THE LIMITS OF LOVE – BY ELLIN CURLEY

I love my husband but we have a mixed marriage.

I’m a total Rom Com/Sit Com/Doctor/Lawyer Show kind of girl. Tom is a Super Hero/Sci-Fi/Tolkien kind of guy.

When we were first together, I’d religiously watch all his shows and movies with him. And he’d watch all of mine. After 18 years together and 14 years married, that isn’t going to happen anymore. Our relationship has reached a new level, where it can survive intact, even if we go off separately to watch our favorite guilty pleasures.

Tom won’t watch endless cooking competitions or HGTV house makeover shows anymore. I still love him. I won’t watch every superhero movie or TV show (there are a lot). He still loves me.There are some areas of crossover. I genuinely like some of the early super hero movies, like the original Superman and Spiderman. I even liked the first Transformer movie. I love time travel shows of all kinds.

Tom truly loves “When Harry Met Sally”, my favorite movie, and others of its genre. So he gets a couple of free passes for that. He also likes some of my favorite TV shows, like “Grey’s Anatomy”, “The Good Wife”, “NCIS”, “This is Us”, etc. We both were addicted to the on demand series like, “House of Cards”, “Grace and Frankie”, “Outlander” and “The Crown”.

So there is common ground. But there’s one other thing we’re not going to be doing together any time soon. And that’s video games. I cannot share any of Tom’s enthusiasm for violent video games. Even though I don’t participate, I’m still subjected to the incessant noise of gun battles blaring through the house at all hours. Some of these games go for realism in the form of adding the sounds of dying and wounded humans, animals and mythical creatures. I find it very disconcerting.

I’ve reached my saturation point with the new virtual reality play station games, complete with magic goggles and wands. I appreciate the amazingly advanced technology. But the glasses make me dizzy and disoriented. I like to be able to see my own hands and feet. I like to be sure where I am in my house, not stumbling around in some weird fantasy-scape. I just can’t cross that Rubicon with Tom into the virtual reality hologram world of tomorrow.

DUCK!

I’m not the only one freaked out by the new technology. As soon as Tom put on the headset with the glowing lights, one of our dogs went berserk. She would not stop barking at him as long as he had his gear on. I had to take her out of the room. If howling did anything for me, I’d be right there with her.

At least this newest toy comes with headphones so I don’t have to listen along at top volume. And Tom looks hilarious in his sci-fi get up! That’s worth a few laughs. Maybe watching him play games in an imaginary universe and listening to the dog go nuts could be a new form of entertainment for me too!

41 thoughts on “THE LIMITS OF LOVE – BY ELLIN CURLEY

  1. We share most things, but the things I simply cannot handle — especially Gotham which gives me the creeps — Garry records and watches with a headset in the bedroom. Also, his passion for very old black & white movies is just a lot stronger than mine. I find a lot of that 1930s stuff just too silly for me. We manage to stay together while enjoying different things. Makes life easier. I think i’d have trouble with the advanced video games, too. I also like knowing where I am.

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    • Ellin, as Marilyn has just said, we are similar to Tommy and you.

      I LOVE (with exceptions of course) the old Hollywood movies. Stuff from the 30’s and 40’s. Gangster movies, war films, Rom-com and drama, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Barbara Stanwyck, Magararet Sullavan, Jimmy Stewart, Ronald Coleman, Leslie Howard, Cagney, Bogie, Eddie G, Carol Lombard, etc. These are the flicks I grew up with and can watch over and over again. For a guy who can watch Bogie and Eddie G shoot it out myriad times, I can also watch Bette Davis in “Old Acquaintance” and “Now, Voyager” and “The Corn Is Green” and “All About Eve”, over and over. “Laura” is another I watch a lot.

      I know “The Magnificent Seven” from start to finish. I saw it when it opened in 1960 and went back to see it 7 or 8 times that first week. Ditto “The Great Escape”.

      I am not a big Sci-Fi fan but do like time travel stuff.

      So many movies, so little time left in this life.

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      • GArry, did you watch Bette and Joan the Feud? It was a wonderful series with Susan Sarandon as Bette Davis and Jessica Lang as Joan Crawford. They show a lot of the filming of Whatever Happened to baby Jane.

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        • Ellin, watched and LOVED it!! I thought the entire cast was wonderful, especially Judy Davis as Hedda Hopper and Alfred Molina as Jack Warner. I thought it was dead on about how old Hollywood chewed up and spat out its female cash cows (sorry — but that’s reality) after they were supposedly past their prime. Never met any of the principle characters but I did spend a memorable Bloody Marys afternoon with Gary Merrill who told me many of the stories we saw in the mini-series.

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      • First book I ever bought as a kid was “The Time Machine” when I was about 12. I never looked back. H.G. Wells, Bradbury, Asimov, Heinlein, all of them–Time travel was a universal subject, and it still is, to a degree. I like the books, but the movies are a bit overdone. except for Back to the Future.. And I don’t think there’s a movie I missed on TV, from silents to Mae West (who was carefully edited from the neck up only,please) and the marx brothers and on into the 50s….

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        • Judy – you seem happy with non-interactive technology like books and television/movies. I’m with you. To me, they are interactive too in that they engagae my mind. I don’t need the bells and whistles of virtual reality or even video games to be entertained. In fact, I find it more mindless and boring than just watching something. Mainly because you have to do things over and over until you get it right or kill the right people or avoid getting killed yourself.

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    • I guess the advent of headphones has saved many marriages. And the affordablility of two televisions or other watching devices. This allows people to do their own thing in the same house.

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  2. I guess most couples are like that and I think it is perfectly fine. David and I had programs that we both loved like Star Trek and The West Wing, and we would happily watch some of each other’s shows from time to time. Some of his I became very fond of like Top Gear and The Big Bang Theory but there were others that I could not even stay in the room with because I found them so annoying like Jerry Springer or Pawn Stars or anything to do with wrestling. I was happy for him to watch them while I found something else to do. He was happy to do something else if I wanted to watch something that would not interest him too.

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  3. Ellin, this is hysterical. I love the photo of your husband geared up like a 17 yr old, deep in the throes of whatever he’s in…Im a big Worlds of Warcraft addict/fan/whatever, but if I must have sound, it’s with earbuds so the sound of dying warlocks and attacking goblins doesn’t scare the cats or annoy my husband trying to listen to duhDonald in the next room. Poor baby.

    And like you andTom, our entertainment paths diverged long ago, which means there is no ‘hafta’ anymore. He has his gig, I have mine.

    It does work, doesn’t it. Any solid marriage allows for a lot of personal space, and that may be key. Not room to grow together, but room to spread out as individuals.

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    • Since Tom has retired, it’s even more important that we have our own spaces and our own ‘Things’. Being together so much creates a whole other dynamic. We now pass each other during the day and chat a bit but basically do our own thing. Then we get together for dinner and TV. I guess we’re duplicating the routine we had when he was working.

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      • Yep, I can relate to that. My husband took early retirement 20 years ago, and my main concern was how much togetherness we could handle. It’s worked out well, as we’re both only children, and need gobs of personal space around ourselves. He wanders out to see what Im doing in the yard, I wander out to see what he’s up to in the shed, but by and large we don’t get in each other’s hair, but are usually available for heavy iifting (literally) or “hold this steady for me”.

        He has utterly no use for computer games, I love them. The one time he started to fuss, I said, “just one thing to remember…without this computer, you and I would be locked in combat over Monopoly every night…” and he’s never complained since.

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        • I think it’s unusual that in your family, Judy, you are the one who likes the computer games and your husband doesn’t. I thought that the games were more of a male taste in our society. But I guess there are lots of different kinds of games and some would be more interesting to women than others.

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          • Even as a kid I knew there was a firm but unspoken dividing line between girl pursuits and boy pursuits, and I crossed it regularly but kept still about it. I loved my building blocks set (let me show you my new Lego bricks, lol), I collected stamps, read science fiction. Only boys, I understood quite well, could do these things. uh huh.

            My husband is a mechanical engineer, and he’s the numbers while I’m the words. It matches up very well. If I ever need to find the area of a triangle, he’s the go to guy. In mother’s family everyone was into games, from keyword to anagrams, scrabble to monopoly. My husband’s family had no idea even how to play cards. (feeling faint from horror here)

            (And you would be amazed at the number of women who play Worlds of Warcraft and every other game out there))

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            • Oh yeah. Saw a fascinating documentary a few years back called Second Skin. About the whole online world of Warcraft. Fascinating.

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            • There are always women who like things labeled “male” and visa versa. But I’ve been told that storyline and role playing games like Worlds of Warcraft, have a lot to offer women who are usually into girl stuff. I guess it’s because there is a story and relationships that you build in the game. Tom’s nephew “met” and “married” a girl in the game and they fell in love in the real world. They met in person and it might have worked out but she tragically died in her twenties of some rare disease. Very traumatic.

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    • That virtual reality is awesome! He is so excited about it! There aren’t too many games yet but the technology takes gaming to a whole other level. Tom says it’s immersive on a different scale than before. He loses track of time and works up a sweat jumping around and acting out in his virtual world. Maybe it actually is good exercise!

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    • The headphones are great but periodically I’ll her Tom screaming and yelling. I run downstairs to make sure he’s okay. And he’s just dodging bullets or trying to avoid a great white shark. It’s fun to watch him having such a good time. I just can’t get into games, virtual or otherwise. I like Solitaire and Shanghai on my phone.

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  4. Here I am, trying to save the Galaxy! Yes the whole Galaxy! And all I get is ridicule. I’m the Rodney Dangerfield of Galactic Saviors.
    PS
    The VR is awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

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