Sunday, December 7, 2008

"Crunchy Cons"

On a recommendation from a friend (Thanks, Katie M!) I picked up a copy of Rod Dreher's book "Crunchy Cons," a book written for people just like me: conservatives that have trouble jumping all the way on the wagon of the political far-right, and identify with some key elements of the "far-left." The opening chapters are leaving me excited and a little breathless; it seems there is a whole subset of conservatives who still manage to feel disenfranchised from their political party, and I am anxious to get into the meat of the book and not miss any key lead-ins I might encounter. But, as often happens when I read such books, I feel that latent frustration in me start to stir. Like the character Tristan in "Legends of the Fall," I have a bear in me that mostly sleeps. But when that bear awakens it begins to prowl, and I become restless and feel something akin to, well, if I am going to be honest here, trapped....sort of.

See, I am happily married to my best friend, and although no marriage is perfect, and we certainly have our marital sandtraps, I love my husband. But we don't see eye-to-eye on a variety of subjects, spiritual and otherwise. Now, I understand that part of the blessing of a marriage is having another person to help temper our impulses, but there are many things that I would change about our lifestyle if it were up to only me. The results of such a fantasy scenario could indeed be disastrous, and I thank God that He uses my husband to help me make responsible choices-and vice versa.

The fact remains: there are some fundamental personality differences between hubby and myself, and for each big one there is little opportunity for compromise. For instance: I am a country girl at heart, and am in my element and at my most comfortable with land around me. I love to build and plant things, I love to have animals share my life for service and companionship. I love digging in the dirt and the peace and quiet of a country morning. He would be just as happy living in town for the rest of his life.

So, as I begin this little literary journey with Rod Dreher, I am encouraged, but discouraged. There are things in the lives of our family, and the lives of our kids, that I would change at the drop of a hat; but it is not just me to make the decisions, and not just me the decisions affect. When I find the solution to such a dilemma I will be sure and let you know.

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