Bullet Point My Marriage
By Jennifer Ferrero
It’s not that we don’t know how to talk to each other. Words just seem less relevant when decisions can be made via email through bulleted lists. Unfortunately, I’m talking about my marital communications. Being a product of the information age has suddenly really hit home.
Both my husband and I talk more than necessary. We both have jobs in sales, and we have kids. There’s a lot being said during the day with clients at lunch, and over dinner when we squeeze in a little conversation before heading to yoga, swim team, or soccer practice. However, even with the talking over turkey or tuna casserole, we don’t really seem to be communicating and making decisions.
Therefore, a few months ago, I decided that when I really need to know something, email would have to do. It is a bit formal and slightly impersonal, but you know, when a series of decisions need to be made, it is a great way to go.
Knowing that I just saw my husband earlier that day over breakfast, I count on the friendly greetings of that meal to carry through to the feelings on email. “Rob…upcoming items that you may need to put on your calendar:
- The children have dental appointments next week.
- I have a women’s group meeting on Thursday.
- Back-to-school night is next Wednesday at 6:30.
- I’m planning a trip to Disneyland for late November – I’ll keep you posted.
- Do you need lunch meat?
As it turns out, this medium of communicating has become so easy that detailed conversation and decision-making rarely happens at home anymore. We’ve been told that we shouldn’t be communicating with each other as if our marriage was a business meeting, but in this day and age I’m not sure how else to do it.
My parents talked every night when my father came home from work. My Mom was a homemaker in the early years. Before Dad arrived home she would get dressed up, put on some lipstick, and have a glass of wine for him when he walked in the door. We were sent downstairs to play so they could visit. I think this was a good model. We tried it, and it lasted exactly one day.
Some couples meet for lunch to catch up. My husband brings a triple-decker peanut butter and jelly sandwich to work everyday and he intends to eat it. When we have met for lunch, our lunch sessions have been rudely interrupted by the crowds of other people having lunch in the fast food places that match our budget.
On occasion, we see a movie or go to dinner, but by the time we decide to take time out for each other we are too tired to talk about anything.
For now, it seems that bulleted lists are going to be our method of communication. That is, until we start text messaging each other, “Do u want 2 go 2 D-land at xmas?” Pretty soon, I see us being reduced to grunting, which would take us directly from the information age to the caveman age. Talk about evolution!
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