originals

Scenes From Your Nihilistic Domestic Existence

First Steps
 
SPOUSE: Wait, did the baby just walk?
 
YOU: What!
 
[YOU startle to attention, tearing your gaze away from your iPhone. As YOU try to get your bearings YOU ask yourself, How long have I been scrolling through my Facebook feed? YOU realize there is no way of knowing the answer to this question or any other question. Your Facebook feed is infinite; YOU could scroll forever and ever…or at least until YOU die.]
 
SPOUSE: Did she walk just now?
YOU: I…I don’t know.
 
[Silence]
 
SPOUSE: She was standing by the table last time I looked, but now she’s standing way over there.
 
YOU: Oh…well, she probably crawled.
 
SPOUSE: Yeah, of course. We would’ve noticed if she walked, right?
 
YOU: Totally!
 
[Silence as YOU and SPOUSE try to recreate in your minds the previous few minutes. YOU consider your Facebook feed again. There was that person YOU kind of know smiling in front of a giant lobster statue. And your acquaintance from high school seemed to be having a good time at swimming pool. All your SPOUSE can remember is House Hunters. Why are the people on there always so awful? What happened to the people who used to live in the houses they are hunting? Did they die there?]
 
YOU: I guess?
 
[Silence]
 
SPOUSE: Want to get tacos for dinner?
 
YOU: Sure.
 
Memories
 
[At a restaurant on date night]
 
SPOUSE [Sees newborn baby at next table]: Aww! Do you remember when ours was that little?
YOU: No.
 
SPOUSE: Neither do I.
 
YOU: It was like seven months ago.
 
SPOUSE: Really?!? It’s only been seven months?
 
YOU: Yeah, I think…wait, no, nine months, but still…
 
SPOUSE: Yes.
 
YOU: Yes.
 
[YOU and SPOUSE sit in silence, eating chips and guacamole, perusing the menu aimlessly while feeling kind of sad for some reason. YOU think, What’s the point of all this if I don’t remember anything? Like, anything! YOU sigh.]
 
SPOUSE: What are you going to have?
 
YOU: Probably tacos.
 
The Survey
 
[10:30 p.m. on a Tuesday night. YOU and SPOUSE are seated side by side on your couch with your feet on the ottoman. You are both scrolling through Facebook on your phones while House Hunters International plays on the TV in the background. The children are asleep.]
 
YOU: I just took this Starbucks survey and it asked if the store I visited took coffee more seriously than other stores.
 
SPOUSE [slightly startled by the sound of a human voice]: What did you put?
 
YOU: I thought about it for like fifteen minutes then left it blank.
 
SPOUSE: Sounds right.
 
YOU: There was no I don’t know option.
 
SPOUSE: That’s dumb.
 
YOU: Yeah.
 
SPOUSE: Yeah.
 
YOU: Is it too late to get tacos?
 
 
 
 
 
The Meme
 
[10:30 p.m. on a Wednesday night. YOU and SPOUSE are seated side by side on your couch with your feet on the ottoman. You are both scrolling through Facebook on your phones while Love It or List It plays on the TV in the background. The children are asleep.]
 
SPOUSE: Did you see this meme about Trump?
 
YOU [slightly startled by the sound of a human voice]: What?
 
SPOUSE: This meme…did you see it?
 
[SPOUSE offers phone for viewing of meme]
 
YOU: Oh yeah, no.
 
SPOUSE: What does that mean?
 
YOU: Oh, sorry. I meant, oh yeah, now I see what you’re talking about, but no, I didn’t see it.
 
SPOUSE: OK.
 
YOU: That’s a good one. Very enjoyable.
 
[Silence]
 
YOU: Did you hear about North Korea?
 
SPOUSE: Oh no. What now? Nukes?
 
YOU: Yeah, probably.
 
SPOUSE: Well, we had a good run.
 
YOU: Is the baby up?
 
SPOUSE: Probably.
 
YOU: I’ll get her. See you in a couple hours.
 
SPOUSE: Good night.
 
YOU: Good night.
 
The Laundry Basket
 
[8:15 a.m. on a Friday morning. YOU are alone in your bedroom, searching. Searching for something tangible to hold onto as waves of apathy and vague anxiety crash against you. YOU are also searching for matching socks for your children. YOU have searched through this laundry basket piled high with clean clothes for the past three mornings in search of socks. Each day, the search takes a few minutes longer. Perhaps it would be more efficient to fold and put away the clothes, but who’s to say? Anyway, it’s not like YOU don’t have a few minutes to spare. Your children are watching Paw Patrol in the other room. All you hear as you shuffle the clothes around the basket is silence and the peppy urgings of Ryder to yelp for help. YOU will not yelp for help. YOU have this under control. YOU find two socks that seem to match. They are not the same size. YOU continue the search.]
 
These Precious Moments
 
[YOU, SPOUSE, CHILD #1, and CHILD #2 are enjoying quality time together playing with board games and assorted pieces of toys. Everything is going well until YOU make the mistake of placing a toy tea cup on your head as if it were a hat.]
 
CHILD #1: Hahahahaha.
 
CHILD #2: Hahahahaha.
 
[YOU take the cup off your head.]
 
CHILD #1: Put it back on!
 
CHILD #2: Put it back! Put it back!
 
[YOU spend the next 37 minutes putting the cup onto your head and taking it off again.]
 
SPOUSE: We will miss these moments when they are grown up.
 
YOU: Yeah, probably. But now it kind of feels boring, right?
 
SPOUSE: Yeah.
 
[Silence]
 
YOU: Well, whatever we do when they’re grow up will probably feel more boring.
 
SPOUSE: Or at least as boring.
 
YOU: Yeah.
 
SPOUSE: In the mood for tacos?
 
YOU: Yes.


Written by Andrew Knott

Andrew Knott

Andrew is a writer from Orlando whose work has appeared on McSweeney’s, Cafe.com, Robot Butt, The Higgs Weldon, Parent.co, Scary Mommy, Mock Mom, and HuffPost. His first book, Fatherhood: Dispatches From the Early Years, is available now. For more, visit his website and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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