Spelling request could be tip of an iceberg

“How do you spell antenna?”

I was wrapped cocoon style in a blanket, having just settled in to a comfy position on the oh-so-inviting living room recliner.

Feeling weary but warm and wooly, I was ready to perfect the art of reading a good book with my eyes closed.

And that’s when I sensed I was being asked to process a request.

“How do you spell antenna?” I heard Better Half repeat the question, looking up from his crossword puzzle to see if I was alive or at least in semi-conscious spelling mode.

It was a simple enough twice-made request — how to spell a word — but even so, I felt infringed upon at first, an unwilling participant in a Kiaski Spelling Bee Competition or something requiring more thought at the time than I cared to muster.

I was trying to decompress and slip away into a long winter’s nap.

“I don’t know,” I grumbled, finding myself self-guilted into offering “a-n-t-e-n-n-a.”

Honestly, there are those moments on some days when I think if one more person needs one more thing from me, I might implode.


That’s how you spell that, I snarled to myself sleepily.

“That’s not how you spell antenna,” Better Half said with enough challenge in the statement to shake my spelling confidence.

“Shouldn’t it end with a-e?” he wondered aloud, more for his benefit than mine. You know how you ask yourself a question and then answer it, too? No need for interaction with other humans.

“No,” I scolded, repeating the correct spelling — a-n-t-e-n-n-a.

“Doesn’t look right,” he said of his pursuit to find the correct word and spelling to get 18 across in the newspaper’s crossword puzzle.

A seven-letter word for “feeler.” Singular.

“Maybe you could just do the rest of the puzzle and 18 across will spell itself in due time,” I suggested.

Never mind that there was an honest-to-goodness actual dictionary a spit away. I pleaded a case of reality — that my brain felt fried after this particular day and the energy to exert spelling anything other than s-l-e-e-p would be a great expectation on his part.

But this is what couples do all the time. Ask each other questions and dispute each other’s answers.

“Who was that?”

“What’s this?”

“When was that?”

“How did that play out?”

“Why did that happen?”

“Where was that?”

Enter post-response disbelief.

“No sir.”

“That’s not right.”

“Are you sure?”

“I don’t think so.”

“That doesn’t make sense.”

“Bet your life on it?”

So many questions, spelling and otherwise.

Small wonder I’m t-i-r-e-d.

(Kiaski, a resident of Richmond, is a staff columnist and community editor for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted atjkiaski@heraldstaronline.com.)