Not Everything Should Be Illuminated

There’s a fantastic episode of Modern Family where Phil’s wife, Claire, sees him on TV at a basketball game and calls him for fun, only to see him check the caller ID and send the call to voicemail. Ouch. How often do we get to see how our spouses relate to us when we’re not around?

This week, my wife went to hear a couple of literary lads speak. I read and enjoyed both of Jonathan Safran Foer’s novels. Everything Is Illuminated was funny and sad, while Extremely Loud and Incredibly Difficult Book Title To Remember made me cry… a lot… which wouldn’t have been so bad except I was reading it on a plane and I could tell the stewardess was getting nervous.

I’ve read a couple of short story collections by Etgar Keret. The Nimrod Flipout and Missing Kissinger were satisfyingly mental, sexy and disturbing.

Knowing that I would never have done the same, I sent my wife off with my copies of Safran Foer’s books on the off-chance that there would be a signing after the event. We hadn’t known that Keret was going to be there. She returned triumphant with both copies signed to me. I was thrilled.

For Daniel, with thanks, Jonathan Safran Foer

The next day we learned that the evening had been videoed by the Jerusalem Post. You can see the video report below. As you get to 35 seconds in, you will see my wife engaging Jonathan Safran Foer in small talk. She points out that I write my name and the date of purchase inside each book. Safran Foer makes some unheard comment and my wife rolls her eyes and says, “I know!”

It’s not something I should ever have seen but now I can’t stop. I’ve watched it over 40 times. I’ve watched it with my wife and I’ve watched it after she’s gone to bed. I’m compelled to watch those few seconds over and again.

Rolling her eyes, “I know!”

There’s no doubt in my mind. I’ve been dissed. By my wife. And the winner of the 2002 Guardian First Book Award.

My wife is mortified. I feel violated. And tickled.

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This entry was posted in Books, Etgar Keret, Jonathan Safran Foer, Modern Family, My Wife, TV and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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