J.H. Muses

Marriage is a dance that takes two; sometimes the gyrations go the other way

Walk into the scene: Thanksgiving buffet at a resort hotel. Two guys sitting next to me. The Danish guy was pitBookcollogo3-2014hily opining to his younger guy friend.

I was about to head to the buffet myself, when their table conversation four feet away picked up in volume. The Danish guy was rather loud.

“Marriage is a dance that takes two. Well, what can I say? I think my wife and I are dancing to different rhythms. (Shrug) It happens.” It was really the quintessential “Gallic” shrug, but he wasn’t French. Maybe we should say worldly European?

So these two guys are at a convention, talking about their wives. Maybe their wives are in the salon or shopping.

The American guy says, “I love my wife, but, well, she’s … ah, sort of demanding. Not sure where we’re going at this point.”

“Ah,” Danish guy said. “She’s dancing to her music; you’re dancing to yours. Good luck. But you may end up coming back around to the same space.”

Real conversations.

Now, what were their wives saying in the salon about their husbands?

Danish guy’s wife is saying, “He has become a bore. He wants to talk about his knowledge of the universe, to pontificate about how great his theories are, how much the university loves him, blah, blah, blah. But in bed, well,” she laughs. “All is forgiven.”

American guy’s wife isn’t quite so open. “I just tell him what I expect. And there is no room for doubt when I am done.”

Ah, those American women. So frank.

Or perhaps the Danish guy’s wife says, “We have a wonderful open relationship. He enjoys his college students and I enjoy mine. No, we are not bored. But he is gentle, loving. We are as perfect as is possible.”

And the American woman says, “My husband can be so romantic. I just have to lead the way a bit. But I can’t imagine ever being with anyone else.”

“Pffft!” the Danish woman says waving her hand. “You Americans have no imagination.”

Ahhh. You see, your characters will just take you on a ride. Who knows where they will end up? A murder upstairs in the hotel room? A divorce?

Do normal people end up in novels? Sure they do. But then, what is the definition of normal? It is what  you, the author, says it is. And there is all the fun.


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