I’ve always wondered how couples with polarized belief systems can get along. What if you’re a Catholic and your spouse is atheist? Vegan and carnivore? Democrat and Republican? Male and female? If your significant other doesn’t share your fundamental beliefs, what chance do you have in forming a lasting bond?
My relationship with Mo has survived crucial moments. I bought her the first John Prine CD when she was still living in Seattle. Apparently obscure folk singers are not the rage there and she was fixated on some guy named Eddie Vedder. Beats me. She was skeptical at first but has grown to love him.
Our other major crisis was chili. She is under the impression it should include something called “beans.” We got past this one, although I think she secretly works around it by mashing them up and insisting there are none.
Respect for Texas has been a learning curve. This became clear when she started shooting photos inside the Alamo despite warning signs that this can’t be done because it’s a shrine. She declared the sign invalid because it is more of a “monument” than a “shrine” and told the Texas Ranger wrestling her to the ground than he looked nothing like Chuck Norris. And looking at the display, she exclaimed, “No wonder you lost the fight here. Your cannon is tiny.” Never make fun of the size of a Texan’s cannon. Thank you.
For my part, I learned that although the Tower of the Americas in San Antonio is SIGNIFICANTLY taller than Seattle’s Space Needlet, we must poo-poo it when driving through town and remark that it pales in comparison to the tiny tower in the Pacific Northwest. Whatever. And Soundgarden has been my go-to running soundtrack for years.
The perfect marriage, no? It seemed so until yesterday. And then.
Mo is running her first trail race next month, so I thought this would be a good time for her first pair of trail shoes. I secretly ordered the beloved New Balance MT110s for her. Sure, she has never expressed an interest in minimalist shoes and she has run on any number of trails in her trusty road shoes. But I knew she would be smitten.
And then, she wasn’t.
She had a faint frown as she tried them on. Walking, frown. Tying laces, frown. Test run on treadmill, frown. After a mile or so, she pulled the plug. Trying to be gentle, she said something along the lines of, “Good lord, these shoes suck what the hell were you thinking?” That may not be verbatim. I was sobbing at the time so my memory is a little blurry.
She runs in adidas Supernovas. Medium padding. She works in Hokey Pokeys, super padding. Her favorite shoes are some knockoff Chuck Taylors with no laces, mystery padding. And the shoes we will be returning on Monday are my beloved minimalist shoes.
Can we remain married? (assuming we ARE still married, given that my wedding ring now lives on the Nueces race course.) Sure. Mo is the most amazing person I’ve ever been lucky enough to know. They’re just shoes. It’s not like she’s mocking John Prine.
Now if we can just get past this whole Alamo thing …