My husband and I are very, very different people. He worries about money, I worry about people. He has his feet firmly on the ground, I prefer to live in the clouds. He tends to be a bit of a pessimist, I try to be optimistic (although I sometimes fail). He deals in practicalities, I prefer the currency of dreams.
Here’s how those differences shake out in real life.
BRRRING, BBRRRING (the phone rings).
HIM(sounding unhappy): Hello?
ME: Hi! Are you on your way?
HIM: Yeah, but…
ME: But what? Are you going to be late? Because I don’t want to be The Parents Who Are Late on her second day at a new school…
HIM: No, no. I’m already halfway there.
ME: Oh. Then what’s the matter?
HIM: The car just made a really weird noise.
ME: Your car always makes weird noises. What’s the problem?
HIM: This one was bad. It sounded like something was crunching and grinding up things inside the engine.
ME: Oh. Is it still making it?
HIM: No. In fact, all the noises are gone.
ME: They’re gone? That’s awesome! Why are you upset?
HIM: I think you’re missing the point.
ME: What point am I missing? Your car made an awful noise and then the noises disappeared. That rocks!
HIM: I think there’s something really wrong with the car.
ME: I think the car’s all better.
HIM: I think we should probably take it to the mechanic tonight.
ME: What? Why would we do that? What are we going to say—Uhh, my car stopped making noises, I need you to figure out why? They’ll look at us crazy.
HIM: No they won’t. It’s acting really weird. I’m worried something big is about to fall off the car.
ME: Are you sure you’re not overreacting?
HIM: I don’t think so. I have a feeling something really expensive needs to be fixed.
ME: Oh. Well worst comes to worst, you’ll get a new car.
HIM: This one only has 50,000 miles on it!
ME: Yeah, but it’s being held together with duct tape and rust.
HIM: We can’t afford a new car.
ME: We can’t afford a vacation either. But we’re going!
HIM (Sighing): You’re hopeless.
ME: And you’re a bummer. Love you anyway!
….And that’s how our marriage works. For the record, the noises are back, the car’s going in the shop—and we’re still going on vacation. And now Brian’s researching car noises on the Internet while I look for swimsuits. Somehow, it all works out in the end.