Sunday morning I parked my ass in my family room firmly intent on finishing my morning coffee and playing Guitar Hero. I could hear the flurry of Meg upstairs. She was wide awake and active since 7am, having gone to sleep at 8pm the previous night.
She comes downstairs. For lack of a better word, she looks pouty. I was 30 seconds into Carry On Wayward Son and was hoping she would be content to sit and listen to the music.
Actually, before I go on, I should probably explain what Guitar Hero is. It’s a video game. Anyone who is surprised by that should feel free to stop reading this site all together, since you obviously aren’t paying attention. Instead of using the normal controller, it comes with a surprisingly well put together plastic guitar that plugs into the Playstation. Instead of strings, there is a bar you flick on the fat part of the guitar to simulate strumming it. Up on the long skinny neck thing, there are five colored buttons. Try not to be too awed by my obvious mastery of all things musical and keep up. The game is a timing/rhythm game; you hold down the appropriate color (or colors) and strum at the right time. It plays along to real songs, and naturally some are harder than others.
Meg surprised me with the game for Christmas based on it getting great reviews and word of mouth from friends and coworkers. It turned out to be a great gift, it’s addicting as hell, and even Meg really likes playing. As you can probably tell by now, I really don’t know shit about guitars. But I do know video games, so I can reasonably hold my own.
Getting back to the story, as Meg walked up to me, I could tell she was on the verge of tears. For some reason, I thought of my first fight with Meg about the wedding. If I was still in those days, I have a feeling her sullen look would be because of something entirely self-imposed and completely unnecessary, as is everything when it comes to weddings. And my first reaction, had I actually been in that situation, would be to turn the guitar on its back and hit myself as hard as possible, El Kabong style, in the head in an effort to render myself unconscious and not have to deal with the impending wedding-inspired breakdown.
With a small snicker at the mental imagery of the inevitable news story of “Man uses Playstation controller as self-mutilation weapon, receives 12 stitches” I snapped back to reality and prepared myself for what was to come. I figured I was in store for another baby induced breakdown. For as much as I have to deal with crying caused by this kid already, the little monster better not cry once he’s born.
This would go on for about three minutes, so I’ll skip past that part.
“I’m just stressed. There is so much to do and no time. *sob*”
Great, the first sob and I still don’t even know what the hell the problem is. I look at my Guitar Hero avatar paused mid-strum and realize it’s going to be a while before she moves again.
“Ok. What all is there to do?”
“Well, we have to start looking at day care.”
I was waiting for more in this insurmountable list of things to do. I didn’t get any. Convinced that I can deal with this without having to first imbibe alcohol, I query further into why this is scaring her so much.
“You have to look early… you have to interview all the people there… you have to get on a waiting list. You can’t just sign up one day and then show up.”
Mind you, we haven’t even decided if Meg’s going back to work at this point, but I realize that at this juncture in the conversation, pointing out that little fact probably isn’t wise.
“And if I don’t feel like doing anything in the last 14 weeks that means we only have 11 weeks left.”
“Ya, but… wait, what?”
What the hell is she talking about? She stumbled over repeating it, and I realized that even the second time, I had no idea what this comment meant.
“I, uh… well… ya, ok, but if you don’t feel like doing anything in the last 10 weeks, that means we still have 15 weeks to do stuff, so it’s ok.”
Ok, it was thin, and probably the result of trying to apply rational thought to an otherwise irrational situation (to say the least).
The absurdity of that comment managed to get laughter to break through the curtain of tears that had begun as rapidly as they ended. She felt better, hugged me for helping (admittedly, I really don’t know what the hell I did), and left.
I returned to Guitar Hero appreciating the irony of the situation. If I had this game before she was pregnant, there is no way seeing me sitting in front of the TV playing a plastic guitar would have ever inspired Meg to have sex, and I wouldn’t have to deal with this situation in the first place.