I was just chatting with a friend, who had recently had an interesting experience with a woman who was apparently cross with her for not attending some dinner that apparently my friend and her husband had been invited to. My friend had no knowledge of said invitation.
But how could she not know about it, when the invitation had been emailed to her husband a couple of weeks before?
The clue is, of course, in “emailed to her husband“, but somehow so many people seem to think that husband and wife are joined not just in holy matrimony but in email too.
But it’s not just email. I find people seem to expect me to know everything that they’ve mentioned to my husband, as though there’s some magical osmosis between our minds. A bit like when you set your handheld device to be synched with your computer and you get all your appointments showing on both. A small example that springs to mind: my husband had ordered a book and made a mistake in his order, so he got not exactly what he’d intended, but he thought it was interesting and he had an idea that there’s someone else we know who might want it. So next time we saw him, husband took this book along and was showing it to this guy and his wife and pointing out interesting things he’d noticed and I said “oh, that’s really interesting!” and this guy’s wife looked at me as though I’d grown two heads (I’m used to that look) and said: “oh, he hadn’t told you about this?” as though it’s a total impossibility that there’d be something a man notices and doesn’t automatically mention to his wife.
Yes, I am used to that look. I get it when I reply truthfully to people who see me in church on a Sunday evening and ask how my husband is. Apparently “ok as far as I know” or “was fine last time I saw him” is not the sort of answer they’re expecting… not to mention “haven’t seen him yet today so I don’t know”. Yes, I know there are couples who do nearly everything together, but my husband and I are both introverts, we need lots of space and solitude and it would drive us both mad if we tried to live in each other’s pockets all day. Even when we go on holiday we don’t spend the whole day together, it would just be too much.
But again and again I come across these expectations people have, that just because we’re married we each automatically know everything the other knows. We were staying somewhere on holiday once and another guest had apparently started talking to my husband about an interesting piece of furniture he was thinking of making, or having made for him – I’m not sure. You see, I wasn’t part of that conversation, and, no, my husband didn’t tell me about it. Shocking, I know :)
So, where was I? oh yes, so we’re staying in this place and I go downstairs towards supper time and this guy sees me and pounces on me with great joy and continues what he had started telling my husband about this piece of furniture. Yes, my husband is a trained cabinet maker, he knows all the ins and outs of making furniture, and to him this stuff would have not just made sense but actually been really interesting. But, hey, I am me, I’m not an extension of my husband, and just as he doesn’t know much about blogging, I’m clueless about furniture making.
end of mini rant :)