A MIXED MARRIAGE – 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 19 years together and 15 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 superhero movies, like the original Superman and Spiderman. I loved Wonderwoman and Black Panther. I’m a real fan of time travel shows too.

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 “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.

Video games. I cannot share any of Tom’s enthusiasm for 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.

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. Meanwhile, 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!

22 thoughts on “A MIXED MARRIAGE – BY ELLIN CURLEY”

  1. David and I were like that, some common ground as we both loved “The West Wing”, “Yes Minister/Yes Primeminister”,”Barney Miller”, Star Trek and original Doctor Who and quite a few other things. Some things of his I became a fan of myself like “Top Gear” and “The Big Bang Theory”. He would sit down and watch “The Gilmore Girls” with me and quite enjoy it and I would sometimes watch “Law & Order”, “NCIS” and even “CSI” providing there were not too many close ups of gore with him. However, I could never watch some of the other things he liked like “Dirty Harry” movies and other violent stuff. I’d just go do something else. Just because you are a couple doesn’t mean you have to do everything together.
    Your story about the dogs barking at Tom in his VR gear reminds me of when David first got a CPAP machine. He came out wearing the mask to show me and Cindy, who was just a puppy then, went into a complete panic. She didn’t recognise him until he took it off. Once she’d seen it was not a monster she was never worried by it again though.

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    1. Tom and I love some of the same shows as you and your husband. There are lots of crossover shows – shows that can appeal to a wide range of viewers. I want to get Tom to watch Gilmore Girls with me! That may be my project for this year!

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      1. Ellin, this is subject of interest to Marilyn and me. We have mutual interest in rom-coms, Mel Brooks and anything penned by Paddy Chayefsky.
        We split on westerns, war movies, and old classics from the 30’s and 40’s – the brittle comedies which I love.
        I must salute Marilyn for absorbing baseball. That’s another passion. Marilyn has become a very knowledgeable beisbol maven. So proud.

        As for Tommy, he has some bizarre taste. But that’s Tommy who also has put us on to myriad shows we’ve ignored. Credit is given.

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        1. Thank you for confirming for me that Tom’s tastes can be bizarre! I always thought I was just limited in my tastes. Now I feel better!

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  2. I’m the game player in this family. My husband grew up in a family who weren’t even sure what playing cards were for! When the computer came along, and GAMES (o boy o boy) I was hooked. He fussed a bit, but I told him, without Worlds of Warcraft and online games, you and I would be playing Monopoly every night. Or cribbage. He’s never complained since. =)
    We’re both only children, and value the idea of personal space. Lots and lots of space. We’ve learned to work together, but it’s a bit of a tussle sometimes.

    And I agree, you don’t need to suffer through each other’s programs or even eat the same desserts…years ago a friend of mine, a fanatic hiker, told me that his wife used to go with him (for safety’s sake, since he was no longer young) but since she hated hiking, she would drop him off at the beginning of the trail and go on to shop for a few hours. When she got back, he said, they would both have stories to tell the other. It seemed a perfect, and sensible, arrangement.

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    1. Your friend’s idea of hiking really appeals to me! Nomatter how much I loved someone, I would never go hiking with him! I’d rather watch some gory sci fi show than set foot on a hiking trail. I’m an only child too, but I like to have Tom home with me. We don’t have to be doing the same thing, but I hate it when he goes off to the boat for the day and I’m left rattling around the house by myself. I do the same things I’d be doing if he were home, but it still feels different!

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  3. It’s not that I really HATE anything Garry watches, but when he likes something, he tends to watch it often. I don’t mind repeats, but sometimes, I want something new. Meanwhile, though, it’s baseball season, so when we aren’t finding something we both want to watch, there’s baseball. It fills the summer months.

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    1. I’d go crazy watching baseball every day! I’d rather watch back to back NCIS for hours! I find if I like the characters in a show, like with NCIS, I don’t mind watching it a lot. It’s the shows that are more action oriented and less character driven that lose me after a while.

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      1. I learned to like baseball. Garry was so into it — and baseball has a LONG season — that I was going to learn to like baseball or be alone six months of the year. And I don’t mind baseball. It’s slow. I can write and process pictures and look up if something happens. Not such a violent game and slow-moving enough so I don’t have to watch it constantly to know what’s going on. If he were a hockey freak, I don’t think I’d be able to deal with it.

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    1. Of course! It’s his badge of honor! He can’t wait to take anyone who wanders into our house, into the basement for a virtual reality trip. He loves introducing people to the wonderful world of VR. Most people really like it. Unfortunately, I can take it for a few minutes and the novelty wears off and I’m out. Tom is so disappointed!

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        1. It might get boring if we liked all the same things all the time! This way we expose each other to lots of different things. Some we take to and some we don’t.

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