The Compromise

Can you imagine what it would be like to hang out with yourself, or for that matter, be married to yourself? To have to deal with your own obnoxious quirks, your own irritating behaviors. I guess I’m biased to this question ‘cause I happen to think I’m awesome; but in all honesty, if I were to be around myself longer than a day, I would be exhausted and in need of a mind-numbing beverage… With our cable turned off for the summer (it’s a teacher thing-TV rots your brains kids), I’ve had a lot of time with my overactive imagination, contemplating many things.

To imagine having to deal with my anxious, emotional, neurotic behavior is enough to make me want to run head first into a wall, conk-out, and avoid the drama for a few hours in an unconscious stupor. I guess that’s why I married my opposite; The Yin to my Yang, the black to my white, or more like the beer to my coffee. “Opposites attract.” I suppose this is true, but when inhabiting with your polar opposite compromise becomes the magic word.

Case in Point:

My inimitable husband and I could not be more different than the Turtle and the Hare. In fact, his nickname among his BoyScout group of friends just so happens to be, Turtle. I suppose this can be attributed to his ultra-mellow disposition, and his “slow and steady wins the race” approach. Also, I can imagine he got the nickname from the way he looks when he sprints…imagine if you will a turtle running and with each step his head going further into his shell, tucking into his body…kinda cute. A psychologist would categorize him as typical Type-B disposition. Type B individuals such as Turtle are a perfect contrast to those with Type A personalities (myself). People with Type B personalities are generally tolerant, undisturbed, even-tempered, and at times lacking an overriding sense of urgency. These individuals tend to be sensitive of other peoples feelings, selfless, and sweethearts in the eyes of many.

Though hard-working and working often, like the typical type B personality- he prefers taking it easy in his down time doing things like hanging out on the couch, watching football (cable gets conveniently turned back on when the season starts), BBQing, and throwing back some cold ones as he assesses the performance of what he calls “modern day gladiators” aka football players. His wife, myself, is of the hyper-active variety; running circles around him literally and metaphorically. A Type-A personality to the core; ambitious, aggressive, controlling, highly competitive, impatient, preoccupied with my reflection, and tightly-wound. In my free time I like to clean house, run marathons, and start multiple projects that I never entirely finish unless it’s for my benefit -did somebody say selfish??? (yes, my sister says it often…) My caffeinated blood, and over dosage of B vitamins doesn’t really help Turtle’s efforts to help me relax; so, often he sends me out of the house to run circles around the neighborhood or get a massage when I start to make him too dizzy.

With our personalities being so opposing, we have had to learn to compromise. In the past few months, we have negotiated partaking in activities that the other enjoys…Turtle decided he would amp up his activities and join me in my quest to become Ms. Fitness Suburbia, so I bought him a bike. Now he and the Beasts ride their bikes while I run through trails. Just this morning Turtle requested something unusual…No it wasn’t a new toy to add to his collection of untouched tools in the garage, not even an 18 pack of Coors Light or Carne Asada Burrito…as I was pulling out to take my morning trip to Starbucks, Turtle asked for a coffee! WHAT?! Oh yes he did…so I got him just that, and had the barista add a few shots of espresso to see where this would take us…hopefully to Turtle on a mission and some cleaner cars.

This was not just a one-sided cooperation…with Turtle being obsessive about football, being a coach and a die-hard fan, I figured I could try to like it too…I mean, don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate football, but I definitely liked it more before I met my husband; before I was given disproportionate weekly, and sometimes daily, exposure to it in multiple hours a day doses. So, I set my heart out to watch a game or two with my Turtle, *but only if I could dress-up and participate in the profane yelling (to me, stress venting) at the TV. Turtle agreed…

In time, I found myself actually enjoying these prolonged sessions of vegging on our couch, watching these “gladiators” in tight pants with ripped muscles beating each other down. The margaritas made it even easier to watch this game I had for so long dreaded every Sunday, Monday, and Thursday.

For now, it looks like Turtle and I have turned over a new leaf. Enjoying each other’s company, doing things we love. Our opposing qualities have meshed to become complimentary. I like this new compromise business…I wonder how Turtle will react to my proposal to take up salsa dancing…slow and steady will win this race.

How have you had to compromise to become complimentary? Are you married to your opposite?