The past few months have forced people to spend more time together than ever before. This intense bonding time has pulled the curtain off for many of us and exposed our differences. The trivial habits that we have can sometimes seem like fingernails on a chalkboard, a barking dog, a car alarm that never stops, etc., etc., to the person that we live with. My husband and I are a prime example. For instance, the television remote should always be labeled with caution tape before entering into marriage. When I hold the remote, I like to find a program by slowly spotting one or two (or possibly 20) that look interesting. I then read the program information on each one to help me make an educated decision as to whether I want to watch that show. This drives my husband crazy because when you’re retired that free time is priceless and I am taking way too long to find something to watch. He just doesn’t understand that like a pair of amazing shoes, I have to love it. So when he is in control of the remote, after turning on every TV in the house at the highest volume, he works it like a slot machine handle. Click, click, stop on a show for 20 seconds, click, click, click, this time stopping for 30 seconds. At various times he stops longer out of curiosity. I think, okay, I could watch that show but one more click and it’s gone. He eventually settles on something for 10 minutes or so and then with a sigh says, “I’m going to bed, there’s nothing good on!”
I really hate maps in the car but my husband loves a car map. The print on a map is as big as a trail of ants and when it’s unfolded it takes a lot of room in the car. Thus begins a conversation like this, “Did you see my glasses, I can’t read the map without my glasses! I can’t find my phone! Hold on, I think they’re all under the map!” And the topper is when I need to turn the map in the direction that we are going to make sense to me, I somehow end up with part of it in his face while he’s driving. My preference instead of the dreaded map is the GPS on my phone. I have become very dependent on the convenience and love it. I get in the car, put in an address, turn up my music and away we go. Although, one time, I put in the wrong address and didn’t notice until the door opened. To my surprise, I didn’t know that person at all! My husband doesn’t depend on the GPS like I do and in fact isn’t thrilled over it at all. He doesn’t understand why when he’s driving it periodically repeats, “Make a U-turn as soon as possible!” He always says, “They don’t know what they’re talking about, that’s not the shortest route!” So back to the huge, impossible to fold up as small as it was before, map!
Getting the temperature right for both of us in our house, car or motorhome has always involved a lot of give and take. My give and take consists of two blankets and a heater while my husband’s give and take is a pair of summer shorts and a tank top at any location and any temperature. Our differences sometimes cause us to mutter under our breath that we think the other person is losing it. But after 46 years of marriage, we are still able to appreciate each other and the humor of it all. Also, we are so lucky to have … well, in my case girlfriends and in his case a huge barn to hide out in! Stay safe everyone!
Tina Jensen is part of the “Escalon Fun Bunch” which provides social events and assistance for Escalon senior citizens. If you know of any Escalon seniors who would be interested in joining them please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, available if in need: The Escalon Food Pantry 209-417-2048.