Do you want to know what happened in my life today?
I’ll tell you what I typically tell my wife: “Nothing.”
Now, I’m not sure how it works around your house, but there is one thing I can say with absolute certainty: That answer isn’t good enough for her.
Instead of that considered but concise summary, all of which the word “nothing” says to me, she’s going to expect me to respond, more completely and fully, outlining every single thing I did that day – who I talked with, what they told me, what I did for lunch, what I ate, what happened in the office, and anything else that may or may not have happened.
And just recounting the general outline of what happened won’t be good enough, either.
For example, it won’t be acceptable to say I had lunch with Steve and leave it at that. Instead, I’ll be expected to recount, line for line, the entire lunchtime discussion. And if I don’t, there will be some concern that I’m holding out on her, that maybe I’m not treating her as an equal partner in our marriage.
Just so you understand my situation, what I’m being asked to do isn’t impossible, either. My wife has proven time and time again she is capable of carrying out this formidable mandate.
For example, if she went walking with a friend, my wife can recall and repeat – word for word, from both sides of the discussion – everything that was said during the walk. And on the same day, she also can recall – in minute detail and with incredible precision – every comment made by our sons both on the way to school and on the way home, not to mention some of their throw-away lines after they’ve arrived at home.
And if her mother or a friend (or both) happen to call, she can recall everything that was said during those conversations, too. (For good measure, she can even divine a few things I might have been thinking but didn’t even say.)
In fact, even though I have never pressed this issue, I am convinced it would be possible for my wife’s recap of the day to consume more hours than the original events took, including her pauses for dramatic effect, interpretive comments, bathroom breaks and additional phone calls from other people, which wind up lengthening the explanation even more.
But we celebrated another wedding anniversary not long ago, and I promised my wife I would try to provide a longer, more fulfilling explanation of my day.
So tomorrow, when she asks about my day, I’m going to go all out with my explanation.
“Not much,” I’ll say, showing her I’m willing to at least meet her halfway.