Sometimes I feel really sorry for my mate, Jon. Thirty years ago he hooked up with a Buddhist, pacifist, Leftist vegetarian. Fast forward a few decades, and he now lives with his worst nightmare: a patriotic conservative who attends church and eats burgers with gusto.
So sometimes I feel bad for him. And other times I want to smack him upside the head.
Take, for instance, the time Jon saw me reading Sarah Palin's autobiography, Going Rogue. After he gasped in genuine shock, he said, snidely, "I'm surprised that she could write a book more than a few pages long."
To which I barked back, "At least she didn't have a terrorist like Bill Ayers write her book for her."
Welcome to my world. I hope it's not your world. Because living together as a progressive and a conservative in the leftest of all places is not for the faint of heart.
Robin has more to say about her "odd couple" relationship at the link, but there's a lesson in this for young people. It really is not a good idea to get serious about someone with whose beliefs about important matters, particularly religion and politics, are both strong and diametrically opposite of your own. Couples who think that their love can surmount such difficulties often find that their relationship is much rockier than they would like it to be.
Robin and Jon have reached an accommodation which she summarizes as "Don't ask, don't tell" whereby certain topics important to one or both parties are just not broached. This keeps the peace, but not being able to discuss matters of real significance hollows out a relationship, putting off-limits much that's of greatest importance to one or both persons.
This makes the relationship shallow and causes conversation between the two to trend toward the superficial and frivolous. Charles Dickens addresses this very problem in David Copperfield when he has Annie Strong reflect on David's misbegotten marriage to the simple, child-like Dora by observing that there's no disparity in marriage like unsuitability in intellect and purpose. Unless the two are united in their most serious purposes and interests and are roughly equal in intellect, their union is going to experience a lot of stress, and they will often find themselves, like David and Dora, growing increasingly distant and isolated from each other.
Robin's is a cautionary tale to any young person contemplating a relationship with someone with whom they share little in common. She's evidently making it work, but many people in such circumstances find their relationship becoming more of a business partnership than a friendship.RLC