Blair and I are in the car Saturday night, driving back from a book signing in Asheville. We're about two hours from home and the radio is on, playing Christmas music. We've been chatting a bit about work and family when I turn to Blair.
"So," I say. "How are we doing?"
It's hard to explain the grimace of pain that contorts my husband's face when I utter this simple phrase. Let's just say he looks like he's just been through a welcome session at Guantanamo and the grimace ends with a long, exasperated, drawn-out sigh.
"We're fine. I'm fine! Everything is fine! No, not fine. Great! We're great! Why? (And here his face contorts in another clenched teeth grimace). What do you think is wrong?"
"I don't think anything is wrong," I said.
"Yes, you do. The only time you ask how we're doing is when you have something to say about how we're doing and it's something that you think is a problem. Or I'm doing something wrong. So just go ahead and tell me what it is and I'll stop doing it. Or start doing it. Or whatever."
"Nothing's wrong!" I said. "Sheesh. I was just checking in to make sure you were happy with how we were--"
"I'm always happy with how we are. I'm a man. I don't know any better."
"--and to give you the chance and opportunity to say something, if something needed to be said. Because that's what a thoughtful and caring wife like me does. Moron." I added that last bit under my breath.
Blair patted my leg. "I'm sorry. It's just that you have a little Skeksis in you."
"Excuse me?" I asked.
"You know, the Skeksis from The Dark Crystal? Remember the scene where the main Skeksis approached Jen and Kira out in the wild and he was all, 'Skeksis friend! Stay! Skeksis friend with Gelfling!' Okay, you knew he was lying or had ulterior motives. That's you, honey."
"Just to be clear," I said, "I'm trying to improve our relationship through open communication and your response to that is to compare me to a large badly dressed turkey buzzard from a Jim Henson movie?"
"See?" said Blair. "Right there. Total Skeksis attitude."
Dear readers, please tell me you have similar conversations with your spouses. I need reassurance we're not the only freaks out here. 'Cause otherwise, I am going to be one mad Skeksis. ;)