by Chrysa Smith

Whenever I’m in the car with my husband–on a long road trip– I bring along magazines, knitting, my headphones and IPod. It’s not that I don’t want to talk with him. Rather, it’s that he’s quite unavailable. He’s not intently focused on the road, though that would be good. Instead, he’s incessantly talking on his cell phone.

I used to take it personally. After all, this was enclosed, couple time with no distractions. Hah! There I go again, thinking like a woman. I don’t know what I was hoping for—intimate conversations? Deep therapeutic breakthroughs? Discovery of the still unknown (after 28 years)?  Whatever it was, I think I’m over it.

I’ve since discovered that it’s not that he’s not interested in spending time with me, talking with me, enjoying couple time. With his own business, he’s constantly engaged—mind spinning with the ‘to do’ list on a never-ending scroll of things to be accomplished. Add that to being a ‘man’ and there’s the recipe for a sometimes mute companion. It was recently discovered that men actually speak a fraction of the words that women do in a day. I don’t quite remember, but I want to say it’s like a fifth or tenth. And, after all, all time, whether with someone or not, is valuable work time.  So, I think I’m over it.

What I’ve discovered myself is that each new tech gadget steals time. I was in the dark ages for the longest time; having a ‘dumb’ phone instead of a smart one. I couldn’t get internet, play music or other face-time distractions. So I really didn’t understand. Now, as I do all of my book biz online, have gotten much busier and have scored a smart phone, I too am sometimes unavailable. I’m constantly listening to my IPod and checking my emails so often, it borders on a disorder. So, I think I’m over it.

I still believe that when I get into the car for a road trip, work should end and leisure begin. I guess I still need another gadget or two to get over that.