My wife and I have been retired from our respective professions for nearly four years.
I'd wager that Hedy and I have seen more of each other over the last 48 months than we did the previous 396 months of our 37-year marriage. If I didn't know better, I'd say we're now joined at the hip.
We accompany one another almost everywhere: navigating the teeming aisles of our local supermarket; picking up our granddaughter from kindergarten and stealing away for ice cream; perusing recent works by the literati while quaffing caffeine-laden drinks at Starbucks; breakfasting at IHOP; and sharing a tub of buttered popcorn at a senior matinee.
You name it, we're there. Together!
You see one of us? Glance about, you'll likely find the other.
Earlier in our marriage, I regularly attended conventions all over the country, and I journeyed to Europe, the Middle East and the South Pacific, sans my bride. We once were apart for five weeks. Never again!
I can't motor to the gas station without her (besides, I need someone to help me count the bulging stack of greenbacks required to satisfy our bill).
Last week I was on a rare solo assignment.
I attended my weekly morning fitness class for Parkinson's patients at the Hoag Center in Newport Beach. Because Parkinson's is a disease that more frequently afflicts males than females, I stood after class chatting with three other guys. The four of us are about the same age: in our late-middles to early-lates.
We discussed sports teams, medication regimens and in-depth strategies for world peace. The class had been over for about 15 minutes when I checked my wristwatch.
"Oops, gotta go," I chirped to my pals. "My wife and I are scheduled for a 9:30 haircut."
"Are you participating in a joint haircut, or just visiting the same joint?" asked one of my intrepid buds.
"We have the same gal who cuts our hair, independently," I offered.
"You get your hair cut at the same place?" inquired another baffled colleague.
"If you find that strange," I responded — and here's where I failed to employ proper discretion — "my wife and I get pedicures together."
That was a mistake! Too much information.
"I mean, yeah, Hedy has taken me with her to get a pedicure. I'm not ashamed of that."
I tried to walk it back a little.
"I wasn't lovin' it, but don't knock it if you haven't tried it."