|Ok, they're two fellers. But you get the idea|
VR likes cucumber, the Ring novels and travelling on buses, all of which I detest.
Living comfortably with someone means shutting your eyes to certain antipathies. In some cases accommodating them.
I like cauliflower, VR tolerates it. VR’s favourite vegetable is spinach, I eat small amounts.
That phrase – “for better and for worse” – tends to apply to large-scale privations: the illness of a child, lack of money, unemployment. Happily such horrors are infrequent but the Pork-Pie/Debussy’s-Music Divide may endure for decades. Living together forces you to measure these smaller but nevertheless dark entities and ask: How much does this matter?
Forget the shared enthusiasms, they’re never the issue. Not flushing the toilet is more likely to loom large. I have not yet used the verb “tolerate” and don’t intend to. For me it carries the sin of self-regard. But there’s no space for that.
Why should two broadly intelligent, frequently introspective, differently brought-up people of opposing genders continue to live together long after the first thrilling glow? In some cases by ignoring each other. In others by habit. Even through fear of loneliness. None of these are inspiring reasons. One alternative is to ask: what am I getting out of this? An even harder option is: what am I putting in?
There can be small recognisable rewards. VR read A Dance to the Music of Time decades before I did; finally there was a concurrence. VR now likes string quartets.
I like Benjamin Franklin: He that falls in love with himself will have no rivals.