“You get to choose tonight,” I said, leaning back on the couch. “It seems like I’ve been choosing all the movies lately.”
“Are you serious?” Ashley asked.
“Of course,” I said. “Fair’s fair. Whatever you choose, I’ll watch it.”
“Really? You’ll watch anything I pick, no matter what?”
“Within reason,” I said.
“Oh, no.” Ashley shook her head. “You can’t tack conditions on after the fact. You said that whatever I chose, you would watch it.”
“Exactly, and I meant what I said. But it has to be within reason.”
Ashley glared. “So what does ‘within reason’ mean?”
“Just that. Whatever you pick has to be reasonable.”
“So what’s reasonable? Something that’s acceptable to you?”
“I’m not trying to weasel out of my promise,” I said. “I just meant that you can’t select something like the entire series of Friends. If you pick something, it has to be movie-length, and not a series that we have to become committed to for weeks on end.”
“I wasn’t going to pick a TV series, you moron,” Ashley said. “Wow. You make me sound like a conniving witch.”
“I didn’t mean to imply that you’re conniving. I just meant that when it comes to the shared responsibility of choosing our entertainment, we need to firmly establish some boundaries.”
“So in other words, you didn’t want to give me carte blanche?”
I shrugged. “If you want to put it that way, sure.”
“So you think I’m someone who will leap at the opportunity to take advantage of the situation? Is that it? You give me an inch, and I take a mile — because I’m such a terrible person?”
“Ash,” I said, “please! All I meant was that it’s your turn to pick a movie. Not a television show or a mini series, but a movie. OK?”
“Whatever. Give me the remote.” Ashley wrenched the remote from my hand and started flipping through shows on Netflix.
“Here,” she said, landing on something. “I want to watch this.”
I squinted. “What is it?”
She grinned. “It’s a Bee Gees concert.”
I looked at her.
She continued to grin. “It’s not a TV show, and it’s movie-length.”
“The Bee Gees? Really?”
“You said I could pick whatever I wanted!”
I sighed. “Aren’t they all dead?”
“One of them is still alive,” Ashley said. “Besides, it was taped in the ’90s. So … what do you think?”
I shrugged. “Sure.”
She smirked. “You mean it?”
“I said sure, didn’t I? It’s your turn to pick the movie. I’ll stand by my promise. Go ahead and put it on.”
“I will.” Ashley clicked the remote and sat down. The concert started with the Bee Gees standing around a single microphone, singing.
“You know,” I said, “I could never be in a group where singing in harmony was required. I’m too self-conscious. Singing into a single microphone like that, I’d be worried about having bad breath.”
Ashley glared. “Are you going to make these kind of inane comments throughout the entire concert? Because if you are, just warn me now.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Do you really think any of them are worried about having bad breath? They’re onstage singing in front of thousands of people, and their concert is being filmed. I think their breath is the last thing on their minds.”
“Don’t be so sure,” I said. “Look how close they are to each other. I couldn’t sing like that, huddled up with two other people.”
A vein formed on Ashley’s forehead. “You can’t sing, period. Your breath has nothing to do with it!”
“You know what I’m saying. I’m speaking hypothetically. It’s hard enough being self-conscious of my breath at work. At least there, though, I can excuse yourself to rinse my mouth or pop a breath mint. When you’re onstage, where do you go? You can’t just leave in the middle of a song.”
“I’m sure all the Bee Gees brushed their teeth before the concert,” Ashley said. “Now please, can we just watch this thing? I don’t want to miss ‘I Can’t See Nobody.’”
I shrugged. “Sometimes brushing your teeth isn’t enough. And with all that singing, they might get dry mouth. I’ll bet that’s why they’re doing the harmony parts first, so that later in the concert, they can move to their own microphones.”
Ashley clicked off the TV and got up.
“Hey,” I said, as she stomped down the hall. “Where are you going?”
“I’m going to lock myself in the bedroom and watch the entire series of Friends,” she said, slamming the door.