My Husband, the Robot

I married a machine. By that I mean he's immune to the magic of Hollywood. Where others crumble into sniffling piles of snot tears, he is completely devoid of emotive responses. He laughs in comedies, he can do funny all day long, but crying? Forget about it.

We love movies, but have different ways of looking at them. My husband is cut and dry, black and white, and stoic (the man is German through and through). He doesn't like to talk things through, but listens well. And by "listens," I'm pretty sure he stares at me talk while going through game codes in his head.

I've learned to love and appreciate our differences, except for when we watch movies. He ruins the movie experience for me. We were dating when I discovered his emotional apathy in film. We watched The Patriot. Loved it. I cried the ugly cry at least 3 times. My husband sat there with his arm around me like a doting boyfriend should. Then we came to the part when Mel Gibson left his family to go to battle. The little daughter that hasn't uttered a word to him since their mother died began to sob and yelled, "Papa. Don't leave!" I was a goner. My heart broke. My tissues were long spent, so I used the corner of my sleeve to wipe tears and sadly, snot. I looked over at my husband and saw him shaking. A snicker escaped his lips. He turned to me and laughed.

At the time, I thought he was laughing at me. A strange metalic taste entered my mouth. My head felt hot and I saw red. I beat him stupid. When he came to and I asked him to explain his stupidity, he noted his ability to recognize when film makers try to yank an emotional response out of the audience. Cue sappy music, close up on actor's faces, moment of silence triggering in viewers that lump that inevitably leads to tears. My husband, the robot, had a point. I'm far less inclined to cry at little things when I have the cues spelled out to me.

When I sense his apathetic tenor in movies and realize they'll lead to laughter, I give him the "look," if I want to ride the directors emotional train. If he continues down the dark path, I beat him.

For example, we recently saw Avatar. We came to the part where (SPOILERS. STOP READING IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW. OR KEEP READING) Jake Sully returned after the humans destroyed the mother tree. He rode the prophetic Last Shadow creature into the crowd, commanding their respect and gave a speech meant to inspire and bring the avatar creatures together. It was quite a speech. I listened with fervor, nodding at every word. "Yes, Jake Sully. I am rallied, Jake Sully. I will follow you anywhere (read: anywhere), Jake Sully. Let's go get the bad guys! Yes! Yes!" My eyes watered and I sensed my husand's Hollywood anti-emotion radar beeping. I glanced at him through my 3D glasses. He was already too far gone. He'd entered the realm that conjures the beast. I can't tell you exactly what happened, but I found him on the floor of the stairwell with my fists clenched.*

On the drive home, I couldn't stop talking about how good the film was. "Everything about that movie was just awesome. The graphics? Beautiful. And did you think the aliens were hot? There was some undeniable attraction there. Were you turned on at all?"

He gave me the, "Uh, you're crazy" look. I'm quite familiar with it.

"Be quiet. You like my craziness. I keep your life interesting. Can you imagine how boring your existence would be without me?"

He nodded. "You are my paprika."

I ran a yellow light and felt his crazy look bore into the side of my face. Typically I drive like a grandmother. "Sorry," I exclaimed. "That movie just has me riled up."

And in a voice that would rival Ben Stein he said, "Let's go stick it the man."

*slight exaggaration. don't call the police. please


  1. My husband gives me the same look! He's never called me his paprika though, so I'll let him live another day.

  2. I thought the paprika comment was rather creative on his part. Most of the time I quip his comebacks for him. He was on top if that night. Literally.

  3. Ak! They've bred more?! I thought my husband was the last of a dying breed of apathetic, stoic men! To be honest, I love that. I think the world needs fewer delicate flower type guys. Give me a stony faced man over one with whom I have to share my Kleenex ANY day. I actually saw, not long ago, a class for men that focuses on teaching men how to act like men! It seems that mamas have been working overtime to drill fragility and sensitivity into little boys for so long that a new generation of guys (the ages of my twenty-something sons) have a hard time finding girls who are interested in them. Young twenty-something girls are rejecting sensitive guys more and more in favor of cavemen. And I love my caveman. He rawks. Even if he does make fun of me for bawling over Titanic the 700th time I watch it. : D

  4. Mine doesn't usually cry for the same reason. (He majored in theater production so he knows all of Hollywood's tricks) The only movie that had him weeping was 'BIG FISH'. I think I cried three times when I watched 'UP'. BTW - Avatar was awesome! My first 3D experience!

    This was a great post! Thanks for sharing, Paprika! :D

  5. Paprika! We have our own Spice Girl on the Erma page! You got the best choice. The rest of us are left with stuff like nutmeg or basil or, God forbid, cumin.

  6. I hear you! My husband never cries no matter how sad the movie.

    And things that make me laugh get no reaction from him. Oh well.

  7. Yep, my husband is the same way. In fact, when parts come up that are supposed to make you cry, he watches me instead of the movie just waiting for the water works to start. Then he shakes his head with that little smirk on his face...we only watch comedies together now :)


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