I have a 7am physical therapy appointment twice a week in town and until last week my shoulder was immobilized. It meant I needed a chauffeur with all the wicked weather and nasty road conditions we have had as of late. It mean RangerSir and I I have been spending lots of time in the car together. Road time is often spent by couples listening to the radio, talking about friends or family and sharing the trials of the job.
Since I don’t enjoy driving RangerSir and I developed a different road routine long ago. We did this partly because driving long distances can become monotonous and memorizing. Many of the places we have traveled have no radio coverage over the years, so all we have are one another. We ask “What if?” It is a game of sorts where you ask questions. It has allowed us to keep in touch with one another’s wishes, dreams, thoughts and evolving opinions. We have asked everything you can imagine. In nearly 38 years some of our answers have stayed the same while others have evolved with our lives. It never gets old and the questions never quit coming. Some of the things that we have asked over the years.
- You won the lottery and have to travel abroad where would you go?
- Money no option where would you retire?
- Who was your best boss ever?
- In our present reality where would you like to retire?
- Which relative of your spouse do you most enjoy chatting with?
- Who would you invite to dinner who is dead?
- Worst president since you have been alive?
- If you could give me any gift what would you give me?
- What place have you visited that I haven’t, do you want to take me to?
- Which house/condo/apartment we living in had the best neighborhood? (Since we have been together we have lived in nine places)
- Who did you vote for you wished you didn’t in retrospect?
- What would be your perfect meal?
- What food did not not expect to like but do?
- What is your perfect vehicle?
- Worst US city you have visited?
- What is your favorite book?
- Best stupid gadget.
You get my drift. It is a most amazing insight to a person you have lived with and think you know. One would think not much would surprise me after all the years and all the questions. In many ways it has helped us to stay in touch and on the same plane as we evolved. When it came time to transfer with the Forest Service, we both knew it was coming and where we wanted to go and why. When we bought vehicles we were on the same page, no discussion. It made it possible to each of us to buy a house sight unseen for the spouse. When I changed jobs, RangerSir knew it was coming long before I talked about it. It makes gift buying much more insightful and personal, but makes it possible to find that perfect quirky gift.
Yet occasionally there are still surprise answers to questions. I asked RangerSir last week, what secret goal are you likely to not achieve? He told me it was to go into space. That was a “Boy Howdy” moment. I knew my husband was fascinated with space, and he considered the walking on the moon a pivotal moment in his life. He has been a sci-fi, the space kind, TV and book junkie all his life. But I would never have guessed that like old Walter Cronkite he had aspirations to travel into space. I am not sure that there is anything I can do to support that dream, but it just go to show that there are some dreams we hold on to nearly forever. It also reminds me that when you have a committed relationship you always need to be listening to your partner. You never know what you don’t now and there is always time to learn more.