A pair mismatched in heaven
My husband, Rick, and I recently celebrated our first wedding anniversary. The traditional gift for the occasion is paper, which is a little ironic since on paper, we’re so different we never should have celebrated so much as a first date.To be fair, we have one or two things in common. We both take pleasure in traveling, reading, movies, running, red wine and movies with plots that include running and red wine. But deep down, what makes us both happiest (besides each other – sigh) is about as similar as a pre- and post-face lift Melanie Griffith.Last Saturday we went to the LSU-South Carolina game in Baton Rouge – an event Rick has been looking forward to since he last attended a game in Louisiana almost two years ago. While I can tolerate attending sporting events, the conditions have to be aligned just right in order for me to relish the experience. I prefer a convenient parking spot, cool, crisp weather, comfortable seats with an excellent view and easy access to a clean restroom.Despite the high double-digit heat and humidity that alternated with a torrential downpour (or a tropical depression, as it’s more commonly known) that drenched us in our seats one row from the top of the 92,400-person stadium, I might have really enjoyed the game had it not been for the redneck sitting in front of us. Calling him a redneck is by no means intended as some sort of a Southern slur. The back of the guy’s neck was beet red. I decided it was probably because his blood pressure was greatly elevated from spending most of the game screaming obscenities at the South Carolina fans seated around us.Fortunately I was mostly able to distract myself from his rants by studying the tattoos he displayed on every visible body part. I stopped counting how many he had after I saw seven, but I managed to read enough of his body art to ascertain that whoever the artiste was who decorated him didn’t get well past the third grade in spelling and penmanship. Nevertheless, as they say down South – bless his heart.Rick didn’t notice the rain, the heat or Joe Dirt in front of us. He was too busy beaming with delight at every blade of grass on the field and the memory of the pre-game tailgating festivities (including a standard poodle with the LSU logo shaved on both its sides being paraded around the parking lot).Needless to say, I would have preferred the Emmy Awards to the LSU game. Not necessarily attending the Emmys (I went to the MTV Video Music Awards a few years ago and realized quickly it’s much more enjoyable to make fun of what people are wearing when those same people are not actually in earshot) but watching it at home on the couch.Like Rick seemed to actually care (or pretend quite well) that I attend the LSU game with him, I wanted him by my side when watching the Emmys. After all, what fun is it to ridicule the stars parading down the red carpet when no one’s around to snicker at your snide comments? (Plus, Rick always rubs my feet when we’re lying down on the couch.)However, watching an award show with Rick is about as pleasant for me as it must be for him taking me to a football game. His knowledge of pop culture is more akin to my parents than mine. Two years, seven months and one week after the six-year series ended its run, just months before the feature film is released (hallelujah!) and despite the fact that when we last left off all of the lead characters were in relationships, my mom still calls HBO’s landmark chick flick series “Sex and the Single Girl.” And no matter how many times she’s told, she can never remember that the guy who had the hit comedy on NBC was not named Jerry Steinfeld.Rick doesn’t fare much better when it comes to the ABCs of OK! and Us magazines.”Is that Tom Cruise?” he asked when Mark Harmon took the stage to present the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie (otherwise known as the category that kisses the well-toned butts of B-list movie actresses who have lowered themselves by appearing on TV).I rolled my eyes at him like I did at my dad when I was little when he would refer to the lead singer of the Police as the Sting and always requested (and still does) that I wake him up before I go-go.I can rattle off most of the dates and locations of Britney Spears’ barefoot romps through public restrooms over the past 36 months like Rick can likely recite the numbers of each player on the New Orleans Saints for the past 40 years. And we both produce blank looks if asked by the other to do the same. Yet somehow our marriage is continuing to work. Bless our mismatched little hearts.E-mail questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
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Last week’s news about the convictions for the racially motivated murder of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia carried I am sure into many living rooms, dinner tables and bars over the Thanksgiving holiday.