There are countless things that I love about my husband but one I must talk about is his ability to talk to anyone, truly anyone.
Yesterday we chose to use Uber to get us to the airport. Our driver, Katherine, drove up in her small, compact car. When she crawled out of the front seat, we were surprised to see the equivalent of a disheveled grandma – long ratty knitted sweater, slippers and mussed hair. She cleared her ‘dinner’ off the front passenger seat and opened the back hatch to store it away. Immediately, the odor of old Chinese food combined with a space housing too many cats poured out the open doors. The back of the car was packed with a car seat, boxes, clothes, and other bags probably holding past ‘dinners’. We had to put our luggage in the back seat along with me. My darling husband took the front seat which was covered in a well worn and faded blanket. I squeezed in back and held my nose. In the front seat, my husband carried on as if we were in a rose garden.
From the moment she started the car, Katherine did not stop talking. She took one deep breath and went on for the full ride. We heard about her entire nursing career which began when she dropped out of college to go into the service for 10 years. She moved to Maui when her mom decided to retire here and has never left. Her husband died just a few years ago and she met him after she home nursed his grandson for several years. They started dating after she returned from a trip to find that the woman who had been house sitting had trashed her house while she was gone but future husband not only helped her clean it up but also helped her set up for the health fair the next day in less than 22 minutes because the woman in the booth next to them timed it and it must be because they had both been in the service so they were very disciplined but Hawaiians are so healthy because they take good care of themselves but so many children die young because they aren’t healthy and more people came out to vote in the last election that there were lines of people walking down the street, families and grandmas and grandpas and children who couldn’t even vote, everyone from 18 years old to the 125 year olds.
And that is where my darling husband finally had to interject. “I am sorry but did you say 126 years old?”
“Yes, there are plenty of Hawaiians who are well over 126 years old.”
“That’s odd. I thought the oldest person alive was around 115.”
“Oh, no. We Hawaiians live much longer. There is just no record of that. They don’t count us. They only count the mainlanders.”.
“Really? That seems odd.”
“Nope, it’s true.”
We pulled up to the airport in the rain and had to make a quick exit with a quick goodbye and thank you. My husband looked at me, “Well, that was certainly interesting.”
As odd and smelly and off center as that experience was, my husband stayed 100% engaged with our drive the whole time. Lots of “oh” and “uh huh” and “oh really”. He was gracious and polite and I hope he lives to be 126 years old!