MATCHING MATES by Chrissy Guinery

b2 matching mates

Last night was sheer torture!

Having said that, I do try to remind myself of the facts… Fact one: my idea of romance and hubby’s idea of romance can be worlds apart.  Fact two: we are coming at it from totally different planets, which John Gray painstakingly pointed out in his classic Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus (and he has a Ph.D.). Fact three:  those aforementioned worlds and planets, are, at least, in the same universe.

The evidence of 35 years of togetherness proves the universe knows best.  But I have to confess, that last night our planets were not in the Hayz zone, that condition representing planetary contentment.  It was more like the Big Bang Theory.

My idea of the ambiance of soft, burning candles, finger-foods displayed artily on an antique dish scored from the local Vinnies store at an absolute bargain price, and gazing into one anothers’ eyes while we reminisce about all the good times isn’t always the choice of the evening.  My man’s sense of a great night can be simply sitting together watching a DVD.  Don’t get me wrong; apparently that scenario isn’t weird at all; according to many studies men feel close to someone by sitting side-by-side whereas women like the face-to-face stuff.  So, all things considered, with compromise, last night should have been a winner.

Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty here though.  I snuggled up next to hubby amidst our myriad fluffy, colourful cushions on the bed in Buzz, our technicolour van, expecting a romance, a comedy or, at worst, an action. Unfortunately for hubby, his choice in film-choosing was at its worst on this occasion… but that’s just my opinion. What he had selected was an arty-farty, sit-down-and-experience-the-vibe kind of film-makers’ dream.  Absolutely perfect for the mood he was in, after a draining day working hard on his latest non-fiction manuscript.

I was ready for fun.  Hubby was ready to chill.  Oh dear.  Disaster recipe.  You know the documentary-style movie where elevator-type music drones on endlessly as the directors anticipate viewers’ senses to be switched on to the brilliant imagery, suggested plots and breathtaking scenery.

Unfortunately, for me, on this night, this type of film closely resembled the same torturous feelings I get when a relaxation CD is played. It has totally the opposite effect on me than the music-maker’s intent.  You know the ones; it could be Bird Song or Ocean Dreaming, and supposedly calming bush or beach sounds bring you to your place of peaceful balance while your pulse slows, your muscles relax and you experience your utopic nirvana.  Argh!  These sounds make me so agitated they almost drive me to the point of crazy – where I could lash out and punch something.

Before you judge me too harshly, don’t get me wrong, I love getting lost in bird songs and spend hours ocean dreaming – but those recordings hold no resemblance to my real-life experiences on my travels throughout Oz.  Listening to that recorded racket ensures my utopia gets smashed onto a rocky shore by fierce, belching waves and the flesh picked off it by evil, black ravens, while it dies an agonizing death. I want to pull my hair out, emit crazed screams like a demented lunatic, yank the CD from the player, and run in search of a hammer to crush the thing to smithereens.

On the other hand, hubby is fully and completely into it.  He finds his happy place and nestles back for hours, releasing all the tensions of the day, deep-breathing his cares away, being calmed and soothed until he’s floating totally lost in the exhilarating paradise the divine music transports him into.

To be fair to myself, it had been a most exciting day for me – packed with new experiences and brimming to overflowing with love, joy and happy vibes.  I had launched my first blog; my very own website was taking shape; and I had received some glowing reviews on my first book, Falling Up Stairs (due to be released in September).  I couldn’t calm down.  I was hyped up.  Really, truth be told, I didn’t want to calm down. 

Sure, at first lulled into a false sense of security, I had appeared happy to snuggle into hubby on our cushy mountain; but I’d been hoping for some adrenalin release through the hilarity of a comedy or the saga of a drama, or even the blokey blow-up-the-town scenes of an action movie.  To lie completely still and allow the calming images and soothing sounds to wash over me just wasn’t what I was wired for last night.

And yes, I know Tim Winton is a flipping legendary Aussie icon (even I, myself, am guilty of swooning over, getting lost in, recommending and chasing after a number of his books) but his film, The Turning, a filmmaking collaboration of 18 talented Aussie directors, and, according to the cover, ‘amazing, striking, engaging, entertaining and frequently mesmerising’, was the wrong vein for this little black duck on this said evening.  I’m sorry.  I know I’m brave (or stupid) to tackle something extraordinarily brilliant on my second blog; and I know Tim Winton has a million worshippers, fans and devoted, die-hard followers who may disagree with me on this one; but my adrenalin levels were on high speed, I needed stimuli, not merely suggested stimulus.

And to my credit, I tried.  Really I did.  And the more I tried the more difficult I found it to keep my body still, my pulse from racing and my pent-up energy under some semblance of control.

Guiltily, I cheated by turning to my iphone for some social media updates, and some photo sorting, and a bit of texting, and a weather update, and popping some blog ideas into my notes page.  I sipped delicately on a chamomile tea, poured from a shared pot, hoping for extra bonding points.

I tried. Truthfully I did.  But before my adrenalin burst my blood vessels and my skin ripped open from the pressure, and my guts and insides spilled bloodily all over our bed, I had to get up.  I had to get out.  I had to run from that calming elevator music and those dreamily pleasant images.  I could take no more.

Maybe I should have stuck it out for my man.  Maybe I should have persevered and thought of something sad or lonely or depressing.  I’m sure hubby would have gone to those lengths had it been me who’d chosen the movie.  But I didn’t.

Strangely, in a bizarre twist of fate, hubby joined me outside about 20 minutes later, looking defeated.  He hadn’t quite made it to the end either.

I think I’ll suggest we try watching it again tonight.