“Draw out his ideas to which you can gracefully add your footnotes from time to time.” Arlene Dahl, Always Ask a Man
Bill, my father-in-law, is now one of the main men in my life. Namely because he owns the house we’re staying in for the next six months. So I decided to try this one out on him.
Bill watches a lot of TV. That’s not unusual for a 60 year old bachelor in the middle of an upstate New York winter (last year for Christmas, we made him a wool snuggie, which he boasts is one of his favorite gifts ever). And the one thing he likes more than watching TV is talking about TV. He would often regale us with something he heard on the news or a funny bit he saw on a sitcom or a particularly gruesome episode of Criminal Minds, which is normally too horrifying for me, even the episode with Walton Goggins.
Thursday night we watched two episodes of Mystery at the Museum, and I asked him open-ended questions about other episodes, gracefully adding some notes about my own experiences with history (like the time Matthew and I visited the site of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre) when the opportunity present itself (they were showing a barber chair that Albert Anastasia of Murder, Inc was killed in). But mostly I let him fill me in, because the man is an absolute history buff.
Last night he gave me the choice between Cold Case and Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. I am a huge SVU fan and have been since college (even though it has been terrible the last four seasons, and I think they should have replaced Chris Meloni with Michael Chiklis) but I remembered my quest and gently said, “Whichever one you like best.” His logic was that Cold Case is only on one a week, so we watched that.
It was kind of nice. Since we’re living in his house, I want him to feel like we’re not just taking over his life, and I think letting him dictate what he wanted to watch was a good way to do that. Plus, I had never seen Mysteries of the Museum or Cold Case, and both were pretty awesome.