When Stephanie posted the “teaser” on her blog for this column, I hadn’t even started working on it yet. Fortunately, the picture of the two vases [below] really struck me and gave me the inspiration I needed to get started.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had the thought, Why can’t he be more like me? in regards to my fiancé. Matt and I are finally getting married this September – we’ve been dating for more than eight years – and the amount of arguments we’ve participated in over the years is literally uncountable. It’s the nature of intimate relationships – to care enough about each other to want to be on the same page and to find it next to impossible to do so.
The vases made me think about my relationship. They are equal in every way – same footing, same volume, same color. (For the record, Matt and I are Not equal – he has size 11’s, I have size 6’s; he’s 6’2”, I’m 5’2”. We both do have brown hair and green eyes though, so pretty equal.) The life of theses containers is stable and predictable. In other words, Boring.
My relationship (and I’m guessing yours too) is only boring when we try really hard to make it that way (like on a Saturday afternoon of napping after a particularly overwhelming week). And even then, it's not really boring or predictable, because while I might want to lay on the couch in quiet and nap, Matt is wanting to watch five sporting events on TV simultaneously (and keeping a running commentary on each). What happens next? You guessed it--an argument ensues. Nothing major or life-altering, but day-and-mood-altering, nonetheless.
Going back to the vases, what fills me up in life and in my relationships is not always the same for Matt. I like to spend quality time together and have meaningful talks with each other. Matt wants to lay on the couch to cuddle and watch movies (notice the lack of talking?). Our differences make for challenges for sure, but they also expand our experience and make us do things that we wouldn’t always think to do. And we find fulfillment in unexpected ways. Even if my words outnumber Matt’s by about a million.
We keep predictability in our lives on purpose – we long for stability. But the things we don’t expect or don’t go quite as we planned--the things that seem to get in the way and wreck the routines we’ve worked so hard to establish--are the things that make it interesting and worth the work. Matt doesn’t like that he’s really started to be the laundry fairy (as I affectionately call him), but he does like all the kissing that comes as my thanks and gratitude after finding my favorite blue hoodie clean and hanging up in my closet. And the moments that we don’t expect from big manly men (like when Matt does everything in his power to make our 5 pound dog fall asleep on his chest) make our days brighter and our hearts fall more in love every day.
photos of Kerri & Matt courtesy of Harper Point Photography.