Opposites attract. My spouse and I are living proof of that.
Sometimes it baffles me that we can have a conversation, much less a 20-year marriage (note: the success of both of those is that I do most of the talking and he has learned when not to). Other times, the littlest of gestures to meet each other half way reminds us that the core of “us” is that we remain the best of friends.
I love spontaneity and adventures. I believe in serendipity and being present in the moment. I express emotions with great clarity and I am fearless in my self-expression. I find people and their stories fascinating, which makes me a great listener. Kindness is my super power and also my kryptonite. I am rarely on time, but am somehow never late to the party. I believe dirty clothes belong in a laundry hamper.
My husband, the Carpenter, likes routines and schedules. He would have to Google “serendipity” and would mumble “nonsense.” His idea of being present in the moment is the ability to ignore everyone around him. The Carpenter’s emotions come in two forms: laughing at how stupid people are or yelling about how stupid people are. That’s enough self-expression. He is kind, but with clearly defined boundaries. He is always on time, unless he is waiting on me. And he believes hampers are just another form of domestication that he refuses to conform to (which means there are clothes on the floor but he does his own laundry, so I cannot comment).
We don’t agree on sports. The Carpenter, as you know, is a passionate football fan. The Seattle Seahawks are his religion. This NFL season I committed to learn the game, not for him, but for my own desire to understand his fascination with it. I faithfully wore my Seahawks shirt for every game, I put superstitions in play and sat quietly observing a sport that is painfully long, that stops more than it starts, and is played by giant humans with ridiculous salaries. Yet, I enjoyed it.
But I am a lacrosse fan first and foremost. I’ll take the NLL over NFL any day. Lacrosse is a fast game that requires endurance of athletes who wear very little gear (and don’t have padded salaries), but are physical in every play.
It is amazing to watch their dexterity and the speed of their running game. You cannot look away. The shot clock keeps it moving. The adrenaline is constant. And, it’s Canada’s national sport, steeped in Indigenous history. I love this game.
Still, it’s been six years since the Carpenter came to a game with me.
Payback came last Saturday night. My reward for enduring a football season was the Carpenter’s act of spontaneity. It was a Kelly trifecta: date night, lacrosse tickets (thanks, John) and it was Rob Hellyer bobble head giveaway night. Everything was perfect. The Rock won. I cheered with great enthusiasm at a respectable volume. I took Rob Hellyer home (giggle) and the Carpenter had fun watching me have fun. A great date.
Marriage isn’t about becoming one person, it’s about becoming one team, and in our case, knowing when to cheer for each other’s teams too.
Best friends forever.