-as published in Living Out East and On the Bay http://www.livingouteast.com
So I said to Brown Eyes, “Have you noticed our neighbors are aging a bit and some not all that gracefully?”
"That," she said pointing at a gold framed wall object, “is a mirror. Take a good look in it and then ask me that question again.”
I admit I knew she was the World’s Smartest Woman when I married her, but I’ve never gotten used to her uncanny ability to give me my blinding glimpse of the obvious at lightning speed. Let’s face it: Brown Eyes often gets at a glance things that I, educated fellow that I am, walk by without noticing. Surely I can’t be the only spouse of either sex to have had this experience.
“Let’s take this one step further,” she intoned.
I was beginning to sweat, knowing from experience what was coming.
“Exactly what was it that attracted your attention to their Aging?”
“Well,” I offered hesitantly, “they seem to worry a lot more about each other than they used to, even though they try to hide it. And I can see it takes them both longer to get in and out of their car. And no matter what we need to borrow, they always have it. Sometimes I think I could telephone next door, asking to borrow a cup of Yak gizzard, and they’d want to know if I really only need one cup because they have plenty.
“Where on earth do they store it all? On top of that, there is the fact that they both go to the doctor way more often than before. And, last but not least, there’s the pizza and ice cream they serve when partying with their friends. We’re still eating salads and carrot sticks and it’s not fair!”
“Aha! I’ve got you now!” Brown Eyes said triumphantly. “Is this really about Aging or is it actually about the pizza, ice cream, and our neighbors partying with their friends?”
As an experienced spouse, I know when to come clean.
“It’s really about both. I’m afraid of our worrying about each other and taking longer to get out of the car and not lasting long enough for those parties, pizza, and ice cream. You seem to think it’s OK to worry about me but unacceptable if I worry about you.”
I tried not to look too much like a trapped adult.
“I’ll make a deal with you,” she said. “If you’re willing to enjoy our aging and play the way I know you can each day, I’ll permit you to worry about me one day a week, say Tuesdays. Also I will schedule periodic ice cream and pizza parties with our friends.”
What a great deal! I get to play and live happily with Brown Eyes and worry about her openly one day a week and have pizza and ice cream with our friends occasionally, all for the price of enjoying – or at least accepting – the Aging that’s happening every day in our lives anyway.
“You’ve got yourself a deal, Brown Eyes!” I said giving her a smooch on the cheek.
I walked out into the hallway, looked deeply into the gold framed wall object, and smiled.I knew she’d be in the other room trying to figure out which wines go with pizza and ice cream!
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Talk to you soon, George