Sharing a Sink and Other Humorous Marriage Moments

Our friends Tina and Joe have installed his-and-her sinks. The last time we had dinner there, we all got up with our wineglasses and went in to admire the remodeled bathroom. We stood awhile, sipping our wine and chatting about this and that, as though having cocktails in the bathroom before sitting down to eat was the new thing. It made as much sense to me as individual bathroom sinks did.

“What’s up with that?” I said to Ed on the way home. How often does it happen that you are wanting to brush your teeth at precisely the same moment as your spouse, and in such a grave hurry, that you can’t wait 40 seconds? Me, I enjoy the goofy intimacy of brushing your teeth together, talking over the day’s events in an unintelligible foamy garble. That’s what marriage is all about. Isn’t it?

“It would be nice to have your own sink,” Ed said. “I can’t say why.”

I launched into one of my tiresome laments about modern life, about how couples don’t live like couples anymore, what with his-and-her washbasins and separate phone mailboxes and mattress adjustments and car temperature controls. Couples don’t share, because no one’s willing to compromise.

Ed was quiet for a moment. “What do we share?”

I thought about this. We share a home e-mail account that neither of us checks or uses or even remembers how to log on to. We share a Netflix account, though it is Ed who manages the film queue. Not long ago, a Jack Black movie featuring the portly actor in a full-body leotard dropped through our mail slot. I ran out the door in my sockfeet, convinced that the mailman had given us a neighbor’s envelope. We don’t share the same shampoo or breakfast cereal or even toothpaste. I couldn’t come up with an answer.