First, allow Aunt Ruby to forgive herself her absence for so long. It is quite unforgivable. Well, not quite. You see, we have been . . . rather absorbed, as they say.
To be frank, we have been visiting with an old flame in Nebraska, enjoying the warmth these things bring, and gathering the anthropological data that fuels Aunt Ruby’s constant fascination with all things human.
Today, we shall break with tradition and not answer the many questions that land in Aunt Ruby’s mailbox, requesting solutions to the many vexing relationship issues that dig holes in our egos and otherwise excavate our sense of loveliness. Instead, we shall take on a (Heaven forefend!) personal issue – one that is not uncommon.
Today, we shall talk about two of the forbidden dinner table topics: sex and politics, and how these might put a strain on what happens when the sun goes down.
A month ago, while dining on moose steak and roasted yams in the log cabin of Brett (the aforementioned flame), and in anticipation of another romantic night of warm . . . marshmallows . . . Aunt Ruby made the horrifying discovery that the object of her desire was a fan of Donald Trump.
Being trained in the arts of diplomacy, Aunt Ruby contained her horror at this unwelcome revelation. She tried to avoid talk about politics and, with the guile and persuasion that only an experienced mature woman can summon, tried to steer discussion toward present material comforts and (frankly) the mattress.
To no avail. The aroma of Trumpian foolishness filled the air, along with the fragrance of moose, garlic, and wine.
Well, at this point, Aunt Ruby must be honest. After dinner, she was in no mood to toast the proverbial marshmallows. But, being a good sport, she tried. It was no good. Something in her head said: “Anyone who has these ideas inside his head has no place inside of me.”
(Forgive us for being so literal. We try always to be honest.)
The issue, then, is politics and sex. Can intellectual opposites attract?
Can a couple, which diverges so radically – Aunt Ruby is a Canadian prairie liberal; Brett is a Midwestern American conservative – ever meet in the middle?
We think it can. But it all depends on mutual respect, and the separation between ideas and attraction. Selves and others.
You see, great relationships are based on faith and trust.
I believe you and your stuff, and you trust me and mine. I’m up all night on my laptop getting my prose singing, and you’re up at dawn fixing your tractor. You really believe these political ideas? Fine. I don’t. But we can still have these differences, so long as they are honest and that behind them is a sense that we otherwise like and are attracted to each other.
Whew! Aunt Ruby is getting rather serious here. Oh, well. We started this and may as well as finish it. (But first, I need a martini.)
Alright. Gin is the universal solvent.
Aunt Ruby does not like ideas. They scare her. No, no. Not ideas, but Ideas. The political and religious kinds. The ones that start wars.
Also, Aunt Ruby does not care what other people think – or should not, though, in honesty, she sometimes does. Relationships are too often broken because two people care less about themselves than what other people think about them. “Oh, she likes Trudeau and he wishes Harper were back in power.”
The truth is this: We all sleep under the same Moon. In that light, nothing else matters.
Enjoy the marshmallows.