When myself and himself began going out together, my mother often said: “When they made you, they matched you.”
This might sound like a lovely romantic comment, but alas my mum was saying it in exasperation over our rather laid-back approach to time.
Ours was a long distance romance, I in Dublin and himself in Cork.
My mother was of the opinion we should be at the station with time to spare, while our approach involved, sweating in the car as we sat in traffic, parking in a hurry and racing, sometimes in vain, for the train.
I was reminded of her comment recently but it had nothing to do with trains.
I’d bought himself one of those fancy gadgets you put on your wrist which tells you how much exercise you do in a day. I’d not been too hopeful he’d like one but he made all the right noises on opening it.
“Wow! I love it,” he said in the exact tone he’d used opening a present containing socks.
Seven days later, his love for his gift had not led him to take it out of the box. Then one night we were with a friend who announced she too had one and proceeded to demonstrate all the amazing things it could do.
Himself was impressed, and I’d not the heart to tell him she was modelling the one that almost makes you breakfast, while I had bought him the basic model.
The following day he finally began to explore his new toy. As the rest of us relaxed watching television, he’d appear regularly to update us on how many steps he’d taken.
As he’s rarely inactive his 10,000-step target was reached fairly easily. Towards evening he finally sat for a while until his gadget buzzed.
“Oh look it’s excited about something,” he said, jumping up, only to discover it was suggesting he’d been sitting too long and might like to move.
It was right about then he fell out of love with his new toy.
“For goodness’ sake, this thing is an invasion of my privacy,” he said, “Who wants it?”
It was then my mother’s quote came back to me as we were indeed well matched… in competitiveness!
If it killed me I’d prove I walk more in a day than he does, so I suggested I’d take it the following morning.
As we tucked up that night he checked in and congratulated himself on how far he’d walked, while giving me a ‘you haven’t a hope’ look.
The following morning first thing he checked it yet again,
“I wonder does it know I’d had a bad sleep?
It didn’t, so muttering about how useless it was he passed it to me, both of us secretly thinking… game on.
Little did I know that once I’d put it on I’d go a little step crazy. As I went about my daily chores I delighted if I forgot something upstairs… more steps.
When I wasn’t walking I was checking how far I’d walked. By afternoon I was exhausted and beginning to realise yer man’s ridiculous record of almost 20,000 steps was unachievable, unless I stayed up all night.
Getting into bed, thousands of steps short, all hope of victory was over.
“Well?” he asked. “How many steps?”
“Not as many as you, you freak,” I graciously confessed.
“But maybe I’ll have a worse sleep?”
The stupid gadget must have been faulty because the following morning It said I too slept well, but I know without a doubt I definitely won the worst sleep.
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