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How A Couple Social Distances in One Home

My friend Frayda Levy sent this e-mail. I share it here with her kind permission.

Like many America, we are working at home. At first my husband and I went about our work. We talked to each other whenever we had something “interesting” to say. Or at least one of us thought it was “interesting”.

This quickly became too disruptive. So I created “Interruption Cards” We each received two. The plan was simple, if one of us wanted to interrupt the other — we gave up one of our cards.

As with so many regulations — it was not simple at all.

We quickly learned we needed some rules. For examples what type of interruption required the use of a card? Did my telling my husband his lunch was ready require a card? What about his asking me if he could use the printer in my office?

How long did an interruption card last? Just a few minutes or until the person who played the card decided his/her turn was up.

We soon bickered over whether or not we could raise a new topic when the other had used an interruption card. Or if one of us interrupted the other without a card — what would the punishment be? My husband wanted a much more salacious punishment than did I.

While that experiment with home regulations was fun, we quickly realized the interruption cards were causing more interruptions than without. We returned to the old self regulation system albeit with some admonitions about being considerate of each other. Hopefully, America will soon follow.