I think I just started a book club with my husband. Either that or a summer reading list to get me into my sophomore year.
I have a knack or remembering random tidbits of conversations. I may not remember what I had for dinner last night, but I cannot forget one of my co-workers kvetching about her husband one day. They have a tween-age daughter who is her mother’s only focus. After one argument, the mother (my co-worker) wondered aloud what they were going to do when the daughter was grown because they had nothing else in common.
Switch memories with me and my father mentioned once he went to someone’s home for a meeting and noticed the man (a doctor) and his wife (stay at home mother) had no books. They may have had books in a bedroom, but nothing visible in the rooms he saw. My parents have books in stacks all over their home and it was odd to him to not even see a magazine.
When they go to bed, you’d think we would have time for a basic conversation, but mostly we just sit and stare.
My husband and I have two very small children who, just by existing, take up an extraordinary amount of energy. When they go to bed, you’d think we would have time for a basic conversation, but mostly we just sit and stare. And another random factoid: my husband and I are 9 years apart in age, had different childhoods (sort of), and never ever ever agree on music in the car.
And then one day those random little niggles bubbled up.
In an effort to get to know the man I married better, I asked him for his top 10s: books, music, and movies. Quite honestly I thought he’d blow it off as some random nag item from me. But he didn’t!!! He thought about it for days – weeks even. He wanted to get it right. He sent me an email with a freaking spreadsheet and a note he might need to explain some of his choices.
Those little chitterlings of mine keep asking to eat (every day? multiple meals?!) and so I pushed the list aside (like I thought he would do). Finally, at his persistence, I opened it up. One night after tator and tot were off in bed, we had a healthy dialogue about his favorites and why they were his favorites. I queried if anything on this list was gruesome (his taste in television, movies, and sometime music skews dark – I mean Game of Thrones is not something I can watch much less read in long form). He told me no. Thank goodness.
I volunteered to read them – no deadline, no report at the end, no diorama to present to the class. I had a plan to get a copy of the first one from a good old fashion bookstore, but before I could finish my thought, my husband came walking in the kitchen with all 10 books. These weren’t pristine untouched copies. These are well worn, well-thumbed editions.
I can cross off my worry about not having books in the house. They are everywhere – old and new, adult and children, pop-up and thesaurus. And I think just by having the conversation with him, I can cross off the other doubt as well. I may not sing along with “Hell is for Children”“Hell is for Children” (Pat Benatar, 1980), but at least I’ve got a spreadsheet to start up the conversation on things other than Paw Patrol.
PS – First book up: Moving On, Larry McMurtry
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