I just figured out that if my marriage can survive Friday nights, it can survive anything. That's the night my husband and I have all the togetherness of Texas Gov. Ann Richards and Clayton Williams on a blind date.

After dinner, I retire to the living room where I watch an evening of sitcoms and movies. My spouse, the news junkie, turns on the TV set in the kitchen and watches a verbal SWAT team led by John McLaughlin get varicose veins on their necks.From time to time I hear my husband laugh and pound his fist on the table, but for all purposes, we are in separate worlds. "The McLaughlin Group" has to be the thinking man's answer to mud wrestling or championship monster trucks crushing a line of cars. Surrounded by four cowboys who gallop their way through political issues, McLaughlin reminds me of a gunslinger in a saloon who fires at their feet and orders them to dance.

So what does it matter if a married couple has different tastes in television? Well, how would you feel if your husband crept up behind you and shouted in your ear, "Bombeck! Bush shows Bo Derek around the White House. Will it help or hinder his popularity?"

"Uhhh, I don't know."

"An answer!"

"It would help, I guess."

"Wrong!" he snaps. "Are you suggesting the president has nothing better to do? What kind of a pinko commie answer is that! My God, the man has a potential war to worry about."

"OK, then, it would hinder."

"On a scale of one to 10."

"What a question," I said. "Bo Derek is a 10."

"Not Bo Derek, you fool! The state of the presidency."

My husband says John McLaughlin is a former Jesuit priest. Right. And Robert Novak left the show to become a maitre d' at the House of Pancakes. Can't you see McLaughlin hearing confessions on a Saturday afternoon? "What do you mean it's been three months since your last confession? Are you asking me to believe you've been lily-white with no impure thoughts for three solid months? You sound like a guy named Buchanan I just had in here. You know what I think? I think you just don't have the guts to admit you made a mistake."

The other night my husband wandered onto my turf and asked, "What are you watching?" I looked up from my TV set and said, "It's a series called `Over My Dead Body.' "

"How can you stand all that violence?" he said.

I don't believe he said that.