Psalm 8

Calvin Trillin’s lighthearted and best-selling tribute to his late wife, Alice, has made husbands like me nervous. By “like me” I mean the ordinary, absentminded kind—husbands who have little more than a 50-50 chance of guessing correctly when their wives ask, “Do you notice anything different about me?” In essays that Trillin wrote as a staff writer for the New Yorker, Alice made regular appearances. Throughout their 36-year marriage, Trillin catalogued her sense of humor, her sense of style and her childlike sense of wonder. He noticed little things about Alice that most spouses let slide like fish over an open dam. This may explain why a young woman once wrote Trillin and confided that “she sometimes looked at her boyfriend and asked herself, ‘But will he love me like Calvin loves Alice?’”


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