I’ve heard it said that men choose women who remind them of their mother. In fact my father used to sing a song that went “I met a girl, just like the girl that married dear old Dad.”
I don’t think that theory is true however. In fact I hope it isn’t, because I think it’s kind of whack.
I am under the belief that people choose their mates by how they can fill in the gaps that were left open during childhood. Daddy’s little princess will likely run off with a biker because her youth lacked daring excitement lest the princess get hurt. And a shy person will choose someone with a big personality who will pull unappreciated attention away from them.
I, being a somewhat neglected and stifled child, ended up with a generous man. I didn’t actively seek “generous.” It just happened to be a perk from his “kindness.” Mostly, I was looking for someone who would help me accomplish my bucket list of life opportunities, which he did and still does.
The fact that I was nearsighted and he was farsighted only added to the bonuses that mates offer each other. Obviously he appreciates me reading the fine print on his medications and the perk for me is he can’t see my wrinkles. It’s a win-win.
But there is something unnerving about just how far away he can see. When we are out for walks or driving somewhere, he often points out deer or some other such animal at the edge of a tree line. I see nothing, but trust he does. That is until yesterday when we were enjoying our ice cream in front of the harbor and he started talking about a boat off the end of the breakwall. Even with my glasses on I could not see a boat and told him to stop yanking my chain. He said of course there was a boat, he could see the guy on it and he was wearing a gray shirt.
I looked him in the eye. He was serious. So it comes down to this: either he’s delusional or I’m becoming blind as a bat. Only time will tell.
When it comes to hearing, I outdo him. After years of running power tools he can’t hear all the things I can. But as I think on it, it’s not an advantage because when I tell him to check out the funny noise my car is making he hears nothing. Luckily he can’t hear me mutter under my breath during these times either. You learn to take the good with the bad.
I finally told him we had to move the bedroom furniture back because last month’s heat wave was making it impossible to sleep up against the far wall, heretofore known as The Desert. He didn’t want to. He says he likes it like this. That is man code for “I don’t want to move the stinking heavy furniture again in this lifetime.”
So instead, he bought me an air conditioner — win-win.
When it comes to traveling, he thinks to check the car’s vitals first. I don’t. I’m too busy doing the packing, the planning, and absolutely everything else, so I’m lucky he’s on the ball there.
He often feels I don’t put enough effort into things, and I think everything he does is overkill. It usually involves food because I for one like fast, easy meals and he prefers three-course dining. Luckily he enjoys cooking and I try to appreciate it but I tend to get my crank on when he is overcooking the chicken again or he’s sneaking bouillon cubes and other spices into the stew “for flavor.” Well, I don’t like eating salty, flavored dirt. Dirt, by the way, is the name of one of his spices, and it lives up to the name.
One of us is patient. I’m the other one.
One of us makes good money and I like to shop.
One of us knows how to fix things and I hand him the tools (as well as the thing I broke).
One of us thinks I’m funny, and I know he’s just being kind.
Over the years we have managed to smooth each other’s edges in the same way water smoothes glass. That is how we have survived 47 years together.
A wise person once said, “It’s important to go into a marriage with your eyes wide open, and go through the marriage with your eyes half shut.”
Can I get an amen?