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).

I love you.

  • I love this so much. SO MUCH.
    This is where I’m like – marriage is WORK! It’s loving that person more than they annoy you 😉
    All of this is just so fab.

    December 21, 2014 at 6:50 am
  • maryann

    Awesome blog Lani and happy anniversary to you both. Believe it or not i think i was at that party :). Have fun and Lord bless.

    December 21, 2014 at 7:34 am
  • Inu Amosa Pouoa

    congratulation guys, the opposite makes you guys grow. If you had like the same thing in life, then what is there to work with. But enough of this, I do not have the writing skill as you are.

    Our prayers is God to bless your family.

    Love and prayers

    Inu Amosa and family

    December 21, 2014 at 9:18 am
  • gwennie

    I love it!….my husband and I are also total opposites…lol…

    December 21, 2014 at 9:46 am
  • vaee

    Haha..I have yet to find Mr.Hot guy…Oh, such awesome read!.luv #7,Happy anniversary Lani &Darren.

    December 21, 2014 at 10:45 am
  • Tania

    Wow, well done to both you and my dear friend Darren. Excellent written blog.
    xoxo 🙂

    December 21, 2014 at 12:25 pm
  • Fred

    Beautiful tribute. I can relate to much of it and, on top of it, we also have had to cope with two different cultures. But we’ve made it 43 years so far so there is hope!

    December 21, 2014 at 1:01 pm
  • Jade

    loved your post and thanks for sharing 🙂

    December 21, 2014 at 1:23 pm
  • Leilani Martinez

    Happy anniversary, dear girl, to you and your Hot Man! May God give you many more years to love and enjoy each other and your beloved children and family… the “making it work” is the tough part, but it can be done. My honey was of Mexican ethnicity, and I am a Samoan woman with too many opinions about too many things… and who does not hold back from expressing them either! Thank God he had the patience of a saint, and I have he sense enough to shut up when needed! We made it work for 46 years and four children, till he passed away in 2008. I’m still in love with him, though, so I guess you can say it is still working for over 50 years… so, God willing, you have plenty of time to make more booboos and have more make-up sessions! That’s the best part… love u…

    December 21, 2014 at 2:04 pm
  • Maiya Clark

    This blog was so beautifully written and moving, Lani! I am so proud of your 23 year old marriage and your growth as a woman. I was only privy to the shy, reserved and proper young lady in high school. It is wonderful to see your evolution! I have not yet been blessed to find my Hot Man but I pray that he is in my future. Blessings to you, Lani!

    December 21, 2014 at 2:53 pm
  • daniel

    happy anniversary and ya he is hot yum

    December 21, 2014 at 4:33 pm
  • Sheree

    Another good read Lani. And entertaining as well. Happy anniversary to you both .

    December 21, 2014 at 6:59 pm
  • Luana

    This was gorgeous. Was sitting here reading this with a mental ‘awwwwwwwwww’ and grinning at the humour. At the same time my partner is reading over my shoulder and puts into play the ‘differences effect’ with random indignant outbursts of ‘HEY I don’t like dessert’ and ‘I get up early.
    All I could do was laugh and tell her “i love you, you dork” 🙂

    December 21, 2014 at 8:13 pm
  • Jan

    Love reading your writing!!!

    December 21, 2014 at 8:23 pm
  • Sina

    Thank you!!! That was beautiful and I love it. You just gave hope to me. I thought people with two totally different personalities would not work out but I see differently now. I guess it’s how much you want it. #suchamysteriousthingloveis

    December 21, 2014 at 9:17 pm
    • Sina

      Happy Anniversary and God bless you and your family!!!

      December 21, 2014 at 9:17 pm
  • Melody Mac

    love this so much! Can totally relate on so many levels. Main one being he was the “Jock” I was the “Nerd”. Happy Anniversary and to many more years of Marital Bliss!!

    December 21, 2014 at 9:46 pm
  • Anonymous

    Happy ANNIVERSARY May God bless you and family alofa aku

    December 21, 2014 at 9:52 pm
  • kepalena

    thanks Lani…thanks for sharing challenges and bliss of marriage…love the genuineness and honesty in sharing it with us all…you truly are the ‘voice’…about so many aspects of life that many could connect to and learn from. Thank you for making us believe that there is no perfect marriage and that both parties each have a bit to play to make marriage work, blissful and long-lasting to forever. Attributes you’ve listed here are certainly the ‘must have’ in any marriage. My hubby and I are total opposites also…initial stage of marriage is the hardest…fights would often end up to contemplate ‘out’…but true forgiveness and compromise always find us back. Someone said that doing little things for and putting spouse first often is a portrayal of ‘caring’ attitude for each other and has been the greatest tip to our marriage. Thanks for the awesome sharing to remind me to make our marriage the focus of this festive season. It is also our anniversary this month and I think I would write something similar to your post in my journal to be a gift for my hot man. lol… Happy Anniversary to you and your Hot Man.

    December 21, 2014 at 11:52 pm
  • Sina Retzlaff

    Aww Congratulations Lani n Darren. Prayers for many more fun-tastic years together.

    December 22, 2014 at 12:44 am
  • Evelyn Eveni

    This is beautifully written………happy anniversary to you and yours!!!

    December 22, 2014 at 2:33 am
  • Ali Vaomu

    Hi Lani:

    I wish I had read this five years ago. I love the way you and the hot man have taken your differences and made it gel so that you have evolved into a great married couple that is a success story to look up to. So many similarities in our personalities its funny. I laughed at almost all of your story because I can so identify with it. Sadly, my hubby and I parted ways over misunderstandings and issues that became to big a gulf for us to repair. But I have renewed my hope in finding my very own Mr. Hotness himself as I read all your funny blogs. Thanks for making a gal believe that there still are great guys out there. Have and enjoy your anniversary with your Hot Man…and please keep the stories coming, I love them!

    December 22, 2014 at 10:09 am
  • Apaula Simi-Ah To

    Though we’re long past the point of calling you “Miss”, I guess it’s still reflex, so….
    Hi Miss! Recently discovered your blog through a share on Facebook and am hooked. Your writing is amazing and has great humour mixed into it that just puts me in such a good mood when I start reading here. 🙂

    Looking forward to more!
    All the best, and a safe and joyful festive season to you and yours 🙂

    December 22, 2014 at 10:42 am
  • Sally "SalBreezy" Fa'atonu

    This was amazing. Thank you Lani, for you are such a inspiration. Forgive me for I have just read this, but know that I have become a true fan! I love your this and the true story behind it. God bless you, Mr. Hot Man and the fabulous 5!


    December 22, 2014 at 11:02 am
  • Stacie

    Happy Anniversary Lani & Darren!!!!
    Love love love this Lani. How awesome it is to grow up with the love of your life and go through life experiences together and still 23 years down the line be able to say that you still love eachother unconditionally… I am certain you will in 23 years from now write another blog like this because your love for each other is that strong. I hope and pray that the Lord has the same plan for me & my hot man 🙂 All our love x

    December 23, 2014 at 11:47 am
  • Bella Dutton

    Loved reading your blog. You are amazing with words. Happy Anniversary to you and Darren. Katrina said you will be coming to the US is March. What are the dates and where will you be going?

    December 27, 2014 at 3:19 am
  • nola

    Awee..Happy Anniversary Lani & Darren, You two are my Role Models hehe!! xoxo

    December 28, 2014 at 6:41 am
  • Paula Sekoa(he surfs, I swim)

    Such a beautiful story. I can relate to you Lani with me and my beautiful man… I am NZ born he is full Samoan born and bred. English is his second language, Samoan is my second language. I went to school, finish college, he never finished school worked his whole life on the plantation but speaks such perfect English. He surfs, I swim, he watches rugby, i love wwe wrestling, he loves to eat the head of the fish i prefer can of tuna, we have so much in common spiritually and love that it works for us, and keeps us both amazed and stimulated. At the beginning of each new day and the end we say thankyou and I love you, core elements of everlasting love. Happy anniversary to you and your man.

    December 28, 2014 at 10:10 pm

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