I’m Not Jealous, I’m Territorial

I trust my husband; I just don’t trust the rest of the world

Helen Ellis
Gay Mag


Illustration by Carmen Johns

II heard a story about a woman who knew her husband had left her when she came home from work and their Alexa was missing.

The woman put something in the oven and said, “Alexa! Set the timer.”

Alexa did not respond.


The woman searched her house. Her husband had packed his bags, moved out, and taken Alexa.

TThis will never happen to me because I am the kind of woman who will never have an Alexa, because I will never let another woman’s name be said more than my own, in my home. Or anywhere else.

When my husband and I stayed at The Wynn Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, every room came with Alexa. Two robes, electric blackout drapes, HBO, and Alexa.

Alexa was beige and sat on the beige desk and blended into the beige wallpaper. She looked like one of those toads that blends into a desert. You don’t see it until it blinks. And then it is all you see. Breathing and blinking and listening and looking at you. Blink.

We overheard our hotel neighbor get his wife in the mood. “Alexa! Play Stevie Wonder!”

Alexa said, “Playing Stevie Wonder on SiriusXM.”

And then: “Alexa! Play ‘My Cherie Amour’!”

Alexa said, “Playing ‘My Cheri Amour.’”

And then, through muffled cries of passion: “Alexa! Play ‘Very Superstitious’!”

Alexa said, “I’m having trouble understanding you. Would you repeat that?”

“Play ‘Very Superstitious’!”

“Do you mean, ‘Superstition’?”


“Ok. Playing ‘Superstition’.”

Yes, during a game of Tune in Tokyo with his wife, our neighbor had a full-on conversation with another woman. Robot lady or not, that is an open marriage. And my marriage is as shuttered up as a beach house in a hurricane.

I called housekeeping to have Alexa removed from our room.

No, I did not think my husband would fall in love with Alexa the same way some Japanese men marry their Nintendo…



Helen Ellis
Gay Mag

Helen Ellis is the author of the funny essay collection, Southern Lady Code. You can find her on twitter @WhatIDoAllDay and Instagram @AmericanHousewife.