Monday, April 27, 2009

Meeting of Minds

There are a myriad of ways one can have a meeting of minds. The first that comes to my mind (sorry) is something I cannot explain. My sister and I are separated in age by 9 years and for most of our lives have lived apart, although the time sprinkled with visiting and long-distance communication. Several years ago, she and her husband came to live in Columbus. During that time, she and I worked together in caring for our parents and were in daily contact with each other, either in person or by phone. I cannot tell you HOW many times we would start to speak at the same time, saying the exact same words, with the same inflection and hand gestures. This is something you expect to happen when you've lived together for 20 plus years and can finish the others' sentences, give the punchline to the same old jokes, and sing the songs you've sung together forever. Not the case here. Since a lot of our time was spent in a nursing home, where many of the folks' minds were diminished or changed or uncomprehending, ours was the only illuminated shared laughter that resulted at these moments. But the others would often laugh along with us, thinking we fit right in with everyone there. So here's the question: was this meeting of minds with my sister, or with THEM?

Processing issues can also lead to a meeting of minds. For instance, suppose I think we need a new car. My husband may not agree, so we start processing. Me: Are you kidding? I got stuck in traffic last month when the car overheated, don't you remember? It could have caused an accident and on top of that you had to come rescue me. Don't you want to keep me safe? Him: Of course I I will give you clear and concise directions for keeping the car from overheating again. Before you start it, you must open the hood, find the radiator cap---no, not the oil stick---and use this special measure stick that I have spent countless man hours crafting for you, my love. You insert it into the opening of the radiator--after removing the cap, of course (handing me a set of pliers). Pull the stick back out and match the level of water with the labels I have placed on it: 1. OK (you can go ahead and drive 2. WAIT ( 3 minutes and measure again) 3. ADD 1 pint (not 2, just 1) 4. ADD 4 pints 5. ADD 1 gallon 6. CALL (your husband) Me: And exactly how does this help me when I'm running late, as usual? Him: Well, I'm glad you asked that; I've just made up a schedule for you, which, if you follow daily and use the appointment calendar included, you will never again have that problem. Me: What about all the other things that don't work on the car? I feel like I am cranking open a giant water valve to Hoover Dam when I am turning the steering wheel!! Him: Didn't you say that you were needing some strengthening exercises for your arms? Me: (Trying another tactic) Honestly now, wouldn't we save money by upgrading to a vehicle that uses less gas and works more efficiently? Him: (patiently) Yes, this is true, but the BEST thing you can do for us financially right now is to drive less and walk more. Me: (exasperated) And just WHAT will happen to all the money I'll be saving us? Him: Maybe we'll go on a cruise.... Mirabile dictu...a meeting of minds!

My most recent experience of a spontaneous meeting of minds occurred this weekend. A friend and I were walking in the Arena District of Columbus. There were lots of people walking by us in the opposite direction and we were enjoying people-watching. One group had within it a young woman, smiling, talking and holding onto the arm of a good-looking guy. Nothing special, until the young woman took a little skip instead of a step, and her face lit up with joy and excitement about who-knows-what.... My friend and I looked at each other and what fell out of my mouth turned out to be EXACTLY what she was thinking, too: Remember those days when WE were young and full of fun and energy and excitement, out on the town with our hubbies? Ahhh, yes a true meeting of minds...


  1. Hey, that thing about the car was totally exaggerated! I NEVER gave you 6 possibilities with the anti-freeze. I simply said to add or if that did not work, just give a call. And look at the arm strength and the great walking stamina you have indeed developed. And that cruise is still something to look forward to. yah

  2. You guys are too cute. Your blog is getting to be one of the highlights of my weeks, Marcia. I love it, very easy to relate to and of course very entertaining. Now when are you going to start submitting your little essays for pay? I think you have talent.

  3. The funny thing is that I can see Steve going down a similar train of thought as Popsie did. I know my Mom and her sisters also experience similar moments of having the same mind...laughing at the same random thing for the same nonsense reason. Enjoyed the post!

  4. I laughed at the conversation between you and true!!!! you captured your interactions so well!