Being in love with someone who disagrees with some of your most fundamental preferences makes for a very broadening life; certainly on this day as much as any other, both Andra and I (MTM) feel a grave responsibility to live up to our hope that the rest of our country can manage to forge the kind of bipartisanship that she and I have committed the rest of our lives to.
Fundamental to our happy existence is learning how to have a depth of compassion for the pain of your opposite when your first instinct is to breathe a sigh of relief for your own good fortune. Especially when you find yourself at the precipice, on the edge of tragedy.
So it has been these last few days.
It all started on Saturday with a trip to Costco. As we shopped the broad aisles of that castle of capitalism, winding our way between boxes of bon bons and towers of toilet tissue, we came upon a bipartisan bonanza we could both agree on: a colossal coupon-less price cut on two products that stoked our particular passions–La Vieille Ferme for my Red wife, and Riondo Prosecco for my own White self. Yes, we somehow have managed a marriage detente even though we have exactly opposite opinions on wine.
Compromise. Such a profound concept, and mutually beneficial to boot. Of course we bought six bottles of Red and six bottles of White! After congratulating each other on our magnanimity, we completed our shopping and stuffed the stuff into the boot of Miss Mini.
Like Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve, Miss Mini was bulging with booty. Arriving in the parking garage at Cool Blow, we worked together to load it all up into the collective shopping cart to wheel it up to the condo. And that’s when disaster struck…
Yes, the fully loaded shopping cart went all Christine on us, careening towards the curb, and without looking back, took a half-gainer off the edge. We both watched as our bipartisan bottles floated in mid-air before crashing to the concrete. Like the crime scene it was, Red liquid quickly spread out over the surface, a giant stain waiting to be outlined in chalk. It was a landslide: every bottle of Red lay vanquished before us. The Whites did not escape unscathed, but survived in a spewing spray of sparkling wine; though the bottles were intact, the bubbly was blowing its bubbles.
Tempting it might have been for Andra to wallow in the lost Reds, and tempting it was to gloat over the survival of the Whites. But for the good of our marriage and as an example to our country, our response was unspoken and spontaneous: We spent the weekend squeezing every last drop of enjoyment from the dregs of our disaster, savoring the sparkling together, toasting to a better day when the rest of our country can manage to find our common ground.