“We have to eat early tomorrow night because I have to leave at six.” This is what I heard my husband say.
At five, I set the table in the kitchen. There would only be the two of us eating. Elizabeth who was babysitting wouldn’t get home until after Marty left. Allison was away. I had the casserole ready by 5:15 but didn’t ring the dinner bell until 5:30.
My wonderful husband wondered why we were eating so early. “Christina isn’t even home yet.”
“I thought you had to leave at 6.”
“I said I had to leave at 6:30.”
“Why did you say we had to eat early then?” That’s when I started my rant and Marty calmly picked up the nearest Christmas letter and tuned out.
“Marty, eating at 6 is not early. Eating at 6 is late. Eating early is 5, or 5:30 at the latest.” I wanted him to take note of the language he had used. To my mind it was important we both understood phrases the same way. That is how couples grow quietly old together, totally in tune with each other. “Marty, you’re not listening to my rant.”
He smiled, “It was too much of a rant.”
I knew that.
We ate at 6 when Elizabeth walked in the door. The casserole was actually better than usual. We discussed ipod music.