Hands on buzzers, people. What’s the exciting play-at-home game show of observation, memory and panic most couples have played, where one person is the unwitting contestant (or defendant) and the other person is host (or prosecutor) as well as being the game show board itself?
It’s called Notice Anything Different, Honey? Let me explain.
One year ago…
I see her smile. It’s sort of hanging frozen there below two raised and expectant eyebrows. She’s standing in the doorway trying to be casual, but she’s as subtle as a peacock.
I smile back strangely. I somehow know she’s not just greeting me fondly. I’m just beginning to get a clue, but I’m completely oblivious as to the mystery it may help solve.
She smiles bigger and her eyebrows go higher.
Ah ha! Now I can hear the tuneless tick-tocking theme music for the marital game show Notice Anything Different, Honey? even though she hasn’t said the words yet.
I don’t. I don’t notice anything different. Not one shred of difference noticed. My mind goes from drifting like an abandoned shopping cart to racing like a starship in hyperdrive, but all guidance systems are offline.
Focus! I try to be like Sherlock, with notes and labels mentally appearing all around her. Lines rapidly flash out, first from her head with labels like “Haircut…color…style?” then “Makeup…eyebrows…lashes…skin …fragrance?” Nothing! On to her body, “Shirt…pants…shoes…socks…jewelry…overall outfit?” This is all happening within miliseconds, but her game show host grin is beginning to wobble as my frown transforms from one of concentration to one of frustration.
She lets me off the hook, giving me the fail buzzer by saying, “Earrings!” and poses her hands all Vanna White around her ears.
DOH! I missed the jewerly check when doing the head analysis! [insert extended sad trombone sound effect] Wah wah wah wawawawawah!
Luckily, my wife rarely plays this guessing game and my consolation prizes for losing are always limited to a laugh and a playful spank. It never gets into the emotional napalm strike it can result in for some couples. Yikes.
One week ago…
I always know I need to do something about my beard when I look in the mirror and feel like I should strike up a conversation with it or register it to vote or something. My wife loves British period pieces, so I decided to time-travel with my razor and facescaped it into sideburns, a moustache and chin beard before dinner.
We all sat down to eat.
Then we finished dinner.
And then we did the dishes. No one commented at all. I was so amused I could barely keep a straight face. In the kitchen, I finally decided to press play on the Notice Anything Different, Honey? theme music by raising my eyebrows expectantly.
Her eyes were immediately alert and scanned me from head to toe and back up to…BLAM! She burst out laughing at herself and cradled my freshly Musketeered face in her hands. The cutie tried to backpeddal, saying something flattering about my eyes and how distracting they were. Chuckling, I called bullsh*t and insisted I’d earned a “free pass” on any future round of this thrilling couples’ guessing game. She sealed the deal with a kiss.
A Cheat Sheet for the Game Show
Some of you play a higher-stakes version of this game, where the consolation prizes are penalties like a chastity belt or couch exile. So I’ve provided a helpful tool to help you hone your skills.
You’re welcome and good luck!
Follow us on Facebook. We’ll never ask you if you notice anything different.
No tests here. Just all of the answers. (They’re incorrect answers, though.)