They say having a television in the bedroom can kill romance, but it’s a double-edged sword in our house. The romance is already dead if neither of us can get enough sleep, so we go back and forth with the TV argument all the time. I need the murmur and soft lights of the television to fall asleep and Jon needs pitch black and silence.
We've been able to work it out most recently by me going to bed an hour or so earlier than he does. I turn on the TV, watch an episode of Home Improvement or something of equally mindless entertainment, and slowly drift off to sleep. Jon will come in when he’s tired, turn off the TV, and rest in silence.
It was working out just fine, until a few nights ago, when I started falling short on my end of the bargain and staying up a little too late, forcing the two of us to be heading to bed at the same time. But surprisingly, there’s been little arguing, only a few minor instances when threats of separate bedrooms came up, but it was fairly easy to come to a compromise: I could keep the TV on only if he had full control of the remote (read: he could watch ESPN highlights). I agreed and have been falling asleep to football analysts predicting this year’s Super Bowl Champions even though it’s only three games into the season.
Last night was a little different, though. I’m assuming he got his fill of sports from Monday Night Football, because he abruptly flipped to a Spanish soap opera before settling into bed. I must have been extremely tired because I didn't think anything of it. I didn't even realize the expensive-looking man was consoling the very distraught woman in Spanish until Jon started doing voice-overs:
“Please, darling, you have to tell me what’s bothering you.”
“It’s just…I can’t believe you could do that…how could you burn the dinner rolls? Tonight was supposed to be beautiful, and now it’s ruined!”
“Oh, my love, I am so sorry. You must know I didn't do it on purpose.”
“You didn't? You mean you still love me? Then I forgive you!”
“I do! I love you so much, I promise I’ll never burn another dinner roll for as long as I live!”
I waited until he was finished before I gave him the crazy eye. I had two things in mind after watching his acting debut: 1) WTF? and 2) There was no way this was his first time creating impromptu lines like this; his timing was a little too in sync with the actor’s emotions, he didn't struggle to come up with material (although it probably should have involved a murder or an affair--instead of dinner rolls--to properly fit a soap opera), and he wasn't laughing at himself. My husband is a freaking pro at adlibbing Spanish subtitles.
“What?” he asked when he noticed me eyeing him from my pillow, “Haven’t you ever done that before?”
“No. I can’t say that I have.”
“Oh. Sometimes, when there’s nothing else on, I just turn to the Spanish channel and pretend like I know what they’re saying. It’s some of the best television I've ever watched!”
If I had to choose between romance and witnessing my husband’s goofy humor for the rest of my life, it would be his humor, every time. He doesn't know it yet, but he just forged our new bedtime ritual.