A good girlfriend is a good listener, she reminded herself. But she was just pretending, and she knew it. In her former life, Doug used to sit across this very table and try her patience in a similar way, with long-winded soliloquies about whatever deal he happened to be working on at the moment, filling her in on the arcane legal and financial details of the transaction , thinking out loud about the various stumbling blocks that might arise, and what he might do to overcome them. But no matter how bored she was, she always understood that Doug's work mattered to her on a personal level, that it would have consequences for their family, and that she needed to pay attention. As much as she appreciated Kevin's company, she couldn't quite convince herself that she needed to care about the intricacies of the building code or a deadline extension for pet licenses.