Commuting Couples

As I mentioned earlier (last week? the week before?) on Mondays and Wednesdays, B and I commute to work together. Cue the choir of singing angels. Or something. We have worked out a system for getting ready at the same time, making sure the dog is walked, watered and fed, and and ensuring we both have a thermos of coffee or tea in our hand as we head out the door. Then we get in the car and settle in for our 30 mile trip to the suburbs, a trip that has really highlighted the whole “Men/Mars-Women/Venus” theory. Or the theory that no two people are exactly alike, no matter how much they like each other. Take your pick. Lets break this down issue by issue:

Climate Control:

When I spent 4 years driving into work I came up with a careful configuration of vents and temperature selection. This allowed my hair to finish drying on my way into work (curly hair, shouldn’t blow dry it, yadda yadda yadda) without drying out my face and keeping me comfortable. B prefers to crack the sunroof and the drivers side window, which allows both smells (grosssss) and noise to infiltrate my sanctuary. Also, it makes my hair ugly and I’m often too hot or too cold.

Radio Volume

Maybe I have hearing loss, maybe I don’t, or maybe my ears pick up sounds at decibles my husband’s do not. Either way he has two volumes: VERY LOUD and NOT LOUD. The NOT LOUD setting is such that I cannot hear anything intelligible from the radio, save the realization that it is on and making noise, noise with no melody or beat or anything else. Combine this with the noise of the wind in the window and the outside traffic noise and I’m pretty much in my own personal hell of crappy static in the background. NOT zen-like.

Radio Channel Selection:

I am a loyal television viewer and radio listener. When I decide to watch a television show, I watch it for the long haul. This explains why I was one of the last four Americans watching ER in its final season. When I drive in the car I select one radio station and I leave it there. If the commercials begin to annoy me, I turn the radio off and listen to music on my iPhone. I do not change the station, instead I learn when the station reports traffic and weather and the news in between my tunes. B…does not subscribe to this theory. B randomly mashes radio buttons. He channel surfs. He sometimes begins channel surfing IN THE MIDDLE OF A SONG. We do not listen to commercials, instead he would rather listen to the last 25 seconds of a song rather than sit through one commercial before we can hear a song in its entirety. He does NOT channel surf to my station however, something about “hating country music” despite the fact that my channel PLAYS MUSIC WITH REGULARITY. Not that I care or anything (except I do).

I don’t know what the solution to any of these issues is. I’ve started telling B when to change the channel (songs that I hate) and I’ve begun setting the volume my own self. We operate on a strict “driver gets to pick” radio rule, and since I get dropped off first, B typically drives, and blah blah blah blah. I’m losing when it comes to music selection (can’t we just listen to some soothing country?) but I take it when it means I can barter for closed windows. Either way, I think we have both agreed we look forward to the day when we don’t commute with each other. Something about personal space and habits and the need for my hair to look good.

But I will miss the door to door service. As long as we are being truthful.


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2 Responses to Commuting Couples

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  • Jenifer says:

    We have the exact same fights. We have created a new rule, on the way in, I am master of the radio. On the way home, he is. We couldn’t do the driver rule because he’s always driving (he likes it). As for the air, it’s still a battle. I want windows down. We live near the beach! He wants them up, he has allergies. So, I am not going to enforce windows down because that’s just mean.

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