This is my friend Nancy:
And this is her husband Eric:
Nancy is leaving Eric in a few days to attend a 9-week yoga teacher training in San Diego. How are they dealing with their impending separation? Like any type-A New York couple, they’re making to-do lists. Actually, Nancy is making most of the to-do lists (Eric is not type-A), including the one below, which is a list of things she thinks Eric should do while she’s away. Nancy hopes that Eric will not only stay busy while she’s gone, but will also use the opportunity to improve himself, just like she’ll be improving herself by bending her body into a pretzel for 12 hours a day in a hot tent (did I mention she’s training to be a Bikram yoga teacher?)
Here’s the list Nancy showed me.
It’s titled, Eric’s List during Bikram Training:
–Walk the dog(s) + beach time & other stuff with pooches.
–Hang with friend’s new baby.
–Play ping pong with Mickey.
–Continuing ed class, he wants to do math, algebra, trig, calculus and statistic (it’s his fantasy)
–Journal and write essays to send to different mags, papers, journals on adult ed., education, literacy, the prison population, the criminal justice system, minorities, etc.
–Go fishing with Nick.
–Go watch flicks at film forum, ifc, anthology and other alt movie places. he likes that.
–Plan our pacific coast trip from l.a. to san fran when i’m done with training.
–Whatever it is besides a hooker or a mistress he should not stay at WORK LATE.
Did I mention Nancy is one of the busiest people I know? When she’s not sweating in a 105-degree room, she’s baking bread, drawing (those are her illustrations above, and here is her website, where you can see more of her incredible work), upholstering, knitting, organizing the apartment, managing issues for her coop board, planning dinner parties or walking her dog Nina.
Eric does a lot, too, but no one could hope to ever do as much as Nancy. So I’ll be curious to see if Eric ticks off anything on Nancy’s list, or whether he’ll be happy to spend those nine weeks working late.
But the whole thing did get me thinking of the urge to improve our spouses. I’ve often thought how Nivi really should call up his friend Dennis and play tennis like they’re always saying they will. He should read more fiction and surf the Internet less. I just know he’d enjoy taking long walks on the weekend with me, and how can I get him to start participating in local politics (he’s so passionate about the issues!)?
Do men make these mental lists for their wives, too? Or is it one of those gender differences that make evolutionary biologists piss their pants?