21 Dec Why We’re Totally Wrong For Each Other
In four days it will be 23 years since I went to a party I didnt want to go to – and met the Hot Man.
He wasnt the Hot Man then of course. Oh no. He was one of the insanely sexilicious and dangerous Young brothers. All very good looking, very athletic, very in demand ‘with the ladies’, and very good at drinking lots of beer. They worked hard and partied hard. I’d known who he was when I was at high school, but from an awe-struck distance because super cool dudes like him didnt associate with geeks like me.
When I make a list of all the things we had in common – I am mystified how we stayed together so long.
1. He didnt like to eat desserts. Didnt even bother looking at the dessert menu because a meal was complete after appetizers and main. Outrageous!! Who knew people like that even existed?? Not I. As we all know, I live and breathe for dessert. Life would have no meaning without it. The only cake he ever ate was fruitcake. At Christmas. The only cake I wont eat, because its disgusting – is fruitcake.
2. He put tomato sauce on French toast. Ewwww yuck. Whereas I (correctly) believed in the essential sweet nature of bread soaked in eggs and cream and then fried in a daub of butter and sprinkled with cinnamon. Thus I ate French toast with maple syrup. Or jam.
3. He liked to run, box, do muay thai, workout in the gym, and then run some more. Being fit and active and healthy gave him great joy. Me? I hated sports and I’d never been fit or active or particularly interested in good health.
4. He was Catholic but never went to church. I was Mormon and went to church a lot.
5. He’d never read a novel in his life. Stuff for his work and books about running? Yeah sure. But fiction? No. Whereas I consumed books like bags of Doritos. With unbridled enthusiasm and a relentless hunger that I #mustFinishThis.
6. He was and still is, an early riser and always wants to be early to everything. (So annoying.) I like to stay up late which means of course I NEED to sleep late. And I think punctuality is overrated. If I invite you to my house for dinner, Im going to think you’re quite inconsiderate if you actually show up on time.
7. He was and is, excellent with money. Making it, budgeting it and saving it. Im useless at all those things. However, I am very good at spending money. I will get off the plane from a trip to NZ and not have a single cent left in my pocket because hey, money is for SPENDING. While he will still have lots of NZ dollars in his wallet and I’ll be thinking hello! What a waste of good shopping opportunities…
8. He could take any machinery or electrical appliance to pieces and put it all back together again. Install a shower or repair a concrete mixer. Build a steel frame warehouse or make the new blender work. While I couldnt figure out the
stupid intricacies of the DVD player from its instruction manual. I wrote stories from nuthin. He made buildings out of a whole lotta something.
9. He ate at Pinati’s and lunch was keke pua’a from the market. I’d never eaten at Pinati’s and the sight of keke pua’a made me feel ill.
10. His idea of a tidy room was turning the light off so you dont have to see the mess. I couldnt stand dirt or mess. And I wanted furniture to have a color scheme and sheets that MATCHED DAMMIT.
11. He didnt know what a feminist was. I was finishing a degree in Women’s Studies with buckets of Feminist Theory.
12. He loved horror movies. I’d never seen any. Because I cant handle them. Because I cant turn off my psycho-active imagination when the movie stops.
13. He had a motorbike, worked security at a strip club, and was often mistaken for being a drug dealer. (Long hair and a leather jacket will do that to you apparently.) The most dangerous thing I’d ever done was drink milk that was two days past its expiry date.
14. When I said “I had a fight with my sister” I meant – we yelled at each other for an hour, somebody got Unfriended on Facebook and then we separately called our Dad to register our unhappiness. When HE said, “I had a fight with my brother” he meant – he had a fight with his brother and somebody had a black eye. Maybe some furniture got broken.
15. He brought me a rose on our very first date. And the second, third and fourth dates. On the fifth date he proposed and gave me a diamond ring. I didnt give him any presents. (My excuse? I was a poor student and perpetually broke. See #7 for further reference.) But somewhere in between dates 2 and 3, I got nasty food poisoning from post-Xmas leftovers, so he sat by me and held the plastic bowl I was upchucking into. So I kinda did give him some thing.
I could go on. And on. But yes, perusing this list, I am flabbergasted that he and I have made it this far. (And yes, Im rather disconcerted this list has so many references to food…as evidence of what I see to be our DEEPLY PHILOSOPHICAL differences…)
But we’re not the same people who first met at that party 23 years ago.
He eats dessert now. I have brought him over to the Dark Side of the (Sweet) Force, with Sticky Date pudding and oatmeal choc chip cookies being his particular favorites.
I have tried French toast with tomato sauce. And I no longer feel the insane need to color-co ordinate my dishtowels with my plates. Or micro-manage how each cushion is placed on the sofa.
Nope we are not the same people. We’ve had five (bloody expensive) children join us – and they’ve done their best to challenge and bewilder us. We’ve been struggling students, first and second and third homeowners, business operators, author publisher, Ironman and Watergirl…thru sickness and health, richer and poorer, relationship meltdowns and more…
Which goes to show that opposites can do more than just attract. They can endure. Forge common ground. Grow together. Change. Reinvent and renew. Falter and mess up, then re-committ and find new ways to keep going.
Is it “love” that does it? That zing?
Takes a list of opposites and turns it into a marriage that can go beyond French toast and fruitcake?
Or is it friendship, commitment, forgiveness, patience, laughter, hope, hot sex (be honest, theres usually got to be SOME OF THAT in there somewhere) trust, respect and a genuine enjoyment of the other person’s company?
Whatever combination of whatever it is – Im grateful I’ve got it with the Hot Man and I hope hope hope that we keep getting it right.
Happy anniversary Darren. Thank you for another year of being best friends (with benefits).