The 'I Miss You' Conversation


Last summer, my wife went on a two-week trip to the East Coast to visit friends and family, leaving me home alone.

"Do you miss her? Do you? Do you? Say that you do." was a question that every woman I encountered who knew these facts asked me. Not one man asked.

I did miss her, of course, but what was with the pathological desire, nay NEED, other women had for me to verbalize it?

It makes me wonder if women and men have different definitions of what the word "miss" means; and that when asked the question "Do you miss her?" it's not necessarily a desire for me to tell that person how my life is lost without her, but for me to validate how important my wife is to my daily life.

So let me set the record straight publicly: Jill is an important and desired part of my every day life, and when she is gone, weird stuff starts happening...

As a matter of fact, I wrote some down. Here are highlights from a daily log of my activities sans better half:

  • *Peed in the shower. Because I could and because it kills two birds with one stone; three if you count the fact that the drains could use some acidity to unclog them. I'm nothing if not a multi-tasker.

  • *To relax after a gym workout, pondered going to an Asian Massage parlor, but then questioned if that would be considered cheating.
  • *Built a forte of pillows and blankets on the couch so that I could take an emergency nap at a moment's notice any time Guy's Grocery Games came on.
  • *Watched every dumb action movie on Netflix that I would never be able to watch when Jill is home. Then decided I hated them all and rewatched a Merchant Ivory film about English real estate battles in the 1920s.
  • *Drove around my neighborhood taking pictures of joggers, bugs, trash on the street, weeds on the neighbors lawns, etc. and sending them to Jill saying "Look at all the amazing things you're missing out on."
  • *Apologized to Jill for clogging up our joint data plan by sending meaningless pictures to her phone.
  • *Thought about cooking, but decided the smug satisfaction of having a kitchen that looked EXACTLY like it did when she left is more important. Ordered endless amounts of take-out and walked the bags directly to the outside trash bins.
  • *Realized leaving the kitchen pristine may be more trouble than just cooking and cleaning the kitchen afterwards.
  • *Crank called Donald Trump when his cell phone number got published. Patted myself on the back for doing my part in the electoral process.

  • Is it a good thing when Jill has left? A bad thing? Do I break out the champagne? Or cry in my soup? The real answer, I suppose, is all of the above (and if the soup is gazpacho, tears might actually be the secret ingredient to make it taste like soup. Because HOW IS GAZPACHO NOT JUST CONSIDERED COLD TOMATO SAUCE!?)

    I do miss her. I walk around all day with the feeling like something's OFF. Like I've misplaced my wallet, or I lost my copy of Howard's End. But then I realize I'm able to have a whole mess of experiences on my own that I can then share with her when she gets back...

    Recently, I've released two new episodes of my web series Keith Broke His Leg. The first is a fun one about my experiences teaching a group of high school students how not to be horribly racist (with apologies to George Takei), but the second one - my favorite - features a genuine conversation between my wife and I on one of our date nights. It's a real intimate look into our marriage and why I'm a different person when she's not around.

    Fair warning, however, tears are involved.

    Happy Valentine's day, Jill. I wish for everyone to have as harmonious of a relationship as ours:


    Also, for more episodes and insights, check out my other blog posts:

    And don't forget to talk to me below or on Twitter: @KeithPowell.

    Keith Powell is an actor, writer, and director. He is most known for his role as Toofer on 30 Rock. He has had recurring roles on About A Boy and The Newsroom, and created, wrote, and directed the original web series Keith Broke His Leg (