When our daughter was younger, we often took what we call “family walk,” where 3 of us (plus sometimes our dog) would walk around in our neighborhood. Now that she is a teenager, she has more interesting things to do than to walk around aimlessly with her mom and dad. But, I still insist on calling it “family walk” as long as I invite everyone, which sometimes means I take a “family walk” by myself. In other words, it’s not the number of participants that defines “family walk” but the intent.
On this Sunday afternoon, my wife and I took a family walk without our daughter, but I had this ulterior motive to try Joe’s Steam Rice Roll on Canal Street. It opened a while ago, but I had never been there yet. During the walk, I revealed my intent to go there, and she begrudgingly agreed. I got their “signature” rice roll, and she got a shrimp roll. They were both quite good.
On the way back home, I also revealed my plan to go check out another rice roll place that recently opened on Elizabeth Street. She didn’t know that she was on a rice roll crawl as well as on a family walk. I then discovered that my wife was secretly planning on buying this big plant for our living room. Historically, we’ve been terrible at keeping plants alive, but after I got my goji berry plant, I began watering all the other plants on a regular basis. Now they are all doing great, which has made my wife feel more confident about buying new plants, that is, confident that I would water them. So, she marched into this plant store on Grand Street and bought a big plant after our rice roll crawl.
We often need to trick each other in this fashion because we don’t have many shared interests. My wife is not interested in food crawl, and I’m not interested in plants. She told me yesterday that a recurring joke among her friends is asking her, “Why did you marry him?” That may sound bad but think about it carefully. It would be worse if you had a straight answer to this question. As soon as you identify a reason you love someone, you’ll realize there are countless other people with the same quality. It would be reductive and devalue him. The right answer to that question should always be: “I don’t know.”
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