If your spouse's favorite hobby involves eyes that wander more than a stray dog on a highway, gambling on LeAnne Rimes lasting more than ten years with Eddie Cibrian, or staring at naked women with the obsessiveness of Degas peeping at ballerinas, perhaps you're not a fan of your mate's extracurricular activities.
But if you have a spouse like mine who likes to create LED cube fixtures... one row by another... in perfect seven by seven precision just to "light up something really cool"... well, it's kind of hard to complain.
I mean, you could moan about it. It really isn't as sexy as some of the photos I see of celebrities in People Magazine. (Which leads me back to Eddie and LeAnne. And truly, I'm happy for them. I hope it works!)
As for my union, however, all I can say is that Rex is just as sexy as Eddie, but his quirky hobby is a bit on the geeky side - not to mention dangerous. All it would take is one time for me to sit on a left behind smoldering soldering iron to find out how painful an amateur butt tattoo removal is.
But really, I have come to the conclusion that it really doesn't matter to me what Rex's hobbies are.
It doesn't bother me that I don't understand his love for bending metal and plastic together with the passion of a Starcraft video gamer. (Um, that just might be another one of his hobbies.)
I don't mind that I don't enjoy his hobby. I mean, not one teeny tiny lit-up-neon Elphaba green bit.
Why? Because it's not my hobby. It's his! Not only do I think this is okay, I find it perfectly healthy.
This article talks about the importance of having individual hobbies in marriage. Just a few pieces of support for the topic include:
- Expanding your mind: (Great point! Because last I checked I have my own brain that doesn't need my husband's approval for everything I adore doing and vice versa.)
- Stress release: (Whenever Rex accomplishes one more row of bulbs, I swear I can see little rows of personal Rex tension bulbs vanish. His hobby makes him happy, which which makes me happy, which makes everyone happy. Hooray for happiness and for less stress! And hooray for him one day engineering some super cool gizmo that will make us gazillion-aires! Or at least earn us the title of "Most Eccentric Couple on the Cull de Sac.")
- Setting goals: (Rex has a high powered job. There's not often a black and white end to a difficult personality conflict. But when he lights up his little Leaning Tower of L.E.D.za, he'll be able to wipe his hands on that Ward Cleaver bathrobe with a satisfied smack of accomplishment.
Do I think couples need to share hobbies in common? Absolutely. But I also know, as a parent of two young kids, it's not as easy as it once was to check out our favorite band, go to fancy restaurants, or hang out with friends. Our hobbies are more home-based right now - and that's fine. This season in life will pass soon enough, and then we will once again resurrect new and exciting hobbies.
"Like going on an RV tour across the country!" Rex always reminds me.
Let me state for the record now that he might just do that... but it will be with a life sized L.E.D. version of Andrea carrying a cup of Yuban that blinks steam every one hundred miles. I'm sure he'll have a great trip. Give him a honk as he passes you, will ya?
How about you? What are your favorite hobbies? What are your spouse's? Are you supportive of your mate or does he/she go overboard, making you resentful? Do tell!
Posted by Andrea Frazer
Reprinted with Permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.