It happened last Saturday night. I put the kids to bed, went back to our room, and turned on the TV. Christa was watching some old show - maybe Frasier, or The West Wing - on her iPad. Then, after 45 minutes, it happened.

The Conversation

"Wait, are you really watching this?" she asked me. "Uh, yeah..." I said. "I can't believe you're watching this," she said. "Have you seen this already?" I asked. Then, the betrayal. "Yeah, I saw it two years ago. I have it on Amazon," she said. "Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold on. You've known about Pitch Perfect for two years, and you never told me? You deprived me of this joy?"

There's no way around it. Sometimes the people closest to you let you down. Had she not known me since I was 17?

The History

She knew I'd been dragged to my three sisters' dance and singing performances since I was little. She knew about family road trips with those same sisters, in the pre-iTunes era, where we took turns choosing which cassette [Editor's note: a cassette is an ancient sonic output device] would play for the next 45 minutes. She knew my sisters annoyed me by choosing soundtracks of musicals. The Sound of Music. The Music Man. Les Miserables.

When it wasn't my turn, my only reprieve was my dad's selection: "I choose silence." That shows the desperation we faced, since the I-5 through the Central Valley is mighty bleak in silence. But Christa knows all this history. She knows that along the way, I fell in love with my musical captors, that occasionally I will cite those great musical works. Look down. The hills are alive! Don't judge. If you were me, would you do any differently?

Plus, she knows one of the reasons I support Liverpool F.C., aside from its glorious history, is its moving tradition of singing "You'll Never Walk Alone" from Carousel at the opening and closing of each game. #YNWA

And knowing all this, she didn't tell me about the musical wonder that is Pitch Perfect? I was shocked. I won't get those Pitch-Perfect-free years back, you know.

The Betrayal, Summarized

To make sure I have an easy way to remind Christa of her betrayal, I created a quick summary:

  • Topic: Injustice. If you love someone, like, say, your spouse, and you find something that person might like, justice demands that you share that something immediately.
  • Setting: Home. That it happened at home makes this betrayal all the more stunning.
  • Emotion: Cheated. I should have had that a cappella pleasure sooner, but I didn't.
  • Opponent: Friend. In this case, my opponent was not just any friend, but my dearest friend, my wife, my sweetheart.
  • Time: At Night. It happened in the evening, when I was least prepared.
  • Motive: Power. I was seeking that power we all feel when we find a new source of joy.

How it turned out

Fortunately, we talked it over, and we are putting the pieces back together. Trust has been restored, at least for now. The reason I mention all this to you is so you can see how easy it is to turn everyday events into some kind of story. It's not some abstract, complicated project.

Good luck writing!


Jon Perkins holds a B.A. from Stanford and a J.D. from Harvard. He has completed the Independent Educational Consultant Certificate Program through UCI Extension. Jon has been helping families through the college application process since 2011, and he still enjoys it. In his free time, he rides unicorns, surfs rainbows, and writes about himself in the third person.