Our free-wheeling professions (adjunct professor and realtor -- it's okay - we don't need wool socks and money in the mail, yet) mean John and I have a lot of time at home while the kids are in school.
We often eat lunch together.
I send him a funny email and then yell in the direction of his office, upstairs: "Did you get that yet?"
He pops into my little study and inquires about my availability for romps of various sort. "Just checking. Just in case."
He unloads the dishwasher. I yell various commands about housecleaning, which he generally follows.
Every once in a while we get really crazy and go to my favorite thrift store together. Like a hot date, digging through somebody's else's rejected trousers.
So we have plenty of time to talk. Converse. Convene and communicate.
Insert sound of telephone ringing, here. The time is 8:32 on a Monday morning.
Mother-in-law: "Hi Mary. Is John there?"
Me: "No -- he's driving the kids to school. What's up? I can give him a message."
MIL: "Tell him the thing today is called off."
Me: "What thing?"
MIL: "The wedding."
Me: "What? Who's getting married."
MIL: "Well, I am. Donald and I were going to renew our vows today in church. At 10 this morning. Didn't John tell you?"
MIL: "But we're postponing because of the funeral."
Me: "Whose funeral?"
MIL: "Beth and Herman's oldest son, Fred. John's cousin on his Dad's side. Didn't John tell you?"
Me: "Uh. . . "
MIL: "But you're on board for Thursday, right?"
Me: "What's Thursday?"
MIL: "You and John are cooking for Ann and Dennis. She just started her six months of chemo. Didn't John tell you?"
Me: "Six months of chemo? What are we making?"
MIL: "A pot roast. With carrots and potatoes but no throwing in any of your fancy tricks, like peppers or yams. Better have John cook it."
After my substandard cooking skills have been more thoroughly discussed (particularly worrisome is my regular use of that exotic creature, the vegetable), I hang up--and give a small, ritualistic moment of silence to honor all of the weddings, funerals, family reunions, illnesses, emergencies, birthdays and pot luck suppers I will never hear about in this life time.