Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I Could Go On Busting You Up All Night

So last night we get into bed, and Matt is talking about how he's reading one of those Roger Zelazny Amber Chronicles books, and how, as he put it, he really wants to have read it, but he doesn't want to actually do the actual reading of it, because it is tedious. I remarked that I was having the opposite experience with Wolf Hall. I've been reading it forever and I don't want it to be over, or really it's that I don't think about the story in terms of an endpoint, each part is so good. I read each paragraph about two to three times.

I said, "Yeah, that Amber book. I read a page of it while I was in the bathroom, and I thought it might be a joke, it was so bad. So mannered in an icky way."

He said, "Well, yeah, mannered, but there's something about them. I thought they'd be fun to pick back up; I read all eight or nine of the books in the series one time." I went, "When did you do that?" He goes, "Like fifteen years ago."

"No you didn't," I said. He gawped at me. Then he protested.

"Listen, miss! I've read and done lots of things that you may not be aware of," he said.

"Maybe you don't realize how closely I pay attention," I rejoined.

I mean, I don't know why I feel so confident in this area. Maybe it's the same way I can remember what I was wearing at every significant and many insignificant occasions in my life. Or maybe it's that he's my husband and I really do pay attention to everything about him. And my interest in him is not casual. I just know.

"Fine," he said. "I'll name a book and you tell me whether I've read it or not."

"All right, go," I said. He paused, seeming at a loss.

"Okay," I prompted. "First you just have to think of a book that you either have OR have not read."

Then he started laughing and pummeled me with blows. But, you know, lovingly.

"So," he said, "On Stranger Tides."

"You have not."

"Correct." he said. "How about Shogun."

"You have," I said. "This isn't even hard. I could do this forever."

"Okay," he said. "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell."

"You did not read that," I said.

"Aha!" he cried, "That's a trick question, because I read half of it!" This pleased him so much he started giggling. If you have never heard Matt giggle, and so few people have, it is really something. I rolled my eyes while he chortled at the notion that he was getting half-credit.

"Okay," he said. "Huckleberry Finn as an adult." I asked what we were calling adulthood, and he said anytime after high school. This was a tough one. I thought. I went into my mind palace and surveyed the landscape. Matt had a pretty serious Mark Twain phase about five years ago. I could remember that Roughing It and Life on the Mississippi figured prominently. He would crank up the audiobooks while he cleaned the kitchen at night, and he would laugh and repeat bits of dialogue.

"You didn't read it," I said.

"I did." he said, so satisfied. "Okay," I said, "You got me on that one. You get ONE."

We called a truce.

But I still think he was confusing it with Puddinhead Wilson. 

File under: Pillowtalk.


Amy said...

I have heard Matt giggle and you're right--it's something! :) This is a great post!

What did you wear the first day of 8th grade?

Becky said...

Ugh, that was a bad year. Cobalt blue chinos with pleats, and a blue and white striped collarless blouse.

delaine said...

Bec, I am writing this comment with my jaw dropped and my mouth open. How can you even remember what you wore , shall I say, way back then? How on earth? Your brain is not wired like mine, that's for sure!
And yes! I love the sound of Matt giggling and laughing cause he invests himself so totally in it. It's fun to see.

Beth said...

OMG, are you a super rememberer like Marilu Henner?! Do you have hyperthymesia? http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperthymesia

Becky said...

Whoa, that is so cool!

But no, I think m autobiographical memory is pretty average, except for a few weird things.

Like I can remember every compliment I've ever gotten. LOL jk but srsly.

Camp Papa said...

Oh, my God! I do so love you two.

Anonymous said...

Where are you in that photo? Is that a bar? A bait shop? I must know!

Zelazny was a name in my house. Idk. There's a thing with some guy who finished a 20-book series from the grave & it involves me lugging 7-lb books from the library in a child-bridely way & he says, "No, I read this one already," yk, before he stopped reading them because who knew when the posthumous books would cease, but now they have. He left off at a book between 9 & 12.

I don't know what anyone reads, unless they are hogging my copy of the NYer.

Elizabeth said...

This post and all the comments are awesome. You have provoked a memory in me of what exactly I wore in eighth grade to my first boy/girl party, and it was blue polyester gauchos that I sewed myself at the Singer Sewing store in Perimeter Mall. I wore them with argyle kneesocks and buffalo sandals. It was an exceedingly difficult year for me as well. Later that year, though, I received my first compliment from David L., a fellow nerd who saw me without my glasses on and said in his reedy voice that I had nice eyes.

Michele said...

I love the fact that he called you Miss and that he chortled. Not many people can pull off a decent chortle.

Keely said...

Well, now I feel like you should record this giggle. For posterity. And also my amusement.

I barely remember what I wore to prom. I have, like, the opposite of hyperthymesia. I remember everything in general impressions, feelings, and watercolors.