I have a confession.
My wife of 40 years and I are not compatible. I have long avoided any kind of personality test that purports to match people by personality because what has kept us going for all these years is the fantasy that we actually like each other. I don’t want to be confused by the facts. Let me explain.
We don’t like the same things.
Over the course of our long shared life experience, we have discovered one thing that we enjoy doing together- visiting art museums. Everything else is like walking a minefield. She doesn’t like any activity that involves sitting in a crowd. This lets out concerts, sports events, political rallies and so on. Her idea of a perfect day is to read a book by the fire and listen to the rain. Me, I’m OK with that but I like to get out once in a while. Early on, I stopped trying to get her to go to events and I stopped going myself because I felt bad when I enjoyed myself alone.
That was then. This is now. Maybe
Well, I’m turning over a new leaf or at least giving it the old college try. Denying myself is not making our relationship better and what’s an outrageous retirement lifestyle all about if you just sit at home all the time? I’m giving myself permission these days to get out and enjoy some of the things I’ve been missing– like opera. I signed up for the season with the Sacramento Opera, only to have them cancel the season after the first presentation. Bummer, but at least I saw Handel‘s Orlando with a real counter tenor instead of a soprano. My fallback is the HD broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera in my local movie house. These are a stupendous way to see and hear opera that are accessible virtually everywhere at a modest cost. The theater wasn’t even crowded last week to see Nixon in China.
Still it is hard to get myself out there.
Without the crowds, you might think I could get my wife to join me but alas, she hates any musical theater because is seems so silly to sing the lines. You see my problem? This week I have an opportunity to see a student production of Bluebeard’s Castle at UC Davis. It is live and in person and student musicians are usually very passionate. Still, I dither.
What are my excuses?
It is 45 minutes away. It would be a Friday night and I would miss all our togetherness. Right now, I think I will do it. Bluebeard’s Castle doesn’t come along every day but then I would be admitting that I would rather spend the evening with Bartok than with my wife.
On the other hand, maybe she wants a night off from me.