After a recent study proved the importance of trust in couple-watched series on Netflix, we found someone who abused it. Don’t judge him.
“Um … Babe, what do you think you’re doing?” my girlfriend queried, freezing in the door frame, car keys and jaw both hanging in suspended animation.
I had no answer to give. My legs were in the air, a bottle of red was half gone, and my pants were on the floor. She had caught me.
“Well?” She said, entering the bedroom, taking in the hideous scene, switching her attention to me, to it, and then back to me, her shock giving way to betrayal fanning the fire in her eyes.
Her voice, eerily calm, asked, “How many episodes have you watched?”
The screen was frozen on Walter White, also silently seeking an answer.
It’s partially your fault, Heisenberg. Don’t give me that look.
I eventually plucked up the courage to lie. “One or two,” I said. In actuality, it was about five, and it was spectacular. If I’m brutally honest, it was better than doing it with her. All I had to do was lie back. With her, I have to do all the work. “Who’s that guy?” “Why’d he do that?” etc.
The cold facts (along with my hummus) lay on the table; what it was, was a betrayal of trust. We’d agreed to watch the whole season together.
I was weak and I gave into temptation. I knew it was wrong and I did it anyway. There are no reasons, I just wanted to find out what happened next. All I could do was apologize.
Beyond the argument that followed, we struck a deal. We agreed on a “freebie.” One season, one night, and I don’t get to say boo. I don’t even think she wants to do it, but she loves holding it over my head. As soon as I show interest in the beauty of a show, she waves the “freebie” threat in front me. Ooooh, that looks … interesting.
And you know what? Fair’s fair. But just spend the night with Frank Underwood already. Do it, so I can have him the next night when you’re at your mum’s.
Problem is, that moment has put serious limitations on our relationship. We were almost at the next level. She was going to let me in the back door of her Netflix account.
She suggested the salacious idea one night at dinner, casually dropping it on me, in her laid-back, awkward way, while we were waiting for our order.
“Hey babe, have you watched Netflix before?” she asked, the edge of her mouth mischievously curling.
I said I had, once, but I wouldn’t know what to do.
“Well,” she cooed, exuding extreme confidence, “it’s easy … I might even give you my password.”
“Might.” Five small letters away from Nirvana (unplugged). The only thing that moment now signifies is who we used to be. Sigh.
Which is indirectly the “how” of our current situation. Breaking Bad was the litmus test, a trust exercise. It was perfect: a series neither of us had seen, we both somehow managed to avoid all the spoilers and were oh so keen to devour it in one sitting. Together. “It’ll be fun!” we chortled in unison, prancing to the counter, past the dead eyes of the salesmen who loathed what we had.
Bitterly, our hope has turned to mope. And it’s all my fault.
But, don’t pity me. If this just makes me a sad cautionary tale, so be it. Let me hit you with some knowledge. If you’re not strong enough to make that commitment, don’t make it. It may feel good at the time, but that only lasts 23 minutes.
If you’re going to do it, make sure it’s with the one you share a profile with.