I think April is worried about me.
She won't say it out loud.
But I catch the sideways glances. The nearly imperceptible head shakes. The raised eyebrows.
I don't have a problem.
I can quit any time.
Besides, the choice is already being made for me.
There's hardly an episode of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit that I haven't seen. Eventually, I'll have to quit watching.
But for now:
Every night, our routine is the same.
We crawl into bed and April reaches for Newsweek while I scramble to turn on the TV and grab the TIVO control.
I already know, before I even get into bed, that there will be 6-7 episodes of Law & Order saved on our digital recorder. This knowledge prompts me (on a regular basis) to thank the TV Gods for the show's long run and USA network for airing it nearly non-stop.
Every show starts with the same introduction. And even though it causes April to roll her eyes at me, I deepen my voice and say along with the TV:
In the criminal justice system, sexually based offenses are considered especially heinous. In New York City, the dedicated detectives who investigate these vicious felonies are members of an elite squad known as the Special Victims Unit. These are their stories....DUH DUH!
Within seconds of the story unfolding, I'll know if I've seen the particular episode. If I've seen it, I delete it and go to the next recorded episode.
Repeat cycle (including the whole introduction bit).
Seen it? Delete it. On to the next episode.
Cue April's sideways glances and raised eyebrows.
"Nothing," she'll say, burying her nose back in her magazine.
My love for the show is matched only by my love for Mariska Hargitay. Dear Lord.
The moment she fills my screen, I yell:
"Seriously, Apes. You know if Mariska ever wanted to 'get with me,' I'll have to do it right? I mean, you'd understand. It's YOU I love, but I couldn't deny Mariska if the opportunity presented itself..."
"Mhmmm. If Mariska Hargitay, who is happily married and the mother of a young son, ever wants to 'get with you,' feel free."
"You don't think it'll ever happen, do you? Nice. Way to kill my dreams. I thought you promised to always be supportive."
I know the truth. One day Mariska and I will meet and April will see that all my stalking - scratch that, I mean viewing - will have paid off.
Until then, I'll have to scour my TIVO and hope to catch at least ONE episode I haven't seen before...