Colleen screaming at CalebI am married. Notice I left out the word, “happily.” I am not mean-spirited, bitter or remorseful about my marriage; I’m just telling you I’m not happy with my life as a husband. Now what I will tell you is my life could be worse… a lot worse. Imagine if you will living in a house that was asymmetrical, or having a wine stain on your new carpet, or, perish the thought, a house where everything was not in perfect order. Seriously, there are some people who have to deal with this every day. Fortunately, those complications will never ooze into my bloodstream. Thank God, because I am Caleb, mighty ruler of the obsessive compulsive disorder nation.

One evening, while I was synchronizing all of the timing devices in our house, my wife, Colleen, ran into the kitchen with an urgent message, but first, she had to make fun of my malady.

“What are you doing, Caleb?”

“You know what I’m doing. Why are you asking?” I snapped back

“O.k. let me rephrase that. Why are you doing what you’re doing?”

“You know I have to ensure that my watch is in synch with the clock on the microwave and the clock on the oven and so on and so forth.”

“Stop!!! Just stop, Caleb.” Colleen barked back. “If the clock on the microwave is two seconds slow I don’t think we’ll have to call FEMA. In other words, this is not a national emergency, so come in the living room cuz I got something to tell you.” She will never understand my compulsion, but I listen in a half-hearted manner as she drones on about something superfluous.

“Tomorrow we’re going to audition for a bit part in a movie. A few of my coworkers told me about this movie that’s being shot downtown and they’re looking for some extras. It’s tomorrow only, and we’re going. I don’t want to hear about your urgent need to alphabetize your card collection or how you need to line up the condiments in the refrigerator by nutritional value. We’re going to get out of this house and do something, for once, that I want to do.”

Oh, hell no. A movie!!! That means remembering reams of dialogue and ensuring I have the proper inflection in my voice. I also have to wear the right clothes, comb my hair a certain way and so many other things to make myself presentable. Anyway, I do need to alphabetize my card collection, but she’s crazy if she thinks I’m going to spend my weekend lining up the condiments in the refrigerator. Silly Colleen, I did that last weekend.

On the other hand, saying no to Colleen is usually a bad idea… a very bad idea. I’ll be lucky if she only sentences me to a dozen consecutive weekends of hard labor in the backyard. And if she really wanted to make my life a living hell, she would create a mess that would take years to clean up, but seriously, a movie. I have a plague festering in my soul, otherwise known as OCD, which prevents me from acting in a movie. I can be Bogart, Olivier, Gable, Hanks and Bradley Cooper all rolled into one and, in my mind, still be unhappy with my performance and demand another take. Either way my life is headed toward eternal damnation.


Will Caleb decide to be an extra in the movie?




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