Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Marriage 201, Lecture 413: What do we do with the other 23 hours and 50 minutes?

SH and I need a hobby. We each have our own: I like to read and cook and garden; SH likes to sing and drink beer and go out. Unfortunately, there is not much overlap between our hobbies. We both like to eat, so that works. But you can't eat all day long. We like to watch movies, but again, not an all the time activity. We need something to do together that's not just sitting.

We camped and fished when I was a kid.

We discovered we like to "play tennis" as we like to call it, although the casual observer would notice that what we do has little relation to the sport that one sees played on television. "Tennis" is not something we can do in Wisconsin in the winter unless we are willing to spend a lot of money to join a tennis club and pay court fees. Which I am not. Because I am a cheap gold-digger.

So what can we do? SH is dead set against salsa dancing because he doesn't like the music. I am not particularly interested in learning how to restore a '65 Corvair or going to wine-tastings (although we did go to a distillery this weekend and it was really interesting). I suggested volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, which SH would like to do, but -- not something we can do in the winter.

Civil War re-enactment? Nah. Yeah, I know I've slipped into a nasty "I don't have a job and my husband is away most of the time so why should I bathe" habit, but re-enactment requires a level of authenticity that interests me not, although SH and I are both interested in history.

Hiking? Nope (you know how lazy I am) and not a winter option, at least not for moi. I'm cold enough in my house, thank you.

Rosemaling? Too passive.

Cooking classes? We're already pretty good cooks.

Helping with the youth group at church? Too much commitment.

The real solution, of course, is kids, but that is not in the cards for us. If you have children, you don't have time for anything else and in 20 years, you feel as if you've accomplished something.


Jan said...

"...and in 20 years, you feel as if you've accomplished something."

Just not killing them.

TheHRD said...

If you find the answer to this please feel free to let me know? We have kids and even then we fail o do anything "together" other than marriage guidance.....

class-factotum said...

Jan, not killing one's offspring is a major accomplishment based on what I have seen of a lot of kids (and parents) in public.

HRD, that's my point! If you have kids, you don't have time for anything else. You're covered.

Julie D. said...

Good question. After 25 years of marriage, but not ever looking for a hobby together ... we don't have one. I guess the pets, the kids, the common television shows and telling each other ad nauseum about things happening in the books we're reading has been enough. (He reads only nonfiction but NOT cooking or theology which, of course, are the only two sorts of nonfiction that I read regularly.) On the plus side, we're both good at assuming interested expressions, nodding, and saying, "Wow! Really?" And believe it or not we mean it. Because we have conversations about those things from each other's books.

Within the last four years we have begun working on the retreat team for our parish's marriage retreat ... but that ain't a hobby.

And we work together, but rarely see each other during the work day (in our 3 room office ... yeah, it's computer stuff). And that ain't a hobby.

Hmmm ...

Anonymous said...

You need to become part of the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program and be matched with a child from a single parent home as a "Couple's Match." BB/BS is always in tremendous need of volunteers. I worked as a Director for an agency & it's highly rewarding--it would give you both a tremendous opportunity to make a real difference in the life of a child. White-Chocolate

Maureen@IslandRoar said...

I'm with Jan. Not killing them and paying (or owing) big bucks for college. Unless they're out on the street. That's cheaper, but probably not as satisfying.
Hobby you can share.....I wish I could help. But I have no husband. Apparently I'm not good at sharing.

Lindy said...

I keep wondering why you guys don't adopt a child. I know SO many 40-something people who have adopted children from China, Viet Nam, Russia and Guatemala. Not always easy, as these countries change requirements from time to time. Nevertheless, a married couple in their forties with a stable income should be able to find a child.

Sometimes churches have a connection with certain adoption agencies. You could meet up with couples who have done the same. And since you are older, perhaps you could consider an older child. Lots of happy families are made this way and there are 147 million orphans in the world. Just a thought I've had for awhile...

Anonymous said...

"Actually, SH, being a liberal, is cool with paying taxes as long as everybody else is paying them because it's all about fairness. "

Really, this is his issue? Is it still?

I was expecting, that, as an engineer, he'd be alarmed at the math behind government spending.

You see, your blog is so on-target that I'd been projecting your SH to be the same as my DH, also an engineer, who says and does many of the same things. (For example, we had the toothpaste fight early in our marriage.)

BTW, for us, house repairs* count as 'creative time together,' and then we each have our individual hobbies.

Good luck,

* BIG house repairs. Like ripping everything out of the front yard, taking down a massive locust tree, building a retaining wall, building a sidewalk, and leveling the yard. It has taken years. Good times.

Class factotum said...

Anon, SH and I do not agree on politics or taxes. At all.