Thursday, March 5, 2009

Do We Both Want This?

I was merrily skimming through the The Grown-Up's Guide to Running Away from Home: Making a New Life Abroadwhen I stumbled over this sentence…
“If you’re married, your spouse must be on the same track as you. Do you both agree on the adventure?”

Well, whaa?

I figure that if someone is reading a book about ex-patting, they’re either a) single or b) happily conspiring with a partner of some sort. It never occurred to me that one half of a couple might be planning a getaway a deux, while the other half was dreaming of late tee-times or lifesized flat-screen tvs. (Not that one can’t dream of late tee times in Bali, but you get my drift.)

What a tragedy. Two people bumping down the road of life only to find that one zigs while the other seriously zags, just as they hit the on-ramp to the retirement Autobahn.

One fist-pumps his way through the living room, waving season tickets to the Redskins, while the other jingles keys to a new 20x20 climate-controlled Rent-a-Space.

One trudges up the driveway, doggedly hauling back all the knick knacks the other has so gleefully carried out for Goodwill.

I mean, what have you guys been talking about all these years, if not retirement and going…somewhere, anywhere?

This has been my primary (some would say only) topic of conversation since the glorious sunny day that I stopped by Rick’s with a coconut pie ten years ago. We’d been dating for maybe a week, and he said, sitting there on that stoop, drinking coffee out of a mug I’m sure I’ve already disposed of, that he wanted to own a dive shop one day.

Now, I’m not much for manual labor – and there’s nothing more laborious than running a dive shop – but I knew I’d found my man. I figured we could fine tune that vision over the next decade (and we have), but here was a guy who’d just said he wanted to live a Shore Dive Kinda Life.

We’ve had our communication challenges over the years, but co-dreaming isn’t one of them.


Anonymous said...

I remember riding in a car late at night when I was little. It was during a summer rain and my father was driving. My uncle was in the lead car swerving to run over all the frogs that were on the street. My father was swerving to miss all the frogs. It was one of my first memories of how people view things so differently. You never really know what life will dish up, but you do need to stay alert. I certainly couldn't see how my life was going to drastically change along the way. My expectations have changed and I must say I am thriving!

Nancy said...

Wonderful story, Mellenie! I'd love to meet your dad - he sounds like my kind of guy. And you sure are right about staying "alert." Both to catch all the brass rings and to make sure you protect your teeth when you fall ;-)