My husband and I can do a lot of things together. We have two children, so obviously we can do THAT. We are good in the delivery room together. I don’t curse him and he is very gentle and supportive. We parent together, with a mutual respect most of the time. Especially when the kids try to play us against one another. I won’t list all the things we can do together, because well, frankly, it’s quite short compared to the things we can not do together. So I won’t list all of them either.
We get along fine, most of the time. We both dread dinnertime with our children. We both cringe deeply at bedtime. But we are polar opposites in our methods and execution of tasks. I’m right brained, he’s left brained. He loves storms. I hate them and run for the basement. Chaos doesn’t bother him. Chaos sends me into fits of anxiety and leaves me curled up into a fetal position shaking in the bathroom corner. He’s laid back. I’m high strung. I rant and vent. He squirrels up and holds it in. So you can imagine what life is like when we try to work together.
Let me illustrate this for you with a couple of photos:
This is what he thinks of when he hears we’re going to have a storm. These are the storage garages behind our house. This was one of the worst storms of summer of 2010.
This is what I see when I hear we’re going to have a storm. This trampoline was little over a year old, and held down with 4 anchors. This is our neighbors beautiful garden. And those are (were) his green beans.
You get the idea, right? OK.
1. Gardening and/or landscaping. Gardening together is a nightmare. We realized this very early in our marriage when it almost ended over landscaping tarp. So now, we work alone. We assign tasks. If I need help with big equipment, he gladly helps. One of us plants (in our own planned layout.) He weeds the garden, I harvest it. He preserves items that need to be preserved with a pressure cooker or by freezing (because I feel like that’s cheating). I can the way my mother taught me. Basically, we do our own thing, when we need to garden. We can landscape now, with reservations.
2. Put out and take down Christmas decorations. Or really anything that requires massive amounts of rearranging that makes my house look like Goodwill just threw up in my living room, hallway, bedroom, bathrooms, kitchen. This was also the inspiration of this post. My husband decided that today would be a good day to shampoo the carpet. So not only does it look like Goodwill vomited in my house, it will stay that way until the carpet dries. My eye is twitching.
3. Cook. We can not cook together. We can not bake together. Leave out the fact that we are both big people and we have a small kitchen. We have radically different methods. I clean while I cook. I use the same measuring scoops for flour as for sugar because I don’t dirty anything unnecessarily. My husband, on the other hand, dirties every single dish we have available in the kitchen, and will possibly find more things to dirty that he will bring up from the basement. I don’t follow recipes EXACTLY. He has to follow the recipe for Kraft Mac N Cheese. Fortunately, however, I don’t really like to cook or grill, and he does. I prefer baking to cooking and he prefers cooking to baking. So in the long run, it works out.
There are many other things, but these are the big 3. Though it’s true that we don’t do a lot of things together, it works for us. Or rather, we’ve found ways to make it work for us. Which is really the whole idea behind marriage, right? Finding a way? We are both, fortunately, very stubborn as well. And we like one another. A lot. One might be so bold as to say that we are best of friends. He is my life partner. Whether he likes it or not.
So the point of this post? Well, it’s two fold. It’s documentation of the mess that is caused when my husband cleans or whatever. Just in the case I end up at the mental institution, and everyone knows why I was found in my bathroom in the corner curled up in the fetal position sucking my thumb with an uncontrollable eye twitch. But also, it’s to remind us that even though two people are polar opposites in some ways, it’s no reason to just give up. Andrew and I have filled our jars with the large items first, Love, Respect, Acceptance. And the little items can just filter in and fill in the spots, and we may not get along all the time, but our foundation is strong. We have cracks now and then, but when your family is in the concrete business, you know how to fix things.