by Pat Antonopoulos
Monday morning, 8:00 AM, and only four in the pool. We barely made a blip on the usual echo that seems built into the walls of high school swimming pools.
For years, Bob has been the sole male in the group dutifully coming because he knows how much I relish the hour of cool water and self imposed solitude at the deeper end.
We rarely follow the instructor’s shouted routine, instead swimming to whatever tempo fits the morning. When the group is large this is fine, but on Monday, we decided to stay with the instructor, laughing about finally getting the behavior disordered couple to join the group.
M., the lifeguard, climbed down from the tower-chair and pulled a lawn chair close to the pool’s edge where we clustered to start the warm-up. M. is friendly with the uninhibited charm that grumps and smiles with equal intensity.
“So uh… you guys are like fun to watch…uh.. so how long you guys been married?”
Who knew we were even being watched!
Who knew that we would stutter over finding the right answer.
“Not long enough” and “Better ask her” were the first attempts.
M. laughed at our confusion and didn’t let up. “So…how long?”
“Well, we met in high school, lost track of one another and reconnected about 25 years ago…so I think we have been married close to 25 years, give or take.”
We all laughed at my attempt at numbering our time together.
“Nope. It will be 28 years the first of December. Maybe about December 3 or December 6…or close to that date.”
Bob had the years, but not the date, that we should celebrate.
We had a fun morning as the nonsense escalated and the hour ended with my promise that I would check the date and have the answer on Wednesday.
This isn’t a senior moment or a brain fog story. It is just the way we have always been. The exact information is printed on a small card tucked in a drawer, should it ever be important to someone. Of course, we have checked it, made a mental note to remember and promptly forgotten again.
I think this means that the years ahead are more important than the years past— and that the now is most important.