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the formula

October 4, 2011

After 11 years of marriage Ali and I have our Friday nights down to a science:

  1. He opens up the DirecTV app.
  2. We scan the list of movies.
  3. We discuss why we shouldn’t watch each one.
  4. We reluctantly agree on one.
  5. Ali declares it’s 8:30 pm and thus it’s too late to start a movie.
  6. We both sigh with relief that the charade is over.
  7. I pull out a book and turn on HGTV for background noise.
  8. Ali surrounds himself with his laptop/iPhone/iPad/Blackberry.
  9. I fall asleep at 9:30 pm, a half-eaten bag of chocolate chips by my side.
  10. Ali wakes me up and tells me to go to bed.

I know you want to feel sorry for me, but please don’t because the formula works. Or it does until Ali tries to mess with the formula, which he did after a rare dinner out this past Friday night.

Ali: “Do you want to walk into the Microsoft store?”

Me: “No.”

Ali: “Why not?”

Me: “Do you really have to ask that?”

Ali: “This is my business you know. This is what I DO. You need to understand it.”


Seeing as “supportive” is my middle name, I grabbed Maya’s hand and we dragged each other into the empty Microsoft store where we looked at things like laptops. And tablets. And loads of cardboard software boxes.

Me:My God, I just want to be on the couch with my chocolate chips. Can you tell me why we’re here on a Friday night looking at duplicates of everything we already have lying around our living room?”

Ali: {silence}

The moral of the story is: I’m always right. And the formula should not be messed with. And did I mention I’m always right?

132 Comments leave one →
  1. October 4, 2011 12:23 am

    Ha ha your posts always leave me smiling. I’m totally with you: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”! I know you went to a Microsoft store but I have NEVER understood the thrill so many people get out of spending hours in the Apple store…play with your computer @ home!!

    • October 4, 2011 2:17 pm

      I don’t get the appeal of the Apple store at all…are people looking? Are they buying? Are they just killing time? I have no idea.

  2. October 4, 2011 1:03 am

    That’s soo funny 🙂

  3. October 4, 2011 1:22 am

    11 years – WOW.
    formula – that sounds familiar and it has been only 6 for us.


  4. October 4, 2011 2:48 am

    Your movie watching routine sounds strangely familiar to ours. I joined this movie watching DVD thing where the video comes in the mail. I ordered a DVD. That DVD has been sitting here for a whole freaking month. Yesterday I called to cancel my subscription. If its not some stupid action boy movie, I just can’t get Mr P to watch it. That peed me off. Mr P will pay … must search through my wish list to see how much it will cost him.
    *kisses* HH

    • October 4, 2011 2:19 pm

      I want to know what’s on your wish list…please share!

  5. October 4, 2011 3:30 am

    hahah seems like Ali is obsessed with anything that can compute… and runs on some power source……I work in the computer industry and I dont want to see more computers at night that too on a friday ….. sigh 😀 i feel you 😀

    • October 4, 2011 2:19 pm

      He doesn’t get sick of it! It’s really quite impressive.

  6. October 4, 2011 3:32 am

    Sounds like my Friday night routine too. I love falling asleep on the couch. Does that make me weird? I already know I’m always right at my house. 😉

    • October 4, 2011 2:20 pm

      I love falling asleep on the couch too…it feels so indulgent somehow.

  7. October 4, 2011 3:54 am

    You bring this HUGE smile to my face with each post … H.U.G.E.! It always strikes the right chord! You go girl!

  8. October 4, 2011 4:00 am

    I’m currently teaching the guy I’m “dating” or whatever that I’m always right. Always being right is such a burden, but someone has to do it, agreed?

    So far he is yet to prove me wrong.

  9. October 4, 2011 4:14 am

    haha, this is awesome.

    • October 4, 2011 2:21 pm

      Thank you UglyFood…love your name by the way. You should see some of the ugly stuff I eat.

  10. October 4, 2011 4:57 am

    ha – i always say i can’t go into the movie theaters after 9 – i would totally fall asleep in there. dark room after 9 pm = eyes immediately shut.

    • October 4, 2011 2:21 pm

      Ditto. That’s why we don’t even both to discuss a movie in the theater!

  11. October 4, 2011 4:57 am

    This is hilarious! Thanks for sharing.

  12. October 4, 2011 5:08 am

    Could not agree with you more. We have a system to our Friday evenings and it works for us! Rent a DVD-> Food (not cooked by me..very important)-> Sleep. Its simple!

    • October 4, 2011 2:22 pm

      Sometimes I get sucked into cooking because it seems easier than going out to pick something up. It’s a tricky one…

  13. October 4, 2011 5:11 am

    he he he .. offcourse you are always right 🙂

  14. October 4, 2011 6:09 am

    I told Brandon that the key isn’t so much me being right, as him just making me at least think I’m right. Then he’s free to say whatever he wants to his friends after the fact.
    As if he’d ever speak poorly of me… ha.

  15. October 4, 2011 6:14 am

    Patience is not easy. Ralph used to not into technology. He refers to himself as a dinosaur in that regard. However…he bought a mini computer, which I use, now he’s obsessed with catalogs, Cyberguys, Cybergeeks, etc. He buys things and then thinks I should use them with “His” computer. Makes me a little crazy! We love them anyway.

    • October 4, 2011 2:24 pm

      Ali always wants me to look at something on his computer as well! I guess it’s like us trying to show them what we bought at the mall?

  16. October 4, 2011 6:32 am

    Nice! I like that you have your routine down pat. Maybe that was Ali’s unsuccessful attempt at spontaneity. =D

    • October 4, 2011 2:25 pm

      Spontaneity has no place in our relationship! He knows better. 🙂

  17. October 4, 2011 6:32 am

    oh Ali! Doesn’t he know after 11 years to not mess with the formula!

  18. October 4, 2011 6:34 am

    Hahaha! I love that he said, “this is what I DO.” So cute! I can’t wait for mine and Vishnu’s Friday night routines to start (which will most likely involve studying for him and a good book for me). 🙂

    • October 4, 2011 2:26 pm

      You have to be married for a while to justify a dull Friday night routine!! Save yourself my friend.

  19. October 4, 2011 6:47 am

    1. I did not know there was such a thing as a Microsoft store.

    2. You should probably just start carrying chocolate chips in your purse.

    3. Why are they so much more fun to eat than normal chocolate bars?

    • October 4, 2011 2:27 pm

      1. There shouldn’t be something like a Microsoft store.

      2. That would be dangerous.

      3. Because you can keep eating them and it doesn’t seem like you are eating as much as you would with a chocolate bar!

  20. October 4, 2011 6:53 am

    Haha… owww Ameena I feel for you, only in my case was (not anymore) usually Home Depot or Lowe’s.

    Tell Ali next time he nags you the thing I told my husband (& my kids) long time ago, that if I’m happy then they all will be happy, not (never) the other way around.

    He will learn eventually. It’s worth the try, though it will need some persistent & more reminders in your part. Good luck 🙂

    • October 4, 2011 2:28 pm

      I’d pick the Microsoft store over Home Depot or Lowe’s…I feel for you my friend.

  21. October 4, 2011 6:57 am

    haha.. i think i would be thinking in my head, omg, we’re hanging out at Microsoft on a Friday night? but you guys have been married 11 years, mine is going on 3, hence why i probably think that way (shallow). 🙂

    As soon as I saw you had a new post on my blog, it was the first link I clicked. I love your posts.

  22. October 4, 2011 7:12 am

    That sounds exactly like my parents. Except its usually my dad that falls asleep, and instead of chocolate chips its a nintendo ds. It does work, they’ve been married forever.

    • October 4, 2011 2:30 pm

      Wait, your dad plays the Nintendo DS? I don’t think my dad has ever utilized a gaming device.

  23. October 4, 2011 7:27 am

    lmao…SO MY TWIN!!
    Sub in Netflix, a bowl of ice cream and Travis…you’ve got me!
    Why do we think that 8:30 is too late to start a movie?? It is though.

    • October 4, 2011 2:31 pm

      I’m so glad someone else understands this formula!!

  24. October 4, 2011 7:55 am

    This is frightening. Why? Because it is *exactly* what my hubby and I do. We go over the list of movies, and decide all of them suck and end up picking one that is under 90 minutes so we can start it (since it’s far too late for a long one). Or we bag it altogether and I watch HGTV with my Kindle while Zach plays on his iPad.

    Swap Microsoft for the Apple store on University in Palo Alto and we have the same lives.

    • October 4, 2011 2:31 pm

      Ali has a thing against Apple…he’ll buy their products but will not support them by going into the store. There is no rhyme or reason.

  25. October 4, 2011 9:03 am

    Your usual Friday night sounds super exciting….kinda like ours…Movie, playstation, HGTV. But hey, I’m getting old what can I say? I’d be very annoyed at going to look at computers on my Friday night. With us it would’ve been the apple store. Same difference if you are just not interested.

    • October 4, 2011 2:32 pm

      Ali doesn’t like the Apple store…it makes no sense?

  26. October 4, 2011 9:15 am

    The saddest part is what this says about the movies that are made these days. We do the same thing. Then Hubby will scroll through all the channels several times before stating that there’s nothing but junk on (which we already knew). Books on a Friday night; perfect. Microsoft store; not so much so.

    • October 4, 2011 2:33 pm

      There is never anything on TV so I thank my lucky stars that someone invented the DVR!

  27. October 4, 2011 9:15 am

    Remind me why I am trying so hard to get married……I foresee myself watching one too many football games I am not interested in…

    • October 4, 2011 2:35 pm

      i don’t know…why are you trying so hard to get married? Enjoy the single life…it’s too late for the rest of us.

  28. October 4, 2011 9:26 am

    I haven’t seen a movie in months, I don’t think a good movie has been made in years. I am LOVING Dexter though, we get in on Netflix and it is oddly addicting.

    We have an Apple store at our mall and it is my kids favorite store ever and my worst nightmare.

    • October 4, 2011 2:35 pm

      It is my worst nightmare as well. At least the MS store is empty but the Apple store is chaotic 24/7.

  29. Tandra permalink
    October 4, 2011 9:36 am

    This sounds so universal…and true :-)…well said Ameena…

  30. Cindy permalink
    October 4, 2011 9:44 am

    I would love the movie watching part but either he tries to start them before JJ is in bed (hence I can’t just sit and watch it) or two he waits until I can barely keep my eyes open and says…”were we still watching a movie?”

    good night.


    • October 4, 2011 2:37 pm

      Maya’s bedtime is partially to blame because we never watch TV around her and by the time she’s off to bed it’s too late to get started on a 2 hour movie! You totally get it!

  31. October 4, 2011 9:56 am

    Hah! You and your chocolate chips. I wonder how Maya would have described the evening!

    • October 4, 2011 2:37 pm

      She had zero interest in the MS store…if that tells you anything!

  32. October 4, 2011 10:34 am

    I’m usually asleep between 8:30 and 9 on Friday nights 🙂 I don’t keep chocolate chips in the house, though, because they would get eaten all week long, not just Friday night!

    • October 4, 2011 2:38 pm

      I remedy this problem by buying multiple bags of chocolate chips. It’s a problem for me.

  33. October 4, 2011 11:10 am

    I didn’t even know they HAD Microsoft stores! And I’m with you completely- lying on the couch with a bag of chocolate chips sounds far far far better than lingering at the Microsoft Store- and like Khushboo I fail to understand the appeal of spending hours in electronic stores playing with the gadgets.

    • October 4, 2011 7:48 pm

      The Microsoft store is a new thing I think…the one near us just opened up. And I think even Ali secretly doesn’t understand the purpose of it!

  34. October 4, 2011 11:25 am

    We don’t even pretend to watch a movie. We usually watch old television shows that we missed the first time around… like Mad Men (amazing!)

    • October 4, 2011 7:49 pm

      I think Ali and I are the only two people who haven’t jumped on the Mad Men bandwagon…

  35. October 4, 2011 11:32 am

    The husband of mine is also a computer guy, and the stuff he talks about makes me wonder why we are married in the first place 😉 Kidding, kind of. Going to the tech section of stores thrills him and I can’t wait to get the shizz out of there!!!

    • October 4, 2011 7:50 pm

      I couldn’t wait to get the shizz out of the MS store…I feel you.

  36. October 4, 2011 11:32 am

    I LIKE routines, maybe that should be LOVE.

  37. October 4, 2011 11:56 am

    You (we) are always right. Undeniably 😀 Ali & Tarun sounds like long-long buddies. They share the same interest in technology. Way too much.

  38. October 4, 2011 11:57 am

    That’s a lot of half eaten chocolate chip bags hanging around. Means chocolate chip pancakes saturday morning…another tradition?
    Friday nights are so exhausting…Don’t know why but after I hit 25 I pretty much want a wine and words and music time those evenings. But every time I have a gathering on a friday I love it. Gets the action front and center, out of the way, and the rest of the weekend free for strolling around with no plans at all…and falling back on the same old same old.

    Now…you can switch stuff up on him this friday and take those chocolate chips mobile…with the laptop to watch a movie in bed? How to train your Dragon is auperb I hear

    • October 4, 2011 7:53 pm

      “Gets the action front and center, out of the way…” Well said! I never thought of it like that.

  39. October 4, 2011 12:44 pm

    change it to Apple Store and there’s my life…

  40. caloricandcrazy permalink
    October 4, 2011 3:23 pm

    This post is so true and funny!
    My family thinks it’s too early to start a movie anytime before 9pm, so we’re all on our laptops/computers up until then 😛

    • October 4, 2011 7:54 pm

      I’m already dozing off my 8:55 pm. I fear your famliy would find us VERY boring.

  41. October 4, 2011 4:39 pm

    How funny! 830 is the magic moment in time at our house also. I hate that my husband deems it too late to start a movie then. Um, we are in our 30s…the night is still young! Sigh.

  42. October 4, 2011 4:53 pm

    I wonder if there is a Mac Store wallpaper you can use to plaster all over Ali’s Closet… that way he will not bother you/couch/chips.

    • October 4, 2011 7:55 pm

      Misery loves company…he’ll find a way to bother me no matter what.

  43. October 4, 2011 6:12 pm

    The main Microsoft store on the Redmond campus sells fancy chocolate truffles. Why mess with computers when you can buy chocolate? And yes, I know this from having spent many an afternoon wandering that store with a puzzled look on my face 🙂

    • October 4, 2011 7:57 pm

      Chocolate > Computers…always. I’m still confused about why you were at the MS store on the Redmond campus?

  44. October 4, 2011 6:57 pm

    The formula is brilliant. I love it. And the HGTV? Why is House hunters so addicting???

    • October 4, 2011 7:57 pm

      Because it gives us a little reprieve from our boring little lives…

  45. October 4, 2011 6:58 pm


    I’m with you, Sistah, Yes. You. Are. Always. Right. xx

  46. October 4, 2011 10:00 pm

    How come the part of the Friday formula that jumped out at me was the part about sitting on the couch with the bag of chocolate chips? No need to respond 🙂

    • October 5, 2011 2:14 pm

      Because the bag of chocolate chips is the highlight! Of course!

  47. October 5, 2011 12:30 am

    I am not even married yet. Soon… so soon… yet the Spaniard and I have our own stay in, couch sitting with technology routine. Is this bad? Should we be out partying with the rest of the Madrilenos? You know, enjoying being young and without children. My vote – absolutely not! Enjoyment for me is that very couch with technology in hand. No shame here.

    p.s. I’m adding your chocolate to my routine. But not in the form of chips 😦 They don’t exist in Spain. Ridiculous.

    • October 5, 2011 2:16 pm

      I will say that before Ali and I were married we were out and about every Friday night. We still had a social life after we got married but it tapered away…and when Maya made her appearance she totally kicked our teetering social life to the curb. Kids will do that.

  48. October 5, 2011 4:26 am

    Hahaha, I love this! You’re totally right! 😉 And you should write a book on this: How to have a happy marriage by a simple formula. Okay, maybe it won’t fill a book. But you could publish it as a paper in Science magazine! The world needs this. 😀

    • October 5, 2011 2:17 pm

      I’m writing a query letter as soon I as write this reply… 🙂

  49. October 5, 2011 5:37 am

    Hey, there’s something comforting about routine, even if it is a bit unconventional!

  50. October 5, 2011 7:15 am

    Hi there! I recently discovered your blog from a comment you left at Eden Eats Everything and I can’t stop reading! Your sense of humor / sarcasm makes my day! And it’s comforting to know that I’m not the only one with a husband who is obsessed with his computer, blackberry, regular cell phone, etc!

    • October 5, 2011 2:14 pm

      I’m so glad I could make you laugh and thank you Brooklyn for making my day! (PS: love your name!).

  51. October 5, 2011 9:48 am

    Our Friday nights (and most nights) are much the same…although usually Husband passes out in the Lazy Boy (which I call the old man nursing home chair) by 8:30, leaving me to enjoy the peace and quiet.

    • October 5, 2011 2:18 pm

      8:30 seems to be the magical time for the husbands…I wonder why?

  52. Leslie permalink
    October 5, 2011 1:41 pm

    Wow, it’s great that you and Ali have the same circadian rhythms. I think it must be tough if the wife’s an early riser and the hub is up until midnight.

    I’m a total night owl, even when I had to get up at 530 am everyday. 830 pm too late for a movie? Never for me. 11 pm is too late to start a movie at Palazzo Leslie.

    Glad you two found a good rhythm!

    • October 5, 2011 2:19 pm

      Ali and I are lucky to be on the same schedule for sure. More importantly, he and I actually found something we could agree on!

  53. October 5, 2011 3:58 pm

    Hubby and I have not watched a movie in the longest time. Sometimes staring at our own laptops is less stressful than trying to watch a movie over two screaming holy terrors.

    • October 6, 2011 3:36 pm

      Staring at your own laptop is less stressful than…everything.

  54. October 5, 2011 5:19 pm

    Oh Ameena, Steve Jobs just died…:’-( I’ll bet Ali already knows though.
    Personally, I would rather visit an Apple store than a Microsoft one.

    p.s. How is 8:30 p.m. too late? Ee!

    • October 6, 2011 3:37 pm

      If I had to choose I’d probably want to visit the Apple store instead too, just because there are actually people in there!

  55. October 5, 2011 7:08 pm

    Oh boy, this is Shaune and me to a T. Minus all the electronics. I can’t remember the last time we ended up watching a movie. It happens exactly like this, we FINALLY agree on something and he mentions that he’s no longer in the mood to sit through a movie. Relieved I take my book upstairs, turn the tv on and read. The funny thing is, he calls me at work almost every Friday and asks excitedly what I want to do that night.

    • October 6, 2011 3:37 pm

      I had to laugh at your last sentence. It’s like they don’t know how the night’s going to end? Is it just selective thinking or ignorance?

  56. October 5, 2011 9:39 pm

    Hahahah!! Now this spoke to me. We have a similar friday night ritual where we discuss movies, but realize at like 11pm its too late!! LOL!

    I love it. Poor Ali never defends himself on here 😉 hahaha


    • October 6, 2011 3:38 pm

      He tries to defend himself but I think he knows his efforts are futile.

  57. Erika permalink
    October 6, 2011 12:59 am

    What happened to the romantic dinners? surprise night out without child? romantic walks? romantic rondevous? etc…etc…etc….those gadgets cant be that fun?

    • October 6, 2011 3:38 pm

      Those stopped happening oh, I’d say about 6 months after we got married!

  58. October 6, 2011 6:05 am

    >gasp!< "Microsoft store"? You guys are so cool, so chic, with his iproducts and all I would expect him to want to peruse the Apple store. Please tell me Ali held vigil at the Apple store yesterday, otherwise he's not ask geeky as he really is.

    • October 6, 2011 6:06 am

      Whoops. *as not ask.

    • October 6, 2011 3:39 pm

      He didn’t hold a vigil but he was very sad. I was too…I surprised myself with how affected I was.

      • October 6, 2011 3:56 pm

        I know what you mean, I was saddened too and the closest I’ve ever gotten to the guy is knowing people who work at Pixar! (and *my* Apple products).

  59. October 6, 2011 6:23 am

    11 years wow, that is a long time. So I believe you now when you say the ‘formula works’. The software / operating system which you husband so loves is the software which has made it possible for the world to move forward so so fast. I am with Ali on this one, when something is so good there is a need to improve it more to perfection.

    Let’s just wait for Microsoft / Apple to come out with software which read your mind and displays it on a screen (as a text message), then the formula which right now ‘just’ works will be improved to ‘perfect’ formula.

    You bring a smile to my face.

    • October 6, 2011 3:39 pm

      I’m glad I could bring a smile to your face! Thank you for saying so.

  60. October 6, 2011 7:04 am

    Confession. We eat dinner in front of the TV waaaaay more times than I’d like to admit. If I’m going to do something as sophisticated as marry a Frenchman, the least I can do is leave the tv dinners behind.

    But it’s a formula that works. A couple times a week. 🙂

    • October 6, 2011 3:40 pm

      There is nothing wrong with eating in front of the TV, especially if you don’t do it all the time!

  61. Jn241Sn permalink
    October 6, 2011 10:31 am

    Steve Jobs 1955-2011. “Apple exists at the intersection of Liberal Arts and Technology.”

    Think Different.

    Thanks Steve…from a longtime Apple shareholder.

  62. October 6, 2011 4:27 pm

    Oh God! Ali and my husband can become best friends. I go crazy at his love for electronics and at times when I pull him to Bed Bath and Beyond .. he pulls me to Best Buy to take revenge!

  63. October 6, 2011 6:35 pm

    haha I can understand why Ali wants to go to the microsoft store because I am one of them:D I just won’t get tired of my iPhone, iPad, iPod and my Mac and I am like pig in mud in a computer store. When my Quay Lo watch TV to relax, I will be sitting on the couch next to him with my iPad and that’s my kind of relaxation. So Ali seems to love everything that can compute and I am sure he loves you much, because you can compute better than all his gadgets and you will have less down time plus you are also always right! hehehe This “always right” thing is so familiar in my home, when me and my Quay Lo argue, he will always say something like this “ya, ya, ya, you are always right.” and my answer to him is “Of course!” LOL!

  64. October 8, 2011 5:43 pm

    Oh your toooooooo nice miss. I’d say NO, no way, not even, NO. Haha. Your Fridays sound similar to mine, must be pretty standard. Lol

  65. October 8, 2011 9:03 pm

    Always love your humor + matter-of-fact delivery!

  66. October 11, 2011 6:16 am

    Aw this is so cute. I love your honesty here! And that is my ideal Friday night except it involves hanging out with my parents (I live at home) and eating dinner while working through shows on the DVR. Then my dad busts out his iPad/laptop and I get on my laptop and am in bed reading by 9. Those are my favorite Fridays!

  67. October 12, 2011 5:14 pm

    jesus your movie scanning and nothing watched night is exactly what my husband and I do. I think his choices are shitty and he thinks my choices are shitty then we end up sending an hour doing nothing but complain about each other’s tastes.

  68. October 13, 2011 5:42 pm

    I hear ya, you are always right!!!

    Although in my case I always reluctantly agree to hubby’s choice of movie and we end up watching it. There is a 50% chance I might like the movie in the end.

    ♡ from ©


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