Thursday, April 06, 2006

Wedded Blisters

No one forms character in a vacuum. Absent contact (rhymes with "friction") with other people, one hardly knows whether one is honest. I would probably never know what a lazy, inconsiderate fool I am, if I didn't have a wife to remind me.

But from time to time a second opinion intercedes. For the past year, on a blog I run under another name, I've been helping a woman in another country translate a Catholic work of pop-theology into her language. What I do is, I explain the unfamiliar idioms and slang that don't show up in her dictionaries, unsnarl run-on and ungrammatical sentences, and explain the stories behind picturesque metaphors, that aren't obviously metaphorical at first reading. This woman is an old friend of my wife, and she frequently gushes thanks and praise about me to her. This is good for putting me up on a small pedestal at home, for a spell!

My wife also hears about other people's domestic troubles from here and there, and I tend to benefit from the contrast. Yet, I don't think there's anyone in my life that I contrast with quite as starkly as this.


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