Foodies, gourmands, and assorted oenophiles love to toss around, as in a salad, the verb "pair." You've seen it. Or heard it. "The escargot retains its maritime yet diffident character when paired with a 1973 L'Armandaise Bleu." That type of pinkies-out remark is readily slurped up by aesthetes. "Via Va Voom Venuto's menu boasts a zesty pasta sauce, called 'gravy' by the local denizens, that pairs well with a bottle of handcrafted red from the nearby GMO-abstinent, non-frackable vineyard."
Pair. Pairs. Pairing. Paired.
Such a genial word, with its seductive invitation to couple, twin, or more!
And yet let us admit to its linguistic impediments.
Some pairings are ill conceived and ill fated, are they not?
You wouldn't pair a Trump with a Sanders, would you?
Or a vegan with a carnivore, a liberal with a conservative, a dove with a hawk -- WAIT! Maybe those are the very pairings we in fact covet and crave. Maybe we indeed need to conspire and courageously conjure oxymoronic pairings that will yield unexpected civility and eruptions of harmony and blasts of bonhomie.