They thought they were doing the right thing -- REALLY, they did.
When mutual friends introduced Chris and me, they thought we had a lot in
common -- they thought we might like each other. They were right about the
second part; we hit it off right away. And superficially, they were right about
the first part. Both of us like the outdoors a lot. But the devil can be in the
Both Chris and I like to kayak (see photos). Need I say more? OK, I will.
Chris likes whitewater adventures that involve waterfalls, Eskimo rolls, and
something called a "seal launch." I like flat water, either in the
form of a lake or, better yet, a gently moving, deep river that takes me
downstream without a lot of effort on my part. My kayaking adventures include a
lot of birdwatching, sunbathing, and conversation -- and lunch, usually. A
nice, calm, scenic picnic lunch somewhere. The only "rolls" in my
kayak are the ones to spread the brie on.
I thought perhaps I could find a man who golfs, at least -- don't they ALL
golf? But, no, I think a man of Chris' energy finds golf about as
adrenaline-stimulating as watching grass grow.
But at least we have our common love of music. Except that his manifests in
ownership of a home entertainment system that rivals the control room at the
Kennedy Space Center, while I play in a little acoustic folk trio. My home
music system is a CD player with built-in speakers I bought at a discount store
for less than $20. You would think he'd wince in audiophilic agony every time I
"crank that puppy up," but he doesn't.
A Ray Of Hope
Which brings me to my next point. Despite our differences, we seem to be having
a great time. When I plop a folk CD in my tiny, tinny player and turn it on so
we can have some ambience with the lovely meal I'm serving, Chris not only
doesn't complain about the music, he certainly seems to prefer my pesto-crusted
salmon and homemade risotto over a Big Mac when given the choice.
Sometimes, when one of us mentions a hobby with great passion and the other
looks blank, I feel a touch of despair. I wonder why our relationship seems to
work. Then I remember yin and yang, the Chinese concept of complementary
opposites, "seemingly disjunct or opposing forces that are interconnected
and interdependent in the natural world." Hmmm. Those little
black-and-white paisley shapes look pretty comfortable, all curled up like
Maybe those matchmaking friends were doing the right thing after all.
Sally O'Neal lives, writes, and recreates in the slow lane from her home in
southeastern Washington State. At this writing, she is off to an adventure in
Eastern Europe. Did she mention that her beau Chris isn't particularly
interested in international travel? But that's another column.