Offspring is in Afghanistan.
ME: How’s it going?
OFFSPRING: Pretty shitty day, actually. It’s raining, long shift… and I had to enact the River City protocol.
ME: What’s that?
OFFSPRING: Shut down internet. Because someone died. Someone I was literally just talking to.
ME: … I’m so sorry, hon.
(we talk about this for a while; him clearly still in shock and sleep-deprived, me gamely hiding my own tears of sympathy and relief that it wasn’t my boy)
ME: Wait a minute… if there’s no internet, how are you calling me?
OFFSPRING: Oh, it was on the other side. Plus… I’m on dirty internet.
OFFSPRING: ‘s technically illegal, but I ran it myself, in my own room, so it’s fine.
ME: … I love you, kid.
OFFSPRING: What’re they gonna do, right?
Husband is in Taiwan.
HIM: They took us out for dinner.
ME: (sleepily, I am 13 hours behind) Mmmh?
HIM: To a “traditional Chinese restaurant.”
ME: … Oh.
HIM: Yeah. The second course was some sort of tofu with a fish sauce.
ME: Oh honey… I’m sorry.
HIM: I didn’t know about the fish sauce until I took that first bite.
ME: (nodding) Because you’re in a place where fish is so ubiquitous they don’t even think of it as an ingredient.
HIM: So now not only do I not like tofu because of the texture—
ME: Okay, I keep telling you—
HIM: But now the last time I had it there was fish sauce and I got sick.
ME: … Right. But the texture thing: tofu has a lot of textures. There’s no one specific texture that’s “tofu.”
HIM: But that’s part of the problem!
ME: … (considers possibility that I’m actually still asleep)
Now, I’m not here to tell you that Alexander Hamilton is anything less than an exceptional conversationalist
But y’all know how I get.
Actually, this time I feel like I’m coping much better with Husband’s absence. It might be that my anxiety waves are too busy focusing on Offspring and the rockets currently aimed at him or it might be the lack of sleep brought on by sharing a bed with three pets who are bad at sharing—including one furry potato who continues to wake me up by slobbering on my face.
ME: (gets into car, buckles seat belt)
ME: (thumbs map app with one hand while reaching for seat controls with the other)
HIM: Can we go?
ME: (frostily) I thought I’d adjust the seat and mirrors here in the driveway, while the car’s stopped. And maybe pull up directions as well. You know, instead of trying to do it on the road.
HIM: (sighs, aggrieved) Fine.
ME: (adjusts seat, mirror) Would you rather just give me directions?
MY BRAIN: WHAT THE CAST IRON FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU WHY WOULD YOU EVEN OFFER HIM THAT OPTION??
ME: … K. (pulls out)
HIM: (watches backup camera, twitching)
MY BRAIN: THIS IS WHAT HE’S GOING TO BE LIKE THE WHOLE GODDAMNED WAY. YOU DID THIS TO US.
HIM: Left up here.
MY BRAIN: (rolls eyes)
ME: (swats at mosquito trapped in car)
HIM: This light is green, don’t stop here.
MY BRAIN: Did he just—
MY BRAIN: PUNCH HIM!
MY BRAIN: Now watch, he’ll lecture you about not stopping at green lights and which way to turn to get out of your neighborhood but WHERE IS HE WHEN YOU NEED TO KNOW WHICH RAMP TO TAKE, HUH?
ME: (nods) Which…?
HIM: … You want the left.
MY BRAIN: HURRY!
ME: (makes several very quick lane changes)
HIM: And you want to get over…
ME: (grits teeth)
MY BRAIN: Hold it together, girl…
HIM: This exit.
MY BRAIN: YOU MEAN THE ONE MARKED “AIRPORT”??
ME: Yep. I see.
HIM: (shifts impatiently, like he’s the faster driver)
ME: (enters airport, slows accordingly)
MY BRAIN: Almost there…
ME: (pulling up to Departures) Say when.
HIM: (gestures) All the way at the end.
ME: (continues on)
HIM: Stop. STOP!
MY BRAIN: WTF?
HIM: It’s right here!
MY BRAIN: So… not all the way at the end, then? THE SECOND ONE IS NOT “ALL THE WAY AT THE END”
ME: (clenches, pulls in)
HIM: (gets out, collects luggage)
MY BRAIN: (growls quietly)
HIM: (comes ‘round, kisses me goodbye)
MY BRAIN: You are so whipped.
ME: (smiling) Love you. Have a safe flight! Text me your info so I can watch, k?
HIM: Yup. (points) Pull forward to get out.
MY BRAIN: WE’VE DRIVEN TO THIS AIRPORT MORE TIMES THAN HE HAS!!
ME: (rolls up window) I’m never driving him again.
MY BRAIN: You said that last time.
ME: … This time I mean it.
MY BRAIN: YOU SAID THAT TIME BEFORE LAST!
ME: Shut up.
MY BRAIN: Pull forward to get out.
 Have I mentioned Husband’s allergy to all the fishes? Because he’s possibly the most unfortunate person I know in that regard.
 I have the same issue here in the Midwest, avoiding cow products.
 Personal theory: they work a lot like microwaves—which I also cannot explain. I haven’t actually tried to reheat a casserole with them, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Please try it and report back… unless your attempt generates more anxiety waves—then I don’t know what you’re talking about and take no responsibility for such an experiment.
 Never. The answer is, I never learn.