Friday, February 1, 2013

Mistakes Were Made

Last Saturday night, Kenz and I were watching television. Nothing out of the ordinary. She had a glass of wine, I had my water bottle. We'd just finished dinner and were settled in for a relaxing night in the house. The two of us were too tired to go out. 

After the movie finished, Kenz went to bed, and I brought my computer over from the desk. I wanted to check email as I watched an episode of TV before I went to bed. 

Within five minutes, I had spilled her (full) glass of red wine all over the keyboard of my computer. Panicking, I rushed to a rag, wiped the computer off, and held my breath, hoping that I hadn't ruined it. By the time I finished cleaning the rest of the spill, the keys on the right side of the keyboard had stopped working. By the time I had the computer backed up, the entire keyboard was unresponsive. 

It was late; I was frustrated, scared, and angry. Naturally, my first thought was, maybe I can blame this on Kenz - it was her glass of wine, after all...

Of course that's ludicrous. I know it is. However, whenever I make some big mistake I immediately see if I can pass off the responsibility to someone else. It's not noble; I'm not proud of it. Yet, it's still a reflex. I abandoned the idea and decided to retire for the night. I plugged the computer, hoping that it'd dry out overnight and I could fire it up in the morning as if nothing happened. 

Sunday morning, with a full charge, the computer wouldn't turn on. 

Now, here's the thing:

For years now, I've been giving McKenzie an unnecessarily hard time about breaking and/or losing things. My go-to, you should really take better care of your things, is usually said in a parental tone of voice. It's the worst. It'll often come out of my mouth before I even realize I've said it. I'm sure [read: HOPE] you can relate. 

I don't know if she does it often or that I do it seldom, but (in my own mind - take it with a grain of salt - I'm not the most reliable judge of my own habits/tendencies) I've always thought that she does it way more often than I do. I hardly ever lose things because I have a "home" for everything; I don't break stuff because I'm not clumsy (credit the video games?). Kenz, on the other hand, always seems to be losing items, and is most definitely the clumsiest person I've ever met. 

Of course, that's probably not true - or, at least, it has been exaggerated by my hyper sensitivity to the situation, borne from years of unsolicited focus on her "problem." As soon as she loses something, I automatically, unwillingly add it to the running mental tally of items she's lost in the past. I can't help myself. Honestly, I don't want to do it. It goes against my own advice: 

Don't keep score, because even if you're winning, you're losing. 

You get the idea; marriage is a partnership, not a competition. 

But, alas, I had done it; I had broken something. Something expensive. I woke Kenz with the bad news. Whereas I had scheduled an appointment with the computer store, I knew they wouldn't be able to fix it. 

[Side note: one problem with a city the size of London is the fact that, even though there are three Apple stores, I couldn't schedule an appointment for seven days.]

Kenz's first response: Well, that's one way to get a new computer. 

She landed the first blow: it was a right-handed jab, straight to the nose. She had heard me complaining about my computer's limitations from time to time over the past few months. I took the hit and cooked her breakfast. We decided to go to the Apple store and get a new computer. If they could fix my old one, I'd return the new one for a refund or sell the old one online. 

She sat there, eating quietly as I explained to her how it happened, how it was her red wine but not necessarily her fault (testing that line to see if it could grow legs; it didn't). After I finished my monologue, she looked me straight in the eye and said, with a smirk, "It's ok, David, accidents happen." Uppercut, laser accuracy. 

You see, about a month ago, Kenz left her gloves on the bus as we returned home one evening. She realized this out loud, so I had no choice but to chime in (right?). 

Me: You should really take better care of your things. 
Her: David, it was an accident. Accidents happen. I'm sorry. 
Me: No, it was a mistake
Her: Same difference. 
Me: Nu-uh. Mistakes are preventable; accidents happen. 

We argued about the semantic domains of these two words for too long. In fact, the argument was way worse than it should have been. It was entirely my fault, of course. 

Her breakfast table accidents happen response was not lost on either of us. I bit my lip, nodded my head, and got ready to leave the house. 

Just before we left, she landed the knockout punch: Do you see how well I'm taking this, David?

Of course I did. Honestly, it's one in a long list of reasons I married McKenzie. She's much more mature than I am. And she had every right to make her behavior explicit. Not that I needed the reminder; it was painfully obvious. 

The good thing about the situation is that it was a day where these comments were humorous for both of us. Thank god. I spent several days beating myself up about the accident, but it was nice that she diffused the situation with her own brand of humor. 

In the meantime, I've been using her computer. Using someone else's computer is like driving someone else's car. You don't know where all the dials are, it drives differently than you're used to, and you've got none of your own music for the ride. On the one hand, you're grateful to have the car, but on the other hand, it just reminds you of how much you miss your own. Hopefully I'll have my own at the beginning of the next week. 


I had entered a drawing for some tickets to go to the top floor of The Shard a few weeks ago. It's Europe's tallest building (at the moment), and has finally been completed. The entire building is glass, and Londoners are split on whether or not they like it. You can pay 36 pounds to ride the elevator to the top, look around, and use their digital telescopes. 

Being the type of person that never wins raffles, I wound up making other plans for the day of the viewing. Then I found out I won. I gave the tickets to Kenz; she took a friend from school. She said the elevator ride from the ground to the 76th floor only took 30 seconds and that she couldn't even tell that she was on an elevator.

In order to claim the tickets, however, I had to go to an entirely new part of town (for me). 

These historical markers are smattered throughout the city; this one is in front of the complex I travelled to. 
I couldn't really get a good picture of the business complex. Apologies for that. It's a collection of old industrial buildings that, from what I could tell, all used to house biscuit factories. Maybe I'm wrong. Either way, it was a pretty cool trip. 

The Biscuit Factory

Each building had a letter; I had to go to A.

 Random photo break:

Dogs on public transportation always bring a grin

Ads for the new apartments next door have finally emerged.

Theatrical Chandlers? 

I walk back from the gym in the mornings; this is Walworth road - the most delightfully ugly road in our neighborhood.

Known as 'the razor', the Strata is another polarizing building near us.
We made swordfish again. I've gone from never having it to eating it twice in two weeks. 

Kenz got me a bunch of hilarious sausages from Borough Market

We got to FaceTime with Kara and Jerry, but Jerry had to leave for work. This was his exit. 

I walked through Covent Garden early on a weekday which, as you'd expect, is a rough time for street performers... 

...but a great time for Tally Ho Tours.

 Kenz has joined a gym of her own. In prepping for her first day, she pulled out her water bottle. She realized how long it had been since she'd used it, and asked if I wanted any water "from our camping trip to Wales." 

This is the alley I walk down, at 5:45am, to get to CrossFit. That's the Shard in the background.
 On our way to the grocery store yesterday, we passed the Hare Krishna folks. They are such a delightful bunch, always chanting, dancing, and playing music. On a Saturday night, they'll be the head of a line about thirty people long, all doing the same chant. As we neared, Kenz said, "I bet we miss the Krishnas when we move." I agreed. 

Hey, remember when we had that leak? It's back! Hurrah! 

The rain has been coming down for two days now, at a much heavier pace than normal as well. We've had to put out a few items to catch the water. Here's to a landlord that puts off maintenance. 

And, finally, time draws nearer for a construction-free Saturday morning. I can't wait. 

Thanks for reading! Have a great weekend!