It isn't my fault. Things just stop working when I'm using them. In the past year, two cell phones and two digital cameras have just mysteriously died while in my hands. I didn't drop them, or slam them against anything, or drop crumbs on them, or even swing them too enthusiastically.
It wasn't my fault. It's never my fault.
Except for that one time when it was.
In the early days of living together, JP and I shared his desktop computer. I was working on my resume one day while he was at work. My mouse-clicking hand was busy, but I figured that I could just slide the sheet of paper out from behind my glass of water.
I gasped and snatched up the glass,
I stood there helplessly, holding the dripping keyboard in my hands. The water trickled to the floor, pooling at my feet.
My first thought?
My second thought?
Did I break it? No, I'm sure it isn't broken. I can fix it. I can fix it.
I blew on it.
I fanned it.
I took out the big guns.
Please note: that's a hairdryer, not a drill.
When it was finally dry, I brought the keyboard back to the computer table. I held my breath as I plugged it in.
I turned it off. I turned it back on again. I turned it off. I unplugged it. I plugged it back in. I turned it back on again.
Yet, despite my ninja computer repair skills, nothing.
It didn't work.
I spent the next few minutes worrying. I worried that I had been careless. I worried that I had broken something that we both needed. I worried that I always rolled my eyes at JP when he told me that I probably shouldn't eat or drink while using the computer. I worried that he was right.
Did I mention that it was still early days of living together?
And so, I made the mature, rational decision: avoid responsibility at all costs. Just pretend that it had spontaneously stopped working.
Great plan, right?
When JP walked in the door a few minutes later, I was there, hovering over him, giant smile plastered on my face.
him (eyeing me suspiciously): Ummmm...fine. How are you?
me: Oh great! Just great! Except that...ummmm...something weird happened today.
me: Well, I was using the computer this afternoon. And then - all of a sudden - the keyboard just stopped working. I have no idea why...
JP went over to the computer. He fiddled with it. He unplugged the keyboard and plugged it back in again. He pressed a few buttons.
him: Are you sure that...
me: What? I didn't do anything. It just broke. God.
me: Anyway, don't worry about it. We can get a new one. I saw some for under ten bucks at Big Box Store. They're much more futuristic. And aerodynamic. Honestly, that old keyboard was kind of lame and clunky. The new one will be much more us.
That night, we drove to Big Box Store and walked out hand-in-hand, a new keyboard tucked under JP's arm.
I breathed a sigh of relief. That had been close.
Except that I couldn't fall asleep that night. I tossed and turned, my stomach churning. The guilt and the lies weighed heavily upon me.
And that, friends, is what true love is all about.
The acceptance and forgiveness bit.
Not the dodging responsibility bit.
Just to clarify.