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You're Gonna Be The One

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Sherri's computer is balanced carefully on top of several books at the far end of her dining room table, her moleskin and pen just out of sight of the camera while her plate with her peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich sits at the bottom of the screen.

William's trying to keep Evie still on his lap but she's much more interested in waving both her and her father's sandwiches at the camera, blocking anybody's view of them.

Aubrey has a sheet over both her and the computer but she's in such a well lit room that there's only a very faint blue glow to her face, almost unnoticeable, and she's got traces of jelly smeared around her mouth.

Gabe has his sandwich set over his open mouth and he's sitting in a swivel chair leaning back so far that it seems moderately dangerous.

The truth of it all is that this is completely typical.

Gabe and Aubrey playing with their food. Sherri laughing at Evie while William just kind of sits there hopelessly not trying very hard to control his daughter.

The four (five) of them over iChat with their phones turned off.

It's become a routine of sorts. Every Friday Sherri and William go on a date. Every Saturday it's Aubrey and Gabe's turn. The last Sunday of every month Sherri skips church. Aubrey gets up at a reasonable hour. Gabe puts on pants before two. Evie sits at the kitchen table drawing while William makes the sandwiches. At eleven thirty on the dot all four log on and Gabe always starts the chat. Aubrey's microphone always fucks up at least twice before she turns her computer off and back on again. Evie shows her newest drawing of herself, her dad, and his girlfriend to all of them and babbles away about what she and her father have done for the past week. Gabe tells her how awesome it looks and how he's jealous she won't draw a picture of him and Aubrey and herself and she usually runs off to draw one. One or both of Sherri's dogs will bark loudly until she lifts the thing up into the camera so it can see where all the noises are coming from.

When William is on tour, their four(five)some becomes a five(six)some when Christine sets up her own computer so that Evie can join in. When it's Gabe, Nate likes to sit in the background and make faces even though Gabe can see exactly what he's doing and usually smacks him in the head. If it's Sherri, she can almost never get quite alone and there will be the continual hustle and bustle of her family talking and yelling and singing and just generally being weird in the background, though they tend to leave her alone. If Aubrey's working, she asks Nick to guard the door to Ron Swanson's office so she can sit in there in peace for and hour.

They eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Both of the girls use Smuckers grape jelly, Gabe uses some special brand his mom gave him one that he really likes, and Evie has a new found love for Welch's so even when she's with her mother and he's on tour, William is very careful to always use it.

They talk about what they've been doing for the past month. Sherri and Aubrey first tell their date stories. William and Gabe go next, recounting the next dates that month. They go back and forth, omitting details Evie might be too young to hear or that Sherri is still abnormally concerned might upset Christine if Evie's with her (she's not entirely sure why it still bothers her. William tells her every Friday and sometimes in between that Christine doesn't care. Christine actually likes her and supposedly has said she's a very good role model for Evie.) until they reach their last dates before today.

Sherri tells everyone about Scarlett and Josiah and Sophie and how her nieces and nephew now know how to say "Surey!" which is pretty impressive considering how young they all are.

William tells them about Evie's latest addiction, Hot Wheels.

Gabe mostly talks about Aubrey.

Aubrey tells them funny stories about Nick and Aziz and Amy manages to sneak past Nick to wave hi to everyone and say how precious Evie is looking this month. Aubrey sends her off with a smirk and a "bye mom! You're ruining my life!"

Later, at eight, Sherri calls William. William calls Gabe. Gabe calls Aubrey.

They talk about the bits they left out to preserve Evie, they laugh at how William goes from telling a story about the last time he and Sherri went a real date to being all tongue tied and stuttering his way through a rendition of "What Makes You Beautiful", complete with awful fake British accent. Aubrey makes vulgar jokes about her cast mates and compares them all to Gabe, usually resulting in her friends' favor. Gabe tells them a new story about how Pete couldn't commit to bedtime and Bronx ended up trashing the house, toilet paper thrown about like streamers. Sherri tells them about her latest dress purchases and gifts.

At three, Aubrey is finally off the phone with Gabe and texts Sherri, asking yet again if she wants to come to LA. There's free food! And Amy! And Nick! And Aubrey! Food!

At four, hours after he is supposed to have gone to sleep, William texts Sherri, telling her that she's really pretty. He found one of her shirts while actually doing his laundry. Does she want to come back to Chicago? Or should he go to Texas. Hey, if he starts driving now, he'll be there and adjusted in time for Friday.

At five, Gabe texts Sherri, telling her she should go to Chicago. William is not the world's greatest driver and it might kill him, plus Evie's there and if she goes to Chicago, he'll go to LA and Aubrey will finally shut the hell up. Maybe they can have an extra date next Sunday. It's been six months since they only needed two computers for Sunday Night Date Night.

Double dating is really difficult when all four of them are scattered across the country. But it works out. It really works out.