A friend of mine once described her husband to be as “attractive in a red-state kind of way.” And my first thought was: “YES! That describes my husband too!”
My husband of 14 years and I are as opposite politically as we can possibly get. He’s the NRA-loving, gun toting Republican. A cop. Raised on a ranch in small-town Oregon, he actually sold his first lamb at five. And not as a pet, but at the faire. When I asked what happened to it, he looked at me like I was nuts. I imagined Booboo the lamb living on a farm somewhere, frolicking in the grass. Actually, the thing got slaughtered and someone had gyros for dinner. Booboo gyros.
He gets irritated if I even imagine living someplace with gun restrictions, like England. Or California. I fantasize about both.
Me, well, I’m left leaning. I voted for the Green Party candidate in my first presidential election. If I had to kill my own meat–if I had to eat something I had raised and then killed–I would 1) vomit; 2) be a vegetarian. I am fine with dairy. After all, if I can milk myself, I can handle consuming milk products. And I’d totally eat eggs if I weren’t allergic to them.
I’m the recycler. I’m the one who has the peace signs on the back of her car (and did when we first started dating), next to where my Autism Awareness ribbon used to be (whoever stole it: you bastard!). I’m the bleeding heart who feels bad for everyone (after all, I work in Special Ed–of course I’m a bleeding heart). I’m the one who reads Hobby Farm and Mother Earth News and Vegetarian Times. I tend to vote Democrat, unless the candidate in question is someone I a) know personally and dislike; or b) is crazy; or c) so damn dumb even I can’t reconcile it. And I can reconcile just about anything.
I sometimes wonder what the mailman must think when he sees the magazines we get. Swat, Mother Earth News, Guns and Ammo, Hobby Farm, The Rifleman. NEA vs. NRA.
As my friend said, my husband is attractive in a red-state kind of way. And I suppose, to him, I’m attractive in a hippie-dippie kind of way. When I talk about the place I want to live, I refer to it as “The Commune.” He refers to the same piece of land as “The Compound.”
I once had a friend who asked me how I could live with someone so different from me in terms of beliefs. And I guess the answer is: while I feel strongly about my political positions, I don’t need to foist them onto everyone I meet. And the same goes for him. We can have a rational discussion about the issues–and totally disagree with one another–and remain calm. I can see his point of view and I like to think he can see mine. We know we’re different. We know we won’t agree on everything. But we also know that we can actually come to an agreement… A place where we can agree that while each of us wouldn’t have the utopia we’re looking for–since he sees the world as Escape from New York and I see rainbows and unicorns through my rose-colored glasses–would be a place both of us would be OK with living.
I kind of wish that our leaders could be the same way. I hate how polarized everything is. It’s one thing to be firm in one’s beliefs. It’s another thing entirely to be so entrenched in ideology that you refuse to compromise. I’m pretty freaking liberal and my hub is pretty freaking conservative, but if the kind of snide, petty arguing that occurs in The House occurred in my house, we would have divorced long ago. And that wouldn’t have been good for us.
We need each other.
This hippie chick loves her red-state hubby.