“The thing about old people,” I inform Phil, “is that they fall and break things—like hip bones.”
Since I’ve become one myself, I find old people fascinating, constantly read about them.
Right now, I’m reading an article about the importance of exercise for the elderly. Phil’s reading a review of Ridley Scott’s Napoleon, pauses with a long-suffering look. I can almost see a digital finger holding his place in the paragraph. “Hmmm,” he says absently. And returns to the review.
Here’s the thing: I believe the times we face each other across our cozy breakfast room table are, should be, social times. I recently told our friends Kitty and Richard that.
“You’re a sharer,” Richard said, nodding sagely.
I stared at him. Of course, I’m a sharer. What else would I be? What do my dear friend Kitty and I DO on our weekly walks if not share? What is relationship about if not sharing?
Oh, wait: Kitty and I are women. Our husbands are men.
Besides being male, which in itself mitigates against sharing, my dear husband is a Scorpio, the ultimate non-sharing sign. I should have researched that before I married him forty years ago. Too late now. At our age, when one of us goes, the other will get a cat. I will. I’m not sure what he’ll do, but he better not remarry.
Scorpios keep stuff secret that has no reason to be kept secret. After we run a bunch of tedious errands, Phil treats me to lunch out, planned it, never said a word. Me, when I plan a thing like that, I advertise it for days. “Next Thursday, when we have to do that bank business, I’m taking you out to lunch afterwards.” That’s me. Total disclosure in neon lights.
The article I’m reading says old people lose muscle, lose a sense of balance and hence, run a risk of falling on their brittle bones. The article says I should keep doing my yoga. That’s what I really wanted to tell Phil across the breakfast table. I jump up to demonstrate.
“Look, I can still do tree pose.”
He nods, “that’s nice, honey, and I’d like to finish this review,” his digital finger holding his place, “if you could only stop interrupting me.”
He doesn’t say that, though. He’s endlessly patient and polite, this guy, admires my shaky tree. But I can see in the set of his mouth that he’d like to say it. And I’m aware that I interrupt him about fifty times for every time he interrupts me. I smile sweetly, kiss him on the cheek and leave the room.
I’m done with breakfast and now is as good a time as any to practice balance poses. Dear Reader, it’s a secret to this marriage’s success.
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