Different Dreams

2009_chile_challenge_buddy_simpson Sitting in the Dallas/Ft. Worth airport I observed a young husband and wife who were each engrossed in their own reading material. He was big, country-looking, and was studying JP Magazine, an off-road vehicle magazine. The vehicle on its cover had tires so large it looked as if it could drive over any car that happened to park in its way. I found it more monstrous than glamorous, but I had no doubt that it was a dream vehicle for him.

At one point he tried to explain to his wife why the differential axle on one particular vehicle was so desirable. She glanced up from her novel and feigned enough interest to keep him happy.

She was petite, dressed in more urban clothes, and was reading Nicholas Sparks’ novel The Lucky One. I’ve never read a Nicholas Sparks novel, nor JP Magazine. But judging from the novel’s on-line description (“a passionate and all-consuming love affair”… “filled with tender romance and terrific suspense”), I feel sure it didn’t describe differential axles and over-sized tires.

Separate desires then: one for bigger and more powerful macho toys, and the other for all-consuming romance. Hopefully he will get to have some kind of off-road vehicle, and she will get to have some romance in her life. Perhaps he will always dream of bigger tires and she will always dream of more romance. Clearly, each had found reading material that was helping them imagine greater and elusive possibilities (a wide-angled lens was used to create an exaggerated sense of scale in the photograph above).

Watching them, I was left with questions. Is the old adage true, do opposites attract? If so, can couples remain close without some shared interests? And can you read a romance novel while buckled up in a vehicle that is climbing over giant boulders?