Killer Perspective

As a writer, I live in the world of "things are not always as they seem." It's standard operating procedure for those who make things up as a living, so there are some conversations that make perfect sense to me that make no sense to others, or, worse, send a different message than intended. However, these can be good for helping people gain a sense of perspective.

For example, I had lunch the other day with a couple of friends, one a writer and one a fairly normal person (ha ha). My writer friend, whose specialty is thrillers, has been married for 25 years this last Saturday. My non-writer friend, whose specialty is stained-glass and swing dancing, has been married for 19 years. Each is happy in her life, but they way she expresses it is completely and utterly different, and, for me, quite entertaining.

Somehow the conversation--perhaps it was the red wine or maybe the trout sandwich--turned to our spouses and how we knew they were the "one," or at least not "one of the 'not the ones'." My non-writer friend wove a lovely tale of a two people caught up in a flurry of passion, separated by jobs in different parts of the US, who found that their long distance romance struggled under the weight of individual responsibilities to their families and to their individual dreams of success. She wanted to be a rock star accountant to prove to her family that their "baby" could make it on her own; he wanted to make it in graphic design because of his passion for art and technology. They dated all through college and decided to let fate guide them as they applied for jobs during that ever so important senior year. Those "dream" jobs took them miles apart.

Fast forward six months and their relationship is feeling the strain, as do most long distance connections. Like many couples, the came to the conclusion that being so far apart had helped them discover that maybe their relationship wasn't meant to endure, and they decided to break it off. After many tears, they both choose to move on with their lives...alone.

Fast forward another six months. All is going well with his job, although something seems to be missing. All is also going well with her job, although something for her is also missing. They dated others, trying to move forward with their lives based on their belief that their love for each other wasn't strong enough to sustain a long distance relationship. They were living the dream, but they were both miserable.

Then along comes election day, which was the day that he first kissed her outside of their polling precinct years before. Apparently, that moment of nostalgia was overwhelming for both of them (there is nothing like a presidential election to get the ol' romantic juices flowing). He called her, just wanting to hear her voice, and she had already texted him but he hadn't seen it before he called. Their conversation went something like this:

HIM: Are you dating anyone?
HER: No, are you?
HIM: No.

So they had both decided that they'd give up their jobs to move to where they other person was, and that was how they knew they wanted to be together. In the end, the both decided to quit their jobs to find one in a completely different city they had both decided on, and it worked out. That's how my friend explained how they got together, and I have to admit, it got me teary-eyed. So then I tell my story, which you've all heard, and then my other friend tells how she knew her husband was the guy she'd spend the rest of her life with. In short...

"I never once tried to come up with a way to kill him."

Now, I realize this might seem odd to you, but to me, it made perfect sense. My writer friend writes thrillers and spends a lot of time plotting out heinous crimes and all kinds of mystery stuff, and she often--because she's sassy--includes people she knows as her characters. To date, in her novels she's killed off several people who, in real life, had offended her. It's cathartic, she says. However, not once did it--or has it--crossed her mind to try to find a way to off her spouse. My non-writer friend sat there staring and then gulped some of her wine. Not quite the response she was expecting, I guess.

In any case, we had a great lunch and I was reminded of how, sometimes, different perspectives can expand your world, or at least remind you to be more cautious around thriller writers. Happy Reading!

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