Monday, October 27, 2008

Takes Two (Complete Opposites?) To Tango

Over the summer, I was asked to write an essay about being a "white collar" wife to a "blue collar" husband. I don't often think of me and my husband in those terms, as I'm more likely to say something glib about opposites attracting, and leave it at that. But it got me thinking -- about how, even after 20 years, in a thousand ways, we're both more different than we are alike, and yes, the disparity in career trajectory is not insignificant. In the end, it's a piece about how being different can be great – and greatly frustrating – but it also makes one important point about enduring love.

The piece went up today over at (formerly, the web descendant of the no-longer-in-print magazine Tango).

It's titled I Like NPR, He Likes NASCAR. Here's a taste:

He likes NASCAR, I'm into Nova. His food comes bland, mine spicy. He's a beach person, I hate sand in my suit. He watches CSI, I'm liking Medium. Frank skied, I was a competitive equestrian. I listen to NPR, his tastes run to (do I have to say it?) a.m. talk. Then there's the biggie. Frank never went to college. Not a semester, not a day. Me? I just completed a master's degree. In literary nonfiction. Which my husband never reads…I read in order to keep breathing. Frank reads the sports pages and Consumer Reports, and he even reads long involved fantasy books about bats and bots aloud with our ten year old. But I long, yes, still, after 20 years for him to really read—a novel, any novel, or a memoir, even a ghostwritten one about a quarterback…
Do I sometimes wish I'd married a man who went to college, who works in a more lucrative, higher profile business, who likes Springsteen, knows the difference between The Nation and The New Republic, and who has already read the book I'm in the middle of? I do……

You can read the rest here. Oh and yes, he does read what I write – if I ask, and nicely.


Todd said...

A wonderful essay. I have a similar relationship with my wife.

Michelle O'Neil said...

I absolutely love this piece!

"even a ghostwritten one about a quarterback" HA!

I'm married to a non-reader myself. (No, wait! He did read Mitch Alblum's two books). It drives me nuts. I've finally come to the conclusion that he has some sort of processing disorder. I mean, how could you NOT love to READ unless something was terribly wrong with you? !!!

Whether it's true or not, my diagnosing of the problem helps me accept it.

; )

Lisa Romeo said...

Good news - my husband read it last night and is still talking to me!

Anonymous said...

I'm in the same boat as you. I love to read and write (poetry and short fiction) but mostly, he reads in the Sports section. He did graduate college but he would rather go to a baseball game (I would rather have a colonoscopy with no anesthesia) than to a museum. I love to travel to new places, he is happy going to Atlantic City. But we're in love and we do have one big thing in common, our love of running, which is how we met. I wouldn't have it any other way.