Over the past decade or so, it has become apparent that my husband and I are completely incompatible:
- He’s a pack rat. I’m a cleaner-outer.
- He dwells happily in his cluttered man cave. I need a tidy house and a clean desk.
- He’s a procrastinator. I do things as soon as they come up (which is really only because I’ll forget about them otherwise, but still).
- He likes to have music or TV always on in the background. I prefer silence unless I’m actually concentrating on listening to music.
- I love all kinds of music. He’s rock & roll to the core.
- I’m a jock. He’s a couch potato (sorry, dear, but you know it’s true).
- I’m an adventurous eater. He’s a meat-and-potatoes kinda guy.
- He winds down by watching TV. After half an hour in front of the TV, I’m ready to chew off my own arm if that’s what it takes to escape.
But it doesn’t end there. We can’t even agree on the things we agree on. We have two kinds of everything in our house. I drink skim milk and he drinks full-fat homogenized. I eat crackers with unsalted tops; he eats salted. He drinks black tea; I drink green and herbal. He likes white bread; I like whole-grain. We don’t even use the same brand of toothpaste.
A while ago, I ran into an old friend in the grocery store and we were standing there catching up when he suddenly blurted out, “I can’t believe you’re still married.” When I laughed and asked him why, he couldn’t (or didn’t) come up with any concrete reason, but I suspect it was the compatibility thing. Looking at the list above, you’d think we’d have throttled each other before the first year was out.
But we’ve figured out ways to compromise (or agree to disagree), and there are lots of activities we both enjoy. It also helps that Hubby is the most tolerant guy I’ve ever met, and he encourages me in absolutely everything I try (even if I suck at it).
Yesterday was our fourteenth wedding anniversary, and I can’t believe how quickly the years have flown by. It’s been the best fourteen years of my adult life.
I think what I love most about him is the way he does little, special things for me. The surprise trip to a new restaurant; cleaning out the dishwasher because he knows I hate doing it; the fancy bows on the chairs we bought together as a mutual anniversary gift; the flowers for no reason; the way he magically appears with a dishtowel in his hand when he hears me washing dishes. No grand fanfare, no ‘look what I did for you, praise me now’; just his quiet smile.
And I love the way his mind is constantly active. Conversations at our dinner table range from quantum physics to car maintenance; astronomy to science-fiction laser guns; building computers to growing tomatoes to finding a way to filter out the awful taste of his last batch of rotgut homemade wine. (We never did figure that one out. If anybody wants a few gallons of dark-brown fluid that smells like rotten eggs and burns with a clear blue flame, let me know.)
Our basement is full of obscure mechanical and electronic oddments, and Hubby’s always working on some theoretical problem or invention. It’s unfailingly interesting, and occasionally alarming. I’ve narrowly missed being struck in the back of the head by an exploding capacitor (it shot past my left ear). Sometimes there are billows of dense smoke or worrisome chemical odours.
But I think I’ve finally trained him not to use my kitchen sink for toxic substances or my food processor for non-food items. At least, not while I’m looking.
And after all, where’s the fun in predictability?
So happy anniversary to my dear Hubby – I’m looking forward to many more! (Anniversaries, I mean. Just thought I should clarify that…)