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What's a nice college-educated girl like Remy doing on a barstool in a blue collar tavern shooting the breeze with a bunch of high school graduates and a couple of GED's? Having the time of her life, that's what.
Remy was always a bit of a rebel. She grew up in an upper-middle-class home, her parents were both professionals, and it was expected that someday she'd bring home a doctor, dentist or lawyer. Maybe a college professor or someone in finance. But in high school, she developed a thing for boys who took shop. At first she did it "just because it would tick off my parents." Then she decided she liked their laid back style and the fact that they weren't always studying for the SAT's. Her first husband was a tennis pro.
About five years ago, Remy, a media buyer, met Dan. She was 27 at the time; he was 40, divorced with two kids.
Dan was a salesman with a high school diploma and "a salary that does not begin to approach the halfway mark to a six-figure number. He's not a wine connoisseur, doesn't read the Wall Street Journal or own a Burberry raincoat. He has his hair cut at a barber shop in a bowling alley," says Remy. "But he's bright and interesting and fun, and he has more common sense than anyone else I know. His street smarts balance my book smarts. And he reads more than I do."
They began to date.
Three years ago they got married and moved into Dan's townhouse. They usually like to stay home. But three or four times a year, they meet Dan's old friends at the tavern.
"When we get together, we don't talk about what we do. The guys talk about sports, and I talk to the girls about movies or TV shows. We all do a lot of drinking. We get there at about 9 p.m. and we close the place down at 3 a.m. Those are some of the best times we have."
Every now and then, Remy is invited to a dinner party by one of her friends. She turns it down. But recently she got an invitation to a friend's 30th birthday party. "Dan fights and says he doesn't want to go, that he doesn't know the people and has nothing to say, but he goes along. He's a good sport," says Remy.
Today, Remy and Dan make about the same amount of money. But Dan has high blood pressure and Remy would like to see him get out of his high-stress job. "I'd like to see him retire in five years," she says. "I hope with what my salary will be by then that I'll be able to support him. I'd like to see him get a job at a place like Ace Hardware. Something with a lot of people contact. He'd be great at that. His kids will be grown by then — he's worked real hard. I'd love to see him relax."
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