Left. Right. Right. Left.

Hes a workaholic, Im pretty much stapled to my laptop; we both get pretty involved with what were doing, pretty much all of the time – and that used to be fine when we were both in the office and then when he was in the office and I was working at home and there was a definite WORK time and a NOTWORK time.

And now? Now, thats a bit more difficult. Work hours are literally all over the place, and all over the place tends to make up all the time youre not asleep if youre not careful. We both constantly check external work mail, the site our work appears on and. And were both working, and living, and everything else in the same house. All the time.

We never run out of things to say: never ever. Which is nice.
But when we are both stuck in work mode, conversation can get a little dull, sometimes.

Its kind of like the conversation you might find in any office at any time, like any colleagues might have, except weve lived together forever and still havent worked out how to separate things like this: Its very VERY much like your workplace. Totally utterly like that, in a professional, productive kind of way.Totally like that.
Its like the apocryphal water cooler, but just way, WAY less cool:

Did you see that email?
Oh, the one about that thing?
Yeah, what do you think that means?
Well, that projects completely blown off now I suppose.
For the time being, perhaps, but thingy – you know, her deputy – he was always AWFULLY keen on it. So he might be being lined up for promotion, because that would be very wearing on the section, because he really is more geared toward the DO of it rather than the STUFF of the whole thing, you know?
Yes.
Mm
Would you mind closing the door so I can have a poo?
Oh alright. Thing is, though
Now?
Ill go and put the kettle on

Luckily though, of late we have found far more exciting things to talk about.

We neither of us, at the rich old ages of 30 and 31andonehalf, have so far learned to drive.
This is a subject of shock and awe in some social situations more than others What? You cant drive AT ALL? people say, as if we might be making it up just to alarm them, or as if, when we say We cannot drive, what we are really meaning might be We cannot drive a three axle 18-wheeler articulated lorry unaccompanied, but everything else like things what normal people drive, we can of course drive those, anything else would be madness!. That is, however, not what we mean. We mean we cant drive at all.

Its not been a forcefully ecological position; wherever weve both lived, both before-together and since-together has been well served by public transport and weve made the most of that; were both happiest walking, bussing and training anywhere, biking if we can; as long as thats the best way to explore.

However, that doesnt seem to be the best way to explore, right now. Thats why were both breaking the habit of a lifetime, and learning to drive instead. We can explore wider, more conveniently, and also help guests explore when they come to visit, (yay!). So we have been studying the California Drivers guide very hard, and doing lots of sample tests and becoming mildly obsessed with the whole thing.

Our conversations have recently run more along the lines of:
Do we have any coriander?
Yes. Which is the correct speed in a residential zone unless otherwise posted?
Oh, um, 25. Oh hell. The spatulas in the dishwasher, isnt it?!
Yes
Bother. I knew that was a mistake. And if you were approaching an intersection with a yellow flashing light above it, what would be the right thing to do?
Oh! Know this one. The other spatulas over there. And slow to 15mph, look both ways and proceed with caution
Brilliant, thanks. Would you mind closing the door while I have a poo?

Im kidding on that last sentence, I promise you. Double promise.
Double super-ooper-dooper promise.
I mean, who needs a spatula when they poo? Even in America, land of the free and the mildly constipated?
Honestly, I was kidding.

So Anyway

We finally got around to going to the DMV, which ostensibly stands for Department of Motor Vehicles, but could well stand for all manner of other things seeing as its actually just a large building where crazy people go to shout at each other, renew their driving licence and drink bourbon out of brown paper bags (yes, yes, youd have thought it would soak through, very funny).

And after a reasonably short time of queuing (seriously, people beforehand said it was almost unbearable waiting times, but its such a good-service culture here that people get really alarmed when they have to wait four minutes for something, which is clearly great. But their conception of long queue and mine is clearly very, very different) I emerged with a learners permit, having passed my eye tests and my complex theory tests and my can you have your photo taken without pulling an awkward I-hate-having-my-photo-taken face tests and emerged with a lovely piece of paper and a fresh sense of confidence about how great a driver I am going to be.


Were going to be the best drivers EVERER
Yes Anna
Were going to kick everyones ARSE at the driving, although not in an aggressive driving kind of way, because that is illegal. We wont tailgate.
No, Anna
Yeah, we am the DRIVINGEST!!!!

We walked along the road from the DMV to the bus stop, only slightly hampered by my insisting on doing celebratory ninja moves all the way along the way, at random intervals.

At Haight Street, three blocks from the DMV and on a route that would take us more than two thirds of the way home, we stopped at a proper bus stop.

How long? My beloved said, in the middle of checking his email on his phone while I stared up at a bus deliver schedule tacked to the shelter.

13 minutes, it says I said.

We watched the traffic go by, this way and that. We talked about various minor traffic infarctions being committed on the street in front of us, and how we would, totally, as the bestest most utterly drivingest motherbastards on the planet, do better. We wandered, looking the correct way, across the street to a corner shop, and bought two bottles of water and came back, still talking in warm self-congratulatory tones about how great we were.

It was nine minutes after we reached the bus stop that it happened.

We were looking up at the display, it said 71 – 4 mins.
And we stood there, and we were talking about some boring work thing and My Beloved looked across the road and said 71?

And I looked. And there it was.

That?! He said, confused.
That! He said realising.
That He said, embarrassed
Thats the way the bus goes, because thats the way downtown, of course he said, reiterating everything that had been not of course in my head. Thats the way downtown because thats the side of the road that points downtown. The RIGHT side of the road and this side um. isnt. And doesnt, and

We looked at the road that wed stopped at, on the way from our supervictorious theory test. Wed wandered so far, our heads full of perfect california road law, and completely failed to identify the right side of the road to get a bus.

of course the bus is over there. THATs where they would be; on THAT side of the road. Said my beloved.

Can we just walk home, please, because its going to be a bit embarrassing to cross the road and stand at their bus stop instead

And we walked back to the nearest tram station, and everything was solved.
But it answered what I was expecting to know: we can learn everything in the world that there is to learn, the two of us; but left and right are going to stay right where they are.
And Im STILL not going to be able to identify which way that is.

Can you close the door please? I need a poo.

(I kidding.)