A short-distance marriage

A short-distance marriage

SINGAPORE - I turned the key in the lock, opened the door to our serviced apartment, and found myself in a room the size of a bedroom closet.

Okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration. But only a very small one - about as tiny as the studio apartment I had just walked into.

My husband and I had booked it for a month's stay in Tokyo, while we searched for a more permanent place to rent for the following year. Preferably one where "kitchen" meant something more than the hot plate and microwave oven I could see from the entryway of the serviced apartment.

To be fair, the apartment was already larger than the average Japanese hotel room. You could fling out an arm without having the TV crash to the ground and there was actually enough floor area visible to see that the tiles had a pattern on them.

My husband stepped in beside me. "Wow, this place is huge!" he said, with the excitement of a hamster being transferred from a shoebox to a real cage for the first time.

But he hadn't yet grasped what was just dawning on me: that we would have to spend the next 30 days cooped up within spitting - and smelling - distance of each other.

Marriages have crumbled over less. If the Beckhams traded in their mansion for a 300 sq ft studio, I'm pretty sure his singing in the shower would drive her to kick some balls of her own.

The funny thing is, when it comes to long-distance relationships, my husband and I are endurance champions. We spent four years apart when we were in university, first in different countries, then in different cities in the United States.

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