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the (really) little things

Recently, Tom and Cuz watched “Moonrise Kingdom” on cable. I overheard Tom complain to Cuz throughout the movie about how bad it was, and then heard him continue to complain after the movie was over, for two straight days. About a week later, while perusing the paper for a movie to watch on our date night, he shouted from the living room. “How about ‘Moonrise Kingdom?’ Let’s see that.”

Tom is a great lawyer. He can remember a lot of facts and law. I’m going to assume it’s that kind of income-producing info that is taking up all the brain space where a memory for non-work-related details might otherwise reside.

Like the name of almost every restaurant we have ever eaten at. He can’t remember the name of restaurants we have eaten at ten times or more. I feel bad that I get annoyed that he can’t remember a restaurant’s name to save his life, but I do. I feel worse because he knows I get annoyed and has to pretend like he remembers things, when he doesn’t. Like when I suggested we go to Piazza Italia for dinner last week. “Riiiiight, I love that restaurant. It’s the one on the corner of, um…you know, the one near the store with the…clothes.” Tom searched my face for clues but I wasn’t in the mood. He gulped and soldiered on. “Yeah. The restaurant where there were…all those…windows.” I felt like I was watching him drown in a pit of quicksand, and was alarmed to find myself enjoying the view. “It’s the restaurant we ate at on your 40th birthday, with 70 of our friends,” I snapped. Tom, lighting up from relief: “I love that place! Let’s go there!!”

Tom also cannot remember the name of any actress alive, no matter how hot he finds her. This is frustrating to me, because we have a subscription to US Weekly, which is essentially the Almanac of Hot Actresses. He pretends like he doesn’t read it, but you can bet your sweet ass he’s reaching for my US Weekly way before he cracks his own boring magazines. Anyway, my point is, he has no excuse. He can see the stars in the photos every week and there are always captions, and he should know their names. But he never does. I’m starting to wonder if he has that condition that prevents him from recognizing faces.

We landed on “Skyfall” for date night and afterwards, Tom commented on how hot the woman in it was, and how good that same woman had been in that Michael Mann movie about the gangsters, the title of which he could not, of course, recall. I blinked rapidly in an effort to hold back the annoyance I could feel rising behind my eyeballs. “Are you talking about…Marion Cotillard?” Tom nodded emphatically: “YES!” I took a deep breath and tried to think of something calm, like the ocean, and instead landed on 1) a spewing volcano, and 2) a raging forest fire. “Tom. You seriously think that half-Asian woman in that movie we just saw was Marion Cotillard—the white French actress?” Tom nodded, but was beginning to look unsure, and also like he wished he’d never talked at all. Don’t feel sorry for him. Feel sorry for ME.

Every time I have to correct Tom about some useless fact, it forces me to confront how much of my own precious brain space I am devoting to celebrity trivia. And then that makes me start wondering things like, what could I accomplish if I put down my US Weekly and picked up The Economist, and am I actually getting dumber with time? And then I just feel bad about myself. Can’t have that.

Anyway. You be the judge.

girl from skyfall

marion cotillard. neither of these photos were taken by me

23 Comments Post a comment
  1. omg…Moonrise Kingdom was AWESOME!
    just sayin’…tom is more clueless than YOU even know.
    good luck my friend. 😉

    November 27, 2012
    • it looked good. from afar.

      November 27, 2012
      • hmm…yoona, i hope my comment didn’t seem as snarky to you as it now does to me. tone is everything (or at least a lot) in communication and it now seems my original post was really bitchy. truly, aside from whatever part of Tom didn’t like Moonrise Kingdom, he seems like a keeper to me. just didn’t feel right about not clarifying that. thanks so much for all your wonderful posts. 🙂 gina

        November 28, 2012
      • oh no, i totally didn’t take it that way!! tom’s bad taste in movies has been a burden on me for years. he likes boring movies. i like superhero movies. it’s difficult

        November 28, 2012
  2. Haha, my husband is similar to this but replace restaurant name with our FRIEND’S NAMES! E.g. me: ‘oh I bumped in to Sarah today’, him: blank face ‘who’s Sarah?’ Cue, silent annoyance bubbling up inside me while I give fact after fact about how we know Sarah, each met with a blank face until finally the penny drops. And don’t suggest using their last names because that rarely helps!

    November 27, 2012
    • Tom does this as well. But not as embarrassing as our friend Ethan who never remembers when he’s met somebody, but insists that he hasn’t, to their face, which gets awkward

      November 27, 2012
  3. Dorothy #

    Imagine my surprise when my husband, a 52 year old structural engineer, knows every celebrity, who they are dating and/or sleeping with, and expresses opinion on their latest look. When and where the hell is he finding the time to be reading People and should I be worried?

    November 26, 2012
    • I think, dear Dorothy, that you should be grateful

      November 27, 2012
  4. Pooooor tom

    November 26, 2012
  5. Michelle #

    LOL, I feel your unbearable pain. I always tell my husband “you better pick me to be on your Trivial Pursuit team”

    November 26, 2012
    • yes. yes. although let’s be honest, I don’t really know the answers to the entertainment questions either because they are always like, “who played the lead role in the flying nun.” i’d like a trivial pursuit set that asks questions like “was gwyneth paltrow’s pink Ralph Lauren dress at the oscars A) one size too big, B) two sizes too big, C) two sizes too big and very ugly.” I would be very very good at that game

      November 26, 2012
  6. I think I’m married to Tom’s twin. My Tom (Andy) not only has problems recognizing people–like the admissions director of our kid’s school, but he tends to only look at someones hair–the thing that changes the most. You’d think our subscription of Entertainment Weekly would help, but no, all the brown haired actresses are interchangeable in his book. Shall we start a support group??

    November 26, 2012
    • this is very funny. very dangerous to use hair as the feature by which you identify people

      November 26, 2012
  7. Men have got no clues about a lot of things. Good post, love it!

    November 26, 2012
    • well they have lots of clues about some things, like sports scores from decades past. never know when you’ll need that info

      November 26, 2012
  8. I got into trouble recently for not realising that a beyonce and a rhianna were different things.

    you girls are odd, they sound the same (bad) look vaguely similar certainly as similar as the two examples you’ve given above. In my defence I don’t have access to celebrity gossip magazines as Mrs BC only buys them if we’re going on holiday but still, they are only for looking at the pictures in surely?

    As for restaurants, why isn’t that italian place we wen’t to that time a suitable description, then if we get there and it’s the wrong one or it’s bad we can play oh you meant that one.

    we’re not as dumb as we sometimes behave you know.


    November 26, 2012
    • i am deeply affronted on beyonce’s behalf. rihanna stresses me out. you can get any guy in the world! why go back to the loser who hit you, and cannot produce a song that does not
      suck (except for run it, which is admittedly catchy)?? ugh. my love for beyonce, btw, is a pale shadow of tom’s love for jay-z

      November 26, 2012
      • Not sure what a Jay Z either

        November 26, 2012
      • how old and British are you, exactly. is Mr. Bunnychow a fake identity for Prince Philip by chance

        November 26, 2012
      • I’m 31 going on 75

        November 29, 2012
  9. Lol, poor Tom. My boyfriend is almost as clueless when it comes to celebrity names.

    November 26, 2012

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