Thursday, June 05, 2008

Now that's a close marriage

The New York Times recently featured a Buddhist-teacher couple, Michael Roach and Christie McNally, who have never been apart in in their 10 years of marriage. And by never being apart they meant never being more than 15 feet apart. The Times reporter, Leslie Kaufman loves to add perspective throughout the article, such as:
If they cannot be seated near each other on a plane, they do not get on. When she uses an airport restroom, he stands outside the door. And when they are here at home in their yurt in the Arizona desert, which has neither running water nor electricity, and he is inspired by an idea in the middle of the night, she rises from their bed and follows him to their office 100 yards down the road, so he can work.
They eat from the same bowl, read each page of each book together, the works.

No doubt this article is designed to get readers to thinking about distances of all sorts in their marriages. (Sure did the trick for me.) The story so intrigued David Plotz, now the new editor at Slate, that he and his wife decided to try out the fifteen-foot rule for a day. And Slate filmed their "stunt" (as Plotz called it) for their video site SlateV. The short piece goes like this:

Like Plotz and Rosin, my lovely wife and I have our own professions and places to go to practice them. Unlike Plotz and Rosin, our professions are deeply distinct, and at the moment I spend weekdays 80 miles or so from my wife. Our experiment of this sort, then, would probably be more dramatic and more revealing to both of us than it was for them.

As Rosin notes toward the end of the video, spending the day so (literally) closely together left them little to talk about when most wives and husbands, us included, do become close at night. It's that expansion and contraction of distance that provides some of the good kind of mystery, I think. Besides, you can't reliably measure the closeness of a marriage with a piece of tape.

Now I'm off to the train and to think about my wife.

1 comment:

teahouse said...

This was so funny! I like the couple - very engaging and fun and creative. I'm glad they did it.