I married the Carpenter because he is the ying to my yang (that sounds inappropriate), the white to my black, the half-full positive glass to my half-empty negative outlook. Oh, and he’s cute (tool-belt included).

After nearly 20 years together, I keep hoping that through osmosis or having to share a queen-sized mattress, some of his old-soul wisdom would naturally transfer to me.

You see, the Carpenter is a quiet man, partly because marriage to me means there is little room to get a syllable in. As a man of few words, when he does speak, there is usually profound wisdom in his words.

He just knows stuff, as if Yoda is under his side of the bed whispering Jedi secrets (which could explain some of the snoring). Whatever the problem, he sees the solution. If I’m ranting about something, he points out the real reason for my tirade and then puts the truth out there for me to further dissect. It’s like he just divines logic from the earth or something. Freak.

I want to be more like him. I want to follow the straight line instead of the squiggly ones. I want to say “no” in a way that is confident, final, without being arrogant or forceful. I want to command that kind of respect. He has even perfected forgiveness without forgetting. Damn, he’s good.

But here’s the best part: he couldn’t give the slightest care if anyone else likes anything he thinks, says or does. He has a good heart, to be sure, but if you don’t like him, his head will hit that pillow at bedtime and sleep will come to him within seconds, just like it does every night. It’s a mystery to me.

During a recent “drama,” I witnessed the Carpenter’s serenity first-hand. It was during a challenging time, complete with the Carpenter sitting centre of dueling personalities, each with accusations over petty issues.

At the heart of it was a history of hurt; the kind of hurt for which most of us seek therapy. My writer’s mind sat in silent observation. If anyone was entitled to blow up in this situation with a temper eruption, it was the Carpenter. He didn’t. He said his peace to the parties involved, his voice raised ever so carefully, and within minutes, it was over. He went back to his tasks as if this situation never happened.

I took mental notes. I needed to know how he achieved this peaceful state. I asked and he answered, “I said what I needed to say. I’m done. It’s in the past now. Over. Movin’ on.” Just like that, he moved on. Hmm.

I found myself staring at him as if another layer of the man I know so well had been peeled back. Nothing had changed, he was still the same, but I was seeing him in a new light. Perhaps it’s because I have hit my 40s, and everyone warned me a fundamental shift would occur.

Some of my own perspectives are changing. I don’t care to be the nice girl anymore. I don’t want to march to anyone else’s drum and I don’t care if I look scary at the school drop-off. I am scary. Deal with it (I am so not scary, but that felt good to say it).  Slowly but surely, I am learning from the master.

The Carpenter is my Yoda. Does this mean the force is with us?



Kelly Waterhouse