Anyone that knows me knows how I feel about Kentucky Basketball.
“I’ll get married when I meet someone that I love the way I love Kentucky Basketball.” I used to say it often, and I meant it. It really wasn’t hyperbole. I love it, man. I still do. And I love March. And, coincidentally, I love Chad. I love him so much that he lived to tell the tale of ruining the 2017 Elite 8 game against North Carolina.
A little context.
In August of last year, I noticed an unmistakable spot in the ceiling of our hall bath. It’d been raining for 40 days and 40 nights and we had a leak. Homeowners, man. This is what we’d signed up for, you know? There was no water on the floor, so it was new and the ceiling was absorbing the moisture (very bad), but that unmistakable brown ring let me know that death was coming for us. But when?
& 25 and a half days of March…
That’s the amount of time that passed before the sweet embrace of death came in the form of a downpour a mere 20 minutes before Kentucky and North Carolina would tip and vie for a spot in the Final Four.
That’s also how long my husband knew about this leak. He wasn’t NOT reminded about it, either. I would say, in passing, “That really needs to be looked at before it’s too late…” more than once over the course of those months. Chad may not remember it, but I certainly do. I’m a very proactive person, I could certainly caulk a leaky spot myself, but it’s the principle. My Dude had one job.
Being the garbage human that I am, I watched the first 10 or so minutes without him. 2 trips to Lowe’s later (you can never make just one), and I knew he would continue to be rushed, frustrated, pissed, and forgetful because he really wanted to watch the game. I started to feel super freakin’ guilty. So, I hit record and backed the DVR up to the exact moment of tip off. Thanks be to the God of Abraham for DVR, amrite? I turned my phone off and put it on charge and switched my Apple Watch to airplane mode. It was lock-down. If we go down, we go down together. Or something like that.
I found Chad in the garage after his second trip to Lowe’s and apparently, he had gotten the wrong size caulking gun, so a 3rd trip to Lowe’s was imminent. I hopped in the car with him, and we were on our way for trip numero tres. Luckily, even though we live in the sticks, we don’t actually live too far out of town, and Lowe’s is only a short drive from our house. IT SAID STANDARD SIZE, YOU WOULD THINK IT WOULD BE, YOU KNOW, THE STANDARD SIZE, he lamented. I put my hand on his arm and spoke softly, “Honey, it’s fine. You aren’t missing anything. We aren’t missing anything. We’re unplugged, the game is recording, it’s like it’s not even happening for us yet.” in that moment, I could feel the mood change and he loosened up, although still quite aggravated. However, it was going to be okay. I’m a REALLY, REALLY good wife, y’all. Like. The best. The best wife. Nobody wifes better than me.
I wish I could tell you this is where this story ends. I wish I could go on to say that the appropriate place was caulked and patched and we sat down to watch the game on DVR and Kentucky won and… and… and… Well, some of those things happened. The roof issue was resolved and we sat down, finally, to watch the game from the tip.
But, Chad didn’t turn his phone off. It was just on silent.
You see, my mother in law was traveling back to Kentucky from Kansas yesterday. So, she was on the road and he wasn’t comfortable turning his phone off in case she needed something. That part, I completely understand.
THE FACT THAT HE COULDN’T LEAVE THE DAMN THING ALONE IS THE PART I STILL DON’T GET.
We watched the first half without a hitch. I noticed him looking at his phone only a couple of times so I asked him what he was doing and he said, “Making sure Mom didn’t text.” COOL, MAN. ABSOLUTELY. NO PROBLEM. It was even kind of cool to fast forward through commercials! I knew the game was still going on, but I reiterated several times, how much I wanted to watch THE. WHOLE. THING.
THE WHOLE GAME. I WANTED TO WATCH THE WHOLE GAME. NO MATTER HOW IT ENDED!
After passing the point where I stopped watching, my reactions were genuine and we were both super into it. Halftime came and as I super-duper-fast forwarded, I glanced over and saw Chad looking at his phone. I saw his face.
“Honey. Do you want to know?”
NO, CHAD. I DO NOT WANT TO KNOW. BUT NOW I MOST CERTAINLY KNOW BECAUSE OF YOUR TONE, SO IT’S RUINED!
Is basically exactly what I said, minus the caps lock. I was actually really even, albeit very disappointed. He tried to retract it and kept saying, “Okay, nevermind. Okay.” while still looking at his phone. Finally, he said, “I think you will want to go live.” I mean, at that point, what in the thunder did it really matter? I already knew by his tone exactly what was going happening. The ending was completely ruined.
I went live during a replay of Luke Maye’s shot going in to put Carolina up 75-73. I missed the entire second half. I was stunned. My mouth hung open. Why in the actual snot had he told me to go live and been so insistent about it if THAT was what I was going to see? I didn’t understand.
I never yelled at him. I need you folks reading to understand how far that I’ve come as a human in that I never threw the months that we’d sat on that leak in his face (I covered it in this blog for comedic purposes and context), and I never yelled at him when we went live and there were .03 seconds left on the clock and absolutely no hope of Kentucky winning. I stood up, sighed, and said, “I really wanted to watch the second half.” and then stepped into the kitchen to get the stuff I needed to clean our bedroom and bathroom and left the room.
So, no, I didn’t yell. I just didn’t say anything, really. For about 2 solid hours. When the room and bathroom were clean, I shut the door and watched a movie and cuddled with Sadie, read social media, and marinated on how mad I was at my husband. I mean, I’d told him a million times (much like reminding him to fix the leaky roof) how much I didn’t want to know the results when the game was finished, how freakin’ hard was it to stay off your phone? Again, MY DUDE HAD ONE JOB.
Chad didn’t try to bother me. After almost 4 years together, he knows when it’s time and when it’s not, and he gave me my space. Eventually, I came out of the bedroom and found him lying on the couch. He waved at me and said, “Are you still mad?” No. “Do you love me again?” Yes. “You realize why I was so upset, right?” I asked and he responded yes, of course. He paused and I could see how upset he was, “I thought they had more time.” I looked at him, my eyebrows furrowed, “You thought….” He cut me off, “I forgot the alerts on my phone were delayed. I thought I was doing a good thing. I got the alert that we tied it and I thought we had more time and I thought you would want to see it. I thought I was doing a good thing. I thought we were either going to see us win, or at least watch overtime live. I really thought I was doing a good thing.”
My heart shattered. His little face. Y’all, I love my husband. I cannot stand for him to look pained or sad, it absolutely destroys me. I quickly realized that he didn’t even try to explain himself at the time because he was so aggravated with himself and he knew, in the moment, the reason probably wouldn’t even matter to me. I forgave him immediately. Honestly, I already had, I just wasn’t ready to talk about it.
For you folks who are in long-term relationships or married, you know that this story is the most real crap that ever happens when you live with someone. Sometimes marriage is leaky roofs and ruined Elite 8 games. It just is. And if you don’t love your person through it and learn to laugh, you’re gonna have problems way beyond a leaky roof and a white kid hitting a shot to go up 2 with .03 seconds left in regulation.
So, apparently, I love Chad Hughes the way I love Kentucky Basketball. Actually, I love him a gazillion times more.