A few months back, Gary discovered the TV show Chuck. A computer geek becomes an accidental spy with the help of a hot blonde female spy and a steel-jawed male spy. Romance and kickboxing ensue. Subway sandwiches kept it going for five seasons. Friend #3 recommended it when it first came out, but the pilot just didn't grab us. Reruns are on Amazon now.
I say Gary "discovered" it. No. He became obsessed with it. He raced through season one and got well into season two before I gave in to the relentless nagging and watched a bit of it. I liked it, but not obsessively. I watched a few episodes he said were "key," but I couldn't possibly keep up with Gary because I have a job.
After a few weeks, the binge neared its end. The series had to go into its last season and its final story arc. One day I came home and asked Gary how his day was, steeling myself for the recap of This Day In Chuck.
He sighed heavily. "It's awful. They've ruined Chuck. Ruined it. I have to stop watching."
"Seriously? What happened?"
"I can't tell you. I have to show you. Watch this episode with me."
So, spoilers, but the writers sabotage the relationship between the hot blonde female spy and Chuck to set up tension for the end of the series. I reminded Gary that it's a TV show and there would be a happy ending. And we kept watching the next few episodes and lo, there is muted happy ending. Gary teared up. A lot. I sniffled a little myself. Not as much as Gary.
Later that week, we were unpacking some fight we'd had, and Gary said, "It bothered me that you got so upset. I get upset and you don't, that's how we are. Our relationship is just like Chuck and Sarah's. That's why I like that show so much."
I just gaped at him (and not just because he somehow believes he gets to have all the emotions). He thinks we are the Chuck couple? Granted, he is a computer nerd, but I am not an ass-kicking hot blonde spy.
Then I started to think about it, and blonde spy Sarah is quieter than Chuck, unless she is saying one of these two things:
"Chuck, don't freak out" (calmly), or, "You got this, Chuck" (earnestly and encouragingly).
I stored that information away, and then of course I had to watch every episode of Chuck FOR MY MARRIAGE. Gary was already re-watching his favorite ones anyway.
So, now that I know how he views our relationship, things have become much easier.
When he clutches his head and moans because I'm complaining about something, I just say, "Chuck, don't freak out."
When he's cranky because, I don't know, the raccoons are opening the back gate then not shutting it, I grasp his shoulders, look him in the eye and say, earnestly, "Chuck, you've got this."
If there's ever a Chuck reunion, I insist that both characters gain eighty pounds and that Sarah is in therapy.