The woman pushed her card into the interact machine. Her husband, grabbing their purchases, asked: Okay? She nodded and punched in her PIN. Half way through she looked up at me and said: He always does that. We shop together but he leaves as soon as I start paying. Bewilderment washed over her face. It was as if this was the first time she had ever given words to the experience. Her tone then took on a subtle sharpness: He doesn’t like to waste time.
I asked how long they had been married. Forty-five years, she said.
The woman paused as she waited for her transaction to complete. By the time I get to the car he will have it loaded; we are ready to go. Her expression changed again, softening. It is efficient, she said, and walked out the door.
* * *
I know of a woman whose partner is in care—his mind no longer his own. He has found a female companion there, my friend says, they spend a lot of time together… he’s happy. Some think I should be upset, but we have had a long and for the most part happy marriage. Those memories will be with me forever.
* * *
The wedding ring on her finger was beautiful, I told her so. Thank you, she said. We've been married 17 years but last month we renewed our vows. It was a total surprise... I thought we were just meeting friends in town for a fancy dinner. She paused. I was diagnosed with MS last year. It's been a hard year for him.