Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Venn Diagram of Love

When you marry someone the two of you make this Venn diagram of interests: there is a bunch of stuff in the middle that you have in common, but on either side you have the stuff that one spouse likes but the other isn’t really into and/or hates.

The hard part is trying to keep up with the interests you have that aren’t shared by your spouse without driving them insane. Do you take them along, knowing they’ll hate every minute? Do you leave them at home while you go out? Do you both do your own thing separately? Is that weird? Or healthy? The short answer is: Not sure.

I used to go to punk shows all the time, and when we were dating I would drag my wife along. Eventually she sweetly told me, “Hey, no offense, but I’m just under five feet tall, so I can’t see anything but the back of the guy in front of me.” So we agreed that when I wanted to go to a show, I’d go with a tall friend and she could do her own thing.

My wife likes to watch romantic comedies, and I… strongly dislike romantic comedies. How we get around this difference is: I watch romantic comedies and keep my complaints to myself.

My wife is really good about trying new things. For instance, the other day she went to a UFO forum with me. The guy speaking started to explain how a lot of people try to understand extraterrestrials through science, but a better way is to understand them through illicit substances and the occult.

He said that UFOs don’t come from outer space, they come from another dimension. The only surefire way to open a door into another dimension is to take LSD and a little marijuana for good measure. If you don’t have any LSD handy, several mushrooms will work in a pinch. According to him, once you take LSD you will start seeing a “buttload” of UFOs. (I promise this really happened.)

If LSD doesn’t work for you, he said, your best bet is to summon an alien through an occult ritual, such as chanting, reading spells out of a book or mixing up an alien-summoning potion. He also stated that, in the past, women have been able to successfully summon alien babies into their wombs and later gave birth to alien children. He was a little fuzzy on the details when asked about the current whereabouts of these alien babies. The tricky thing about alien potions is that the mixture is very volatile and many a good alien enthusiast has blown themselves up mixing up a batch. I had the thought that alien-summoning potion sounded eerily similar to a little something called “meth.” (This all really happened, I swear.)

It was quite a lot of information, and he was perfectly serious as he spoke. At the end of the lecture my wife looked terrified.

“You owe me, like, ten romantic comedies after this,” she said. “And Sandra Bullock has to be in at least two of them.”

I’ve found the simplest way to solve the problem of differing interests between spouses is to have a baby, because then you won’t have enough time or money to have interests.

What do you think: what stuff should you do as a couple, and what stuff should you do separately? What stuff is it important to have in common? Please leave a comment.