Bless You

Etiquette determines that in polite company one avoid talk of religion, sex and politics.

How one is supposed to have an enlightened and lively conversation without one or more of these topics escapes me. Art, I guess would be one alternative. Sports if you’re so inclined. Books if anyone read them.

Forget the etiquette and dig in, I say, because the verboten triumverate always get someone’s blood up, which leads to disagreement, which begets a real conversation where people actually defend what they believe. Which is why you should introduce these topics early into your dating.

I had a conversation with a woman friend this weekend, the main point of which was why a four-date dater had dumped her. She claimed it was over his embarrassment at farting in front of her, but that didn’t ring true to me. Delving a little deeper, the focus sharpened; they were politically polar opposites. My friend is a socialist, her date a capitalist. Sorry, but that just won’t work.

My analogy was this: if you’re looking towards building some kind of house together, you need to share construction of the foundation. Two different foundations that aren’t linked create two houses. Yes, they might be proximate, but that’s friendship or companionship, not a marriage or proxy thereof. Sharing solid – if abstract – understanding of how the universe works, what’s right and wrong, and through what prism to view life is critical to creating a stable union.

Exceptions exist, of course. My friend invoked James Carville and Mary Matalin, but I pointed out that

1. this is a very high profile example of precisely one (1) couple, and

2. they are joined more by being part of the media religion than their differences separate them.

In general, I suggest that the easiest path to a happy future is to find someone who shares your meta beliefs – or be prepared to live in a hurricane at least part of the time.

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