“This is the thing. It’s March. And at this moment in our life together, Noel and I are a bit at cross-purposes. I’m ready to have both time and money for other things. After raising children for more than twenty years, I’m ready to have fewer responsibilities. After the years of work and sacrifice to make the pink house what it is, every spare minute and every spare dime going toward that work, I want Noel and me to find another hobby we can enjoy together. Like what? Noel asks, very uncreatively, it strikes me. Ballroom dancing? I venture tentatively. Cooking? Travel? Jewelry making? A book club? He says the country house is his midlife crisis. He jokes that in lieu of a new sports car, or a girlfriend, or a new job, he wanted to change his life by tackling some big challenge. I’d glimpsed this restlessness in him before we found the country house, and I suspect it’s true what he’s saying. But this response feels a little flippant to me, and I’m not pacified by it.
I understand, and I don’t understand. I don’t know why his hobbies must always involve me to the degree they do. We’re usually good about talking out our differences and reaching compromises without linger resentments. We both agree the lack of resentment is the most astonishing thing about our marriage.
So. March already.”