My husband and I had been dating a few months when, left unsupervised in my apartment, he replaced my showerhead with one he claimed provided superior water pressure. That should have been a warning sign.
Unable to repair items that don’t work, my husband replaces those that do. he "upgraded" our blinds to automatic ones whose schedule is classified. They rise when I lower my pants, leaving me standing in stark relief, as my neighbor and his dog look on in horror. The blinds close around lunchtime. To get adequate light, I had to raise them using an app on my phone, until my husband installed LED bulbs so bright I need sunglasses. Beaming, he announced the bulbs would outlive us, which I said was a fool’s tradeoff for macular degeneration. The next day I came home to dimmer switches with levers so tiny they require tweezers to grasp. These little levers fall off constantly, forcing me to comb the carpet for them, muttering about my bad “mood lighting”.
Our automatic door lock, August, prematurely ejects the deadbolt as I enter and let the door go, denting the molding. The Ring motion detector doorbell live streams my derriere as I bend to pick up a package. Delighted, my husband added motion sensors in front of and inside the garage. Now, when anyone approaches the house, our smartwatches vibrate and ding themselves into a frenzy.
My least favorite “upgrade” is Alexa. She’s been vying for my husband’s affections since Day 1, after I was underwhelmed by her enumerating the contents of a package we’d already opened. When my husband told her to call me, she said I wasn’t in his contacts. It’s been downhill since. He talks to her more than to me. In bed, he says, “Alexa, turn off the bedroom light”, “Alexa, play my favorite songs,” and “Alexa, tell August to lock the door.” I don’t know if it’s solely Alexa’s doing or if August is in cahoots with her, but rarely is the door locked, requiring me to check it, just in time to trip over the Roomba on its nightly rounds.
I never should have mentioned my low bone density within earshot of Alexa. Someday, when I’m in the hospital with a broken hip, Alexa will tell August to lock the door, then she’ll dim the lights and play my husband’s favorite music. Helpless, all I’ll be able to do is raise and lower the blinds remotely from my phone, hoping it’ll trigger the motion sensor by the garage and cause my husband’s watch to vibrate madly on the hand I once took in marriage, back when all we had was love and a very powerful showerhead.