“I can multi-task,” I said, annoyed that I’d need to remind my husband after 28 years together. I was cleaning dog nose prints off some windows while listening to music on the new speakers he recently bought and wanted me to hear. “I have no doubt,” he said. “But meanwhile I have to smell the window cleaner and hear the spraying and squeaking sounds. Why can’t you sit down and just focus on this with me?”
“Funny,” I thought. “He doesn’t hear the dog farting or drinking out of the toilet, the windshield wipers on a dry windshield or a turn signal left on too long.” But I knew it was more than the difference between which noises we each notice. It was the need to feel in-sync. I sat down.
Last week while on a plane I was talking to an older woman seated next to me who was headed to Rome. During the course of the conversation I asked if her husband was going also. “No,” she said. “He’s not able to travel anymore.” She proceeded to tell me that he encouraged her to go and that they’d been married 37 years.
“That’s great,” I said.
And then she said, “Yes. Every year on our anniversary we go out to dinner and make a toast. We say, “Let’s try to make it another year,” she laughed. “I think that’s all anyone can do.”
That…and maybe multi-task less often.