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Marry someone interesting

October 16, 2011

My son is probably nervous. I told him I was going to write a blog post about the kind of woman he should marry if he ever marries. (Note: He has no current plans! This is just a random blog topic that started out as a joke.)

Son, here is my advice in a nutshell: Marry someone interesting.

If you ever get married, marry someone who is interested in people and ideas and books and documentaries and travel (distance or arm-chair) and music and whatever. Someone who’ll grow along with you and invite you along on her journeys. A high-energy person. A dreamer. A doer. Someone who is intriguing, fascinating and inspiring as well as spiritual and kind and all those basics…. You get the picture.

Why this topic today? Well, today I was talking to my friend Pat. She was telling me that she and her husband, Doug, both retirees and very busy volunteers, are studying (Is there a more positive-sounding term?) different countries.  Together. They were learning about China through documentaries and books and other experiences, and they’ve just moved on, so to speak, to another country–India. When I told her about one of my all-time favorite non-fiction books, Wild Swans, Three Daughters of China, she could hardly wait to share the news with Doug.

I met Pat years ago when both of us were working on volunteer projects to improve indoor air quality in Minnesota schools. Last year, Jeff and I met Doug when we went to the open house at a nearby nature center. Doug was “tabling” an informational booth for the Minnesota Renewable Energy Society. This guy is called “The Pollinator”–that’s his title on his business card– and I soon found out why.

Doug somehow talked me into doing volunteer writing and public relations work related to solar energy. This was a topic I had a vague interest in, but soon I found the idea of solar energy in Minnesota intriguing. And of course Jeff jumped right on the topic and right away installed a solar panel and red battery in our bay window, which didn’t match our décor but did match our enthusiasm for new topics.

Talking to Pat made me think about interesting people and your interesting dad and how cool it is when spouses share interests.

Son, I’m really just passing along the advice Pete gave me after your father died when you were three. Pete, a coworker of your first dad, shared his own marriage history, which I’d never heard before. Pete was widowed at a young age when his high-school-sweetheart wife died suddenly from an aneurysm. He then married a “nice” woman without knowing her interest-in-life meter well enough, and the marriage didn’t last. (Note: I’m not advocating divorce due to boredom, just telling Pete’s story!) “Julie, if you marry again, just make sure you marry a high energy person like yourself,” Pete advised.

“But I’m not high energy,” I protested, listing a health challenge I had at the time. (How I was cured is the topic for another blog post.)

“Oh, I don’t mean physically high energy,” Pete said. “I mean somebody who is interested in life and in everything and everybody like you are.” And like your first dad was. Pete, I should mention, owns two houses side by side. He and his wife live in one house. The other house is devoted to his many hobbies.

I took Pete’s advice to heart. And married your second dad, who is definitely an interesting character. In one corner sits a musical instrument he refinished. In another is the stack of books he’s reading. We’ve searched for rare birds. We’ve housed exotic fish. We own a Cairn terrier sure to be the next earth dog champion. We’ve met metalsmithing artists with his blacksmithing group. And ridden down the river with his Coast Guard Auxiliary buddies. And he’s joined in my interests.

So, yeah, I grouse a bit about your dad’s abandoned hobbies. And the steady stream of boxes and books that show up on our doorstep sometimes drives me a little nuts. But this guy is never bored or boring. The world is an interesting place.

Oh, dear, what is that thumping sound coming from the basement?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Greta permalink
    October 16, 2011 10:15 pm

    Wow so that’s what it is! Let me repeat that… Wow! so that’s what it is! Yes in so many words this is why it took so long to find Dale, and why I have so few friends. With some friends we don’t see each other for years then sit and chatter nonstop until the wee hours of the morning… Taking a dog to the vet this morning, how boring. Tell our other friend Good Morning!

  2. Judy Kallestad permalink
    October 17, 2011 4:59 am

    Great post for David and a fun read for everyone else! Fortunately, both our daughters did marry interesting guys.

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