Saturday, January 31, 2015

Coffee and Tea

Jan. 31

The problem with marriage is that it is impossible to be married without turning into roommates. While those planning for the big day envision an eternity gazing into the eyes of his or her beloved, days holding hands while strolling along sundrenched beaches, and evenings enjoying candlelit dinners complete with wine, music, and a suggestive glance, the reality is that eventually someone is going to clog the toilet, burn dinner, and forget to take out the trash. So, imagine twenty-nine years of this.

It is too easy for a couple to begin to take each other for granted. It is too easy for the chores and the yard and the house and the kids and the job and the cars and the in-laws to begin ranking above the spouse on the daily to-do. And I mean that in more ways than one. It is my opinion that couples who make marriage last, who stay together when others do not, fall into one of two categories, those who are together but not happy and those who have made a point to carve out space for the partner in the everyday.

I enjoyed just such a moment today. Granted it came after shopping for a basin wrench and a faucet or two. My husband and I, plumber’s putty in hand, decided to stop off at the bookstore before heading home. There was much to do and not really the time, but we did it because it needed to be done. We have been guilty in the past of moving each other to the bottom of the list. We are trying now to repair that.

He had a coffee, room for cream. I had a steamy Earl Grey. I flipped through a couple of magazines that I didn’t really read. He gathered books of which he bought only half. Mostly we talked. We talked of moving, of retirement, of wishes and wants and dreams. We talked of condos and neighborhoods, the country, the beach. We laughed. We joked. We paid for our stuff, and we left.

It was maybe an hour. I couldn’t say. The time is not the point. The point was that, after twenty-nine years, it was a message that read you matter more to me than that goddamned sink.

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