My husband and I agree on many things. We share a lot of the same opinions and have even been known to finish each other’s sentences or have the same thought at the same time.
Still, there are lots of times when we don’t see eye to eye — and not just because he’s 8 inches taller than me. Even after spending decades together there are things (lots of things) that we approach differently. We’ve spent so much time together during the quarantine months that these minor differences have been more noticeable — in an interesting, contemplative and sometimes humorous way.
You might think that after all these years we’d have an agreed upon method for folding laundry. No way. He folds towels one way (the wrong way); I do them another. The same goes for socks and T-shirts. I guess we both are too stubborn to adapt to the other’s technique.
He recently had to renew his driver’s license. When the new one came in the mail, he grabbed a scissors, cut the old one up and tossed it in the trash. I’d never cut up an old license, much less toss it in the trash. I have all my old driver’s licenses in the junk drawer in the kitchen. Something about cutting them up seems — I don’t know — wrong.
We even approach our morning showers differently. I start the water and test it and test it again (and maybe again) until it is just the right temperature. Then I get in. My husband takes a wilder, more brazen approach. He gets in the shower before ever turning on the water so he never knows if he’s going to get blasted with cold or hot or something in between.
He is a stickler for details — unless the detail involves leftover toothpaste goo in the sink. Apparently he was born with the recessive gene for toothpaste goo; it is invisible to him. I am not goo recessive. I am completely and utterly able to not only perceive toothpaste goo but to clean it up, even if it is goo from a toothbrush other than my own.
He is a unitasker. He sets out to do one thing and he does it well. I couldn’t unitask if my life depended on it. I flit about from one thing to the other and sometimes forget what I was doing in the first place. My behavior in this regard has earned me the fitting nickname of Squirrel.
If you have a dishwasher (not your spouse, but the mechanical kind), you probably recognize the most putsy portion to unload is the silverware section. When I unload, I do the silverware first. Make hay while the sun shines. My husband leaves the silverware until the very end. Always put off until tomorrow what you could do today. Or maybe he’s hoping I’ll hop in and help with the forks.
When we first got married, I was a dog person and he was a cat person. Unlike folding laundry, we were able to find some middle ground on this one. We are now both dog and cat persons. Marriage can bring about great growth sometimes.
You don’t have to be exactly the same as someone else to love them. Thank goodness for that. My husband drinks milk; I drink water. He shuts the lights off; I forget and leave them on (squirrel). I like lots of blankets; he kicks them off. I see hair glumps in the drain, to him they are as invisible as toothpaste goo. Still we’ve been known to finish each other’s sentences and have the same thought at the same time. I call it ESP; he calls it coincidence.
And so it goes.
Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, published playwright, author and member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. Don’t miss a slice; follow the Slices of Life page on Facebook.