When we are old…

When queuing after an old couple in the supermarket,  I turned to my husband and said, “you’d better keep your shape, otherwise I will have problem to carry you when you are old.” It was a spontaneous reaction, as other remarks I made in our daily life. I even didn’t reason before saying it out, but I’m sure it was not a joke, neither of the old couple or of my husband.

In fact, since we always meet lots of old couples doing things together, in the supermarket or on the street, I couldn’t help myself imagine my life at their age. Most of time, beside an empathy towards these old couples, I admire their companionship. It’s rare to see young family handing out together in supermarket, since shopping is considered as a boring routine, a chore that one can handle with alone. However, when people become very old, shopping together in the grocery may turn out to be an essential part of their daily life. Compared with the images where single old women or men push their wheels and pick items with their trembling hands, old couples and their cooperative gestures always convey a joy of deep and long love. This kind of scene warms my heart.

“Even now, you barely can carry me!!” My husband seemed irritated by my words, “I have no hope in depending on you.”

What he said was true but hurting. I held my tongue and we passed to the cashier with a forced smile. At that moment, the picture of our future life appeared miserable.

Such conversation undermines our marriage life, due to the mutual misinterpretations. We definitely have different perspectives. When I foresee our retired life, I depict a companionship whose details are overwhelmed by the harmony tone. When I said “don’t be too heavy”, I just could not fit an over-weighted couple into our own  future’s imaginary. However, my husband is used to focus on realistic details. The picture in his mind underlines all the difficulties that old people may encounter.

We were both mad. I was disappointed that he had belittled my ability as a partner and caregiver, while he was frustrated by the fear of being old and dependent. We’d better avoid this kind of topic.

However, we do share a common perspective which allow us to imagine being together when we are old. We will be together, like this couple in front of us, who may have many problems in life but still or more in love.


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