Monday, February 26, 2007

Different Worlds

Tonight my sweetie and I were watching a PBS special on the Kingston Trio. For him, it brought back many fond memories. He used to sing songs like "Where Have All The Flowers Gone", "Green Back Dollar", and "Tom Dooley" in high school assemblies in the early '60's.

Right about that time I was starting kindergarten.

So by the time I became conscious enough to pay attention to music, the hey day of folk tunes had come and gone. Oh sure, I was familiar with Peter, Paul & Mary and Joan Baez. But that wasn't what I grew up listening to.
During my teen age years I was listening to Janis Joplin, Jimmy Hendrix, Cream, the Doors, Iron Butterfly and Black Sabbath. My friends and I loved the song "War Pigs". If you ask my husband, he would say that was NOT music at all. We sort of grew up in different worlds.

He was in high school when Kennedy was assassinated. I was six. He was in college when we sent our first man to the moon... I was still reading Nancy Drew books and climbing trees. His computer classes in college used IBM punch cards that were sent to a main frame machine that filled an entire room at a different facility. I went in learning how to program DOS on a PC.

It's interesting being so closely bonded to a man whose whole world experience has been so radically different from my own. It's almost like I had married someone who was of a different nationality. Our frame of reference for what is cool, what is fun, and what is important very seldom fits on the same page. We've cancelled out each other's votes in most elections. We learned early on NOT to try buying each other clothing, music or books.

The nice thing about this relationship, however, is that we both have learned to appreciate many things than neither one of us would have tried on our own and we've developed a healthy dose of tolerance for respecting each other's view even when we disagree.

In our early days together his friends and family were all shaking their heads, figuring my man was going through some sort of middle age crazy to hook up with "that head-in-the clouds hippie girl" and my pals were wondering what in the world I was doing with some straight Republican cowboy with good manners when they knew me to generally have a strong preference for bad boys in leather on motorcycles who never called anyone Mame. Clearly, by most accounts, our being together made absolutely no sense.

But when I'm in the crook of this guy's arm I feel like all the planets have lined up and the universe is smilin' on my soul. After twenty five years of marriage we've learned to compromise and negotiate a plenty. Some of the differences have been quite humorous, and a few have caused frustration, disappointment or outrage. But through it all, there's never been any question that our spirits were meant to fill each other up.

If you've ever read Shel Silverstein's book The Missing Piece, that pretty much sums up the way he and I fit.

Our tastes and habits and opinions remain very, VERY different in many ways.

But I don't need a reflection of me to love.

I need someone I can appreciate, respect, learn from and play with.

I got that and then some. I'd say I'm one lucky lady to have this man in my life.
We've travelled the world together, shared heartaches and victories, and through it all continued to make each other laugh. I may never understand why he likes to watch professional bull riding or how he can stand surrounding himself with the stuffed carcasses of dead animals. He will in all likelihood never get it when I want to talk about existential angst. But he'll listen anyway. And he'll try. And sometimes he'll even give me the remote. What more can a girl ask for than that?

4 comments:

Spoke said...

Pj and I are from different planets too. Same galaxy, different planets.
I love "classic rock" she loves "garage".
I love motorbikes/riding. She can sit and read for hours on end.
She's brilliant, I'm a dummy.
She could happily fit in with 5-star high-brow...I don't like THEM.
17 years on...I couldn't have found a more suitable life-mate.

papa herman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
papa herman said...

That is the beauty of love!! The dance that interlocks two lives together into one.


Speaking of 'War Pigs' the last time we were in Portland I came across a country cd that had a version of 'War Pigs' on it... for $5 I had to give it a try --the country version didn't work.

isabella mori said...

i find these observations fascinating, too. i was very much part of my parents' musical life, too, so the kingston trio was important to us, and, yes, i, too grew up with janis joplin. now the interesting thing is that i grew up with that in a big city in germany; my husband, five years younger than i, grew up in a smallish town in canada. five years difference, a different geography, parents with vastly different musical interests, and it seems we grew up on different planets. it's a good thing we both also like classical music and jazz, both of which have a much longer shelf life!

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