words ‘pray tell’ after you admit thinkin’ Fifty Shades has a plot.”
“And now we come to the gist. What, exactly is your criteria for allowing me the privilege of using the remote and certain words?"
“I…I don’t…this isn’t how I pictured his morning pannin’ out. Look, use whatever words you want, okay?”
“Do you even hear yourself?” Sheila asked.
“Honestly? I’m in and out when I talk.”
“You just gave me permission to use whatever words I feel I can handle. What is it with men and power? Allowing me…you’ve lost your mind. Is this the part where I thank you for savin’ me from whatever doom my life might have been before you? How does one show appreciation to the man who feels as if he’s won a prize by boppin’ his feral woman on the head and draggin’ her back to his cave to domesticate her? Is there a Hallmark card for that? ‘Thanks for knocking me in the head without giving me brain damage’?” Her cheeks were crimson.
“Oh, come on, Sheila! You know what I mean!”
“What you mean and what you say are disconnected.”
“Wait…we’re not talking about the remote at all, are we? Your meanings are just as imbalanced as mine!”
“Maybe, but you’re still not gettin’ the remote.”
“So...neither of us can handle it?” Julian asked.
“In the case of a tie, she who creates life controls the remote.”
“No! You don’t get to use a uterus as a reason. I wasn’t born with your parts, and that’s not fair!”
“Welcome to my world,” she said in a whisper.
Oh…oh. So, what do you wanna watch?”
“I’m okay with Survivor,” she said. She kissed his forehead and tightened her fingers around the remote control.