Short Stories from a Longwinded Guy No. 94

Easel Does It

Marriage is tough. Not for me, the extrovert. For my introverted spouse.  Robin says, “It takes a village to raise a Mark.” That’s why we both fell in love with the Folk Project. For me, it’s a good reason to get out of the house. For Robin, it’s a good reason to get me the hell out of the house.

Over the years, I was out alone so often, some Project members thought I was single. Some acquaintances thought we were always fighting. Friends who truly knew us thought thank God she gets a break.  My favorite reaction was from the woman who asked about Robin every week until she finally broke down and blurted out, “I’ve known you five years and have never met Robin. I think you made her up.”

Isolation is toughest on isolationists like Robin, so she developed an interesting COVID strategy - sleep. She wakes up and goes to bed two hours earlier than before. That’s four hours a day I’m not underfoot or in her ears. Then she decided her kitchen was too small for two people. That got her 45 minutes alone before dinner and ultimately got her a new kitchen. (Wife’d again!) Lately, she’s taken up painting. I was surprised she’d hidden this talent for two decades, until she admitted it was paint-by-numbers. Her true passion wasn’t art. It was being left alone. 

Science teaches us that everybody’s nuts. 2021 teaches us, oh, you thought you knew from nuts?  Isolation teaches us the importance of human contact.  And Zoom teaches us to use the mute button online or off. Hug your partner if you have one. Make a phone call if you don’t. The virus is everywhere. Put a little love in your bubble.

Stay Safe & Avoid Flying Pans,

Mark & Robin

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