Saturday, October 13, 2012

Did You Get A Text Today?

by Amy Ruhlin                                 

Today I decided to watch college football with my husband. I actually don’t much like football. I don’t even fully understand football. But my daughter is in college and my son soon will be too so watching it seems like the appropriate thing to do. My husband has a competitive spirit but I don’t. While he screams things like, “You idiot, you missed the pass!,” I select my favorite team based on who has the best color uniforms. 

We sit on the sofa in front of our flat screen TV with our cell phones and laptops nearby. I tell my husband that I have selected the team that I want to win and he tells me that he is pulling for the other team. This will at least make it interesting.
I find the game entertaining for about ten minutes so I decide to ask my husband a question that I have been asking him daily for the last two years since our daughter went away to college. It is a question that I never imagined I would be asking so frequently. In fact, when my daughter was in high school, she told me about a college friend who always made sure that if she texted one parent she would also text the other because if she did not, one parent would feel left out. I remember telling my daughter that I thought this was ridiculous. I would never indulge in such silly behavior.
“Did you get a text today?” I ask my husband.
He smiles and says, “I got two.”
“Two?" I haven’t gotten any in days!,” I tell him. I pick up my phone and check my messages just to make sure.

“And I’m Skyping at 4pm,” he says with a grin.
I look at the TV and I see that his team just scored a touchdown.

Skyping ?”   “Who set that up?,” I ask.
“I did,” he says.

“Why’d you do that?” I ask.
“Well, it’s been a while since we’ve seen her,” he says.

“Hmpf”, I think. He could have consulted me first. Am I not included in their little Skype party? I am feeling left out.
“Well, I got a facebook message from her yesterday. And she sent me the opening paragraph of that big paper that she’s been working on,” I tell him.

“She did? I’ve been wanting to read that paper!” he says.
I glance at the football game and notice that my team just intercepted the ball.

"Well, I think she sends me the things that , you know, are  important to her personally, and she contacts you for the financial and technical stuff," I say.

I see that a football player is limping off the field with a hurt foot.
My husband says, “Nah, she texts me personal stuff too.”

“Well," I tell him, "I’m going to Skype with you.” I actually don’t like to Skype. I hate seeing myself on screen.
“That’d be great,” my husband says.

The games end at 4pm. I look at the TV and I see all of the players running onto the field, both teams, together. I look at my husband’s laptop and I see our daughter’s beautiful face filling the screen. And in the bottom corner of the screen I see myself, nestled into the crook of my husband’s arm, a middle aged mom and a middle aged dad , happily talking to their 20 year old daughter, together.


  1. I think my husband gets more texts than I do, too! (This was a wonderful post. You really captured this phase of life so perfectly.)

  2. Yep, this is my life now, too :-). I agree that you captured the essence beautifully.

  3. Love those texts! Don't Skype too often, but, hey, I'll take what I can get.

  4. Lol, I've gotten used to my wife getting way more texts and calls than I do. We shipped our daughter off to college a couple of years ago, and I've gotten used to getting updates through her mom. That actually works fine for me - I love hearing about problems and giving fatherly advice, but our daughter tends to be a little overdramatic and calls or texts several times a day.

  5. Just discovered this blog and I'm really enjoying it. I really relate to what you write about, being in the same place myself. My wife and I have two kids, the older is in college. So I wanted to say 1) Thank you for this blog, and 2) You write very, very well. I agree with 'fadedginger' 100%, you did capture this phase of life perfectly!