Folie à Deux: Husband and Wife Journos Stay Together Through Hell or No Fresca

In a bit of marital stunt journalism, Slate’s David Plotz and The Atlantic‘s Hanna Rosin decided to spend a whole day 15 feet apart and report on their experiences. (They also let Slate V’s camera’ follow them.)

Inspired by a recent New York Times ‘House & Home’ story about a Buddhist monk and his platonic partner who’ve spent the last decade eating off the same plate and attempting to breathe in unison ("We are always inhaling at the same moment and we are always exhaling at the same moment"), Mr. Plotz and Ms. Rosin did their best to do the same for 24 hours, cutting a length of string 15-feet long so that they could ensure their intimacy. Sure, it wasn’t performance artists Linda Montano and Tehching Hsieh tying themselves together with eight feet of rope for a year, but it was something of a challenge.

Half the video takes place at Mr. Plotz’s Slate office, where he has a small scale freakout over the lack of Fresca in the fridge in morning ("Who drinks Fresca at 10 o’clock in the morning?" his wife sensibly asks), and complains that Ms. Rosin’s reporting is too loud. Ms. Rosin, who is pregnant, drags her husband to the women’s room where he must stand outside the door waiting for her to finish up. Mr. Plotz seems to spend a lot of his day watching soccer.

Another portion of the video takes place at The Atlantic‘s office where she discusses a story with her editor. Mr. Plotz describes this encounter:

I see her best professional self, proposing, scheduling, clarifying, explaining—building a picture of the thrilling article to come. And my presence there contributes just what I’d hoped. I propose ideas. I bounce thoughts off her. Her editor and I agree about a major element of the story, and we change Hanna’s mind.

Read ’till the end to experience a bit of classic Mars/Venus disconnect wherein Mr. Plotz and Ms. Rosin each have very different thoughts the morning after.