• Wed, Sep 22 2010

The Heart Monitor: Sharing Calendars to Share Your Lives

On Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2010, a little after midnight, my boyfriend sat me down and asked me a question that I knew would change our relationship forever.

I would be lying to you if I said I saw this coming.

This wouldn’t have happened if he had shown up on time. He never would have suggested it and I wouldn’t have to make the decision. But, as it happened, he didn’t show up on time.

He was late.

“Where are you?” I texted.

There was no response. I called twice, but the call went right to a canned message regarding his deactivated voicemail.

I texted again, this time in all uppercase letters. “WHERE ARE YOU?”

No response.

I tried again. “Dinner’s getting cold. WHERE ARE YOU?”

My exhaustion and frustration was quickly distilling into the stabby sort of anger usually reserved for screaming babies on long flights.

The teriyaki tilapia was congealing on the stovetop. I wrestled a piece out of the pan, scooped some rice onto a plate, poured myself a pint glass of wine and sat alone at the kitchen table with my dinner.

I texted him again (“WTF WHERE ARE YOU?”), and again (“WTF CALL ME”), and again (“HATE YOUR NO VMAIL CALL ME BACK MOTHERFUCKER”).

No response.

By the time he came home, I had finished the entire pan of tilapia and all of the rice. I had also finished a magnum of white wine. If he wasn’t going to come home on time, I wasn’t going to save him any food. Just when I started to doze off,  I saw him tiptoe in through the front door. He came to an abrupt stop when he saw me spread out on the couch.

“Hi. I thought you would be sleeping,” he said sheepishly.

“I thought you would have texted,” I snapped. The apartment filled with rage and wine-breath.

He apologized. He walked over to the couch and kissed my forehead. I batted his head away and folded my arms against my chest. “I made dinner for you,” I said.

“I didn’t know,” he whispered. “My phone died.”

“I bought fish for you and I cooked it.”

“I’m sorry. My phone died.”

“Where were you?” I asked. I tried to keep an icy tone in my voice, but my hurt, needy whine betrayed me.

He sat down next to me on the couch and put his arm around my shoulders. “I had a late meeting and then I took my interns out for goodbye drinks. Then I had to run back to the office because that event coordinator I’m working with left her camera in the conference room.”

The wine was making me heartsick and sad. “Well why didn’t you call me?” I hated that I had to ask. Even worse, I hated that I had come home from work to cook dinner for someone who didn’t care about informing me that he wouldn’t be around for it.

“I’m sorry, babe. I meant to borrow someone’s phone, but I kept getting distracted.” He showed me the screen of his iPhone. It all sounded legitimate. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know you were making dinner. We never made plans. And then your messages, by the time I charged my cell phone back at the office, were really mean.”

“Excuse me?”

“Well, you went from asking where I was to cursing. I mean, how am I supposed to respond to that?”

My face grew red. “I only cursed because I was so frustrated!” But he was right. We hadn’t made plans. I just assumed he was coming home and I was cooking dinner.

“I have an idea,” he said, motioning for me to follow him into the bedroom. I sat next to him in front of the computer. “See, I can set it up so you can see my Google Calendar.”

I squinted at the screen. “Why would you want to show me your calendar?”

“Because, this way you’ll always know if I’m busy. And if you share with me, I’ll know if you were planning on making dinner. This way you won’t wait for me and I won’t upset you if I have other plans.”

I shook my head. This was all happening so fast.

“Listen, I love you. I want you to be happy. I was us to be happy! And if that means being more open about our schedules, then I want you to have full access to my Google Calendar. I want you to know about my appointments. I want you to know when I won’t be home.” He adjusted his weight onto one knee.

I stood up, bewildered. “This is all too much.”

He took my hand. “Baby, will you share Google Calendars with me?”

I was speechless.

“Well?” He squeezed my hand and kissed it. “Will you?”

TO BE CONTINUED …

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  • nolalola27

    Girl. Girl! Listen, your response was STRIKINGLY similar to what mine would’ve been. And while you’re able to admit that no, you didn’t have plans and yes, you got snarly after a long time of no contact when you had one plan and he didn’t, you got used to things being a certain way (usually, he comes home and you have dinner together). The cool thing is, though, his solution. He had an actual solution which snapped you out of the huff you’d gotten yourself into (which believe me, I’ve been there so many times), and he was like “OK, yeah, that sucked. Here’s a way to fix it.” And it’s actually really smart.

    Just keep private stuff off the calendar, and share stuff you need him to be aware of. That way you can be like “Dinner Wed @ 7″ and he can be like “Interns drinks, Thursday OK?” I like it. I may use it with my guy.

  • Emily

    That sounds like a perfect fight! I agree, I would have gotten just as upset as you did, and I hope my boyfriend would have responded just as nicely!

    Maybe we’re old-fashioned, but we use a paper calendar. When we moved in we figured we only needed one on the wall, so we chucked the other one and automatically shared the one that was left. I didn’t think of it as a big deal at the time, but you’re right, it is part of sharing a life.

    http://www.thestuckduck.blogspot.com