Eric and I liked to binge watch TV shows together. Truth be told, as a rule, I was too antsy to sit through more than one show a night, but sometimes he was the antsy one, while I got into it and wanted to watch three in a row. It was tricky to find a series that we both liked. Most recently, it was Sense8 and then Elementary. We binge-watched The Americans, all the seasons out so far, a few months ago.
We’d sit on the couch. The love seat, I guess they call it. Typically he’d have his side in recliner mode, and I’d have my side down because Loki was underfoot as usual. So I’d put my feet on Eric’s side, and then he’d get annoyed because I was encroaching on his space. It was one of those little things that becomes a running joke – at least for one of us. Cooper would inevitably be sneaking up on Eric’s side table, face almost sideways as he worked his nose closer to the plate resting there. When we called him on it, Cooper would get this indignant look on his face – how dare we accuse him of trying to steal a crumb from the empty plate!
And of course in Breck, we’d snuggle together and watch. That was a little trickier with just one couch and no recliner, but we made it work. Sometimes I’d sit on the floor with the dogs. I liked being in Breck with him because we had fewer digital distractions. He always made breakfast for us, and he would do the dishes while I walked the dogs in the morning.
Eric and I called Grey’s Anatomy “Grey’s Gaflooftica.” I don’t know how that started. He didn’t watch that show – I watched it by myself. A recent episode was about heart attacks, and I was thinking about that episode when I insisted we go to the ER. Even then, it seemed impossible he was having a heart attack, but I figured better safe than sorry. I guess neither of us really thought so since I drove him myself – but I’m pretty sure we got there faster than an ambulance, anyway, because we live so close to the hospital.
Years ago, I started watching Buffy – long after the series was finished. He said he wasn’t interested, but then he would stand at the second floor balcony (open floor plan) to watch a few minutes. He’d ask me what was going on, and I’d get annoyed because HONESTLY JUST WATCH IF YOU WANT TO KNOW. Soon enough, he caught up on his own, and we watched the show together.
On drives to the mountains, we’d alternate between chatting and listening to podcasts. We got some of our best talking done in the car, or on walks, although my favorites were when we lay in bed next to each other in the dark, sharing our secret thoughts, in precious moments of utter vulnerability. When we listened to podcasts, they were often political or historical (Dan Carlin was a favorite), and one of us would demand that we pause pretty regularly to hash out what had just been said. We also listened to “We’re Alive,” a radio play style podcast about a zombie apocalypse. All the gun fire and explosions were a bit much for me, but I listened to it because it was something we could both share together, with plenty of episodes. Then again, I have a tendency to falling asleep when listening to talk podcasts – the soothing voices lull me – and he would get annoyed at me for missing the whole thing. I used to listen to Tales from Lake Woebegone when I went to bed before him, and he joked (?) that I was asleep within five minutes. I also used to listen to Diane Rehm to fall asleep, feeling guilty because I really do think she did great work.
For quite a while, we would entertain each other by having complete (fake) “conversations” in Murloc. That’s a nonsense language “spoken” by creatures in World of Warcraft.
Of course, he did annoying things, too. He would pick Loki’s eye boogers and feed them back to him. Loki was fine with this. I objected. “That’s so gross!” “It’s just salt!” The dog were Absolutely Not allowed on the couch – yet Eric would encourage Cooper to put first one paw, then the other, on his lap until only Cooper’s hind toes touched the ground.
Eric was the Chief Dog Snuggler, while I was The Disciplinarian. But because he spent a lot of time on the floor with the dogs, he noticed lumps and other problems that I overlooked. Sometimes we’d declare “Puppy pile!” and all four snuggle on the floor. Eric would spoon Cooper, who would look at me with long-suffering eyes, but put up with it – and come back for more. I recently tried to spoon Cooper. I guess it wasn’t the same – he just got up and walked away.
When Eric went on business trips, there’d inevitably be one night when everyone went out and got drunk. At least, he did. Now that I think about it, this was more common when we were younger – he didn’t drink much at all in the last few years. Anyway, he would call me while out at a restaurant with all his co-workers, three sheets to the wind, and he would get all schmoopy and tell me how much he loved me. Sometimes he left voicemails like that. I wish I’d kept them.
He’d put out his arm and have Cooper put both front paws up so he was “standing.” Inevitably, this meant that any human who put their arms up in the slightest – like little children backing away – got jumped on. Eric was unrepentant.
Eric would prop Loki up so that he was in “sit pretty” mode, on his haunches with front paws up in the air, Eric’s legs behind him for support. Eric would insist “He’s practically balancing all by himself!”
Eric never brewed coffee at home. He’d go to Que’s (previously Vic’s) and get himself, and me, lattes. Karen and Rob know us very well. We often went to Le Peep for breakfast; sometimes on the weekends, when it was crowded, but sometimes on weekdays before work. Most everyone knew us there. We also ordered from Sakura probably once a week. He’d been eating there since before I met him, back in his early Maxtor days. Eric introduced me to sushi. The first time I ate it, I was not that thrilled – but then within a month, I got a craving to try it again.
Eric shoveled the snow in the morning, pretty much every time. I’m not sure if that was out of love for me (letting me sleep in), or out of the realization that I would happily drive through the snow and leave an icy trail on the driveway. It’s north facing, so that trail would last forever. Then again, when I DID shovel, he disapproved of my technique. That man once “corrected” the way I boiled water! He had a lot of opinions. He was usually right about the “best” way of doing something, but I didn’t like to be corrected, so I usually just kept doing whatever it was in whatever inefficient or dangerous way I’d been doing it already.