Well, we agree on a few really key issues: we share the same politics (liberal) and the same religious ideas to a certain degree. I am far more liberal than she is, though, and she is sure there is a God, I am not.
But, honestly...that is about it.
Some days I am just astonished that we can love each other as deeply as we do, stay together. I was talking to my bff, Harriet, this morning and she told me that Bing and I remind her of Allison and Joe DuBois from the television show, Medium.
"You even resemble them physically..." she said.
Well, I watched that show last night and I can state right here and now that I do not have beautiful big breasts like Patricia Arquette, nor do I have her youth, psychic nature, or beauty. I did see Bing in the character of Joe a lot, though.
Bing and I have so many differences:
Movie likes and dislikes.
I kid you not when I say that while we both love movies, we both have very different tastes in them. I sat through Ironman last weekend and thought it was incredibly boring and stupid. Bing was riveted, on the edge of her seat. I was half pouting, because it was her turn to pick and I really, really wanted to see this instead and knew it wouldn't be staying long on the prairie. Liv sat in between us, she is not a big movie fan, in general, and she fell asleep. On the way home, Bing kept going on and on about how fantastic the movie was and I sat there thinking my god, it was so incredibly boring...how could she even like it?
We started taking turns picking movies when it became painfully obvious that we were never, ever going to agree on them. I distinctly remember watching The English Patient and Out of Africa and nearly weeping with joy at how incredible they were while Bing sat next to me looking as if she were undergoing root canal. And all those Arnold movies about The Terminator? I was rolling my eyes and yawning through virtually all of them while Bing wouldn't even listen to me when I made rude comments about how lame the dialog was.
We have liked a few of the same television shows and movies, but usually because they satisfied both of us in some big way. We both liked The Wire, Six Feet Under and The Sopranos, we both really like Dexter and Battlestar Galactica. We both like the Harry Potter movies and Star Wars ones.
But, otherwise, no dice.
Bing eats like the athlete she is. She is a runner and eats her fruits and vegetables. She rarely eats meat or pasta, will crave ice cream about three times a year tops, and can say no easily to any and all desserts.
If I wasn't diabetic, I would be a junkaholic. I am forced to eat well to live but I don't enjoy it and I sneak a cookie once in awhile. I am also addicted to coffee. When Bing isn't home for dinner, we have grilled cheese sandwiches a lot, or oatmeal. Cold cereal. Deli sandwiches. Bing makes meals. Eggplant quiche. Big healthy salads loaded with avocados, tomatoes, peppers and cold chicken. She likes to grill in the summer and she and Liv have the salmon while they put a burger on for me.
Bing is a runner. She runs every morning come rain or come shine. She works out nearly every day or else mows the lawn, she takes a yoga class twice a week. She throws around phrases like what she bench presses, warm up exercises and body fat index. She runs in marathons, does sit ups while watching television and loves going for solitary bike rides alone on warm summer evenings.
I walk the dog. That is it. I can run if Liv is about to be hit by a car or something, but that is it. And I do my exercises for my knees now that the physical therapist bullied me into, but the key is that I truly hate doing them.
Bing irons her jeans. There. Her filthy little secret is out. She always looks put together. Even when she mows the lawn in her shorts and tee shirt, she may sweat like a pig, but her clothes come from a drawer where they have been sitting folded neatly. I have seen her wear a dress once and it wasn't pretty. She has several business suits for when she gives presentations at seminars, etc, but they are all pants. And they are all dry cleaned and pristine. She sleeps in long johns in the winter and boxers and a wife beater in the summer and she folds them up neatly each morning and puts them back into her drawer to be retrieved at bedtime. She carries a Tide To Go Stick with her at all times and knows how to use it. She has humiliated me in public more than once by whipping that sucker out of her jeans pocket and dabbing at me with it when I manage to spill something on myself in a restaurant (which is a common occurrence.)
Me? I can put myself together well for work. I have several business suits that get a lot of wear and several nice skirts and blouses. But, in general, I am sort of a sloppy dresser at home. I tend to like peasant skirts or at least big swirly ones and wear them with bulky sweaters in the winter and sleeveless tee shirts in the summer. I wear jeans sometimes but I don't iron them. Ever. While Bing has her socks folded in color coordinated balls, mine fly around in my dresser drawer free and easy and when I am in a hurry, I have to dig for a match. This is why I often end up with one navy blue sock and one black one. I am inattentive to socks. I don't iron at all and sometimes my clothes look a bit rumpled. Bing calls this that messy, Stevie Nicks gypsy girl thing you have going on. I call this being comfy. I am not neat and tidy looking. When we go out, Bing looks like a well dressed lesbian and I look like a messy peasant girl that she picked up on some dirt road.
She admits that she finds this a bit sexy when she isn't being bothered by the fact that I bunch up my nightgown in the morning and shove it into my drawer.
We have opposite neat/sloppy preferences.
This one is sort of hard to explain. Let's just say that even though Bing is a tidy dresser and has a thing about color coordinating towels and folding them just so and obsessively shining up faucets and cannot STAND crumbs on a counter, she is basically very, very sloppy. She leaves her mail, her school things, her keys, her sunglasses, her tools all over the house willy nilly. She starts projects (like our bathroom which was started over a year ago and is still unfinished) and then loses interest and wanders away.
Now, I am her opposite. I am a tidy person. I do not like the sunday paper to be strewn all over the living room floor for days. I like a tidy house. But, in saying that...my closets are messy, I miss a lot of crumbs on the counters and I am a creative towel folder. I basically fold them up hastily and throw them into the closet. I sort of throw silverware into drawers when they come out of the dishwasher. Bing lovingly seats spoons one on top of the other with precision.
We are like mirror images of the other. What is important to her is unimportant to me and vice versa. We drive each other crazy. Bing will ask me why I can't stack all the vegetable cans together in the cabinet. Is it that hard? It makes it easier for us to find them when we cook. I will ask her if she could please PICK UP THE GODDAMN SUNDAY PAPER ALREADY. IT IS FUCKING WEDNESDAY, OKAY? PICK IT UP. And hey...while she is down there, could she please do something with that radio that she took apart and left all over the floor?
Our biggest difference, though, is our personalities.
Bing is a very calm, unflappable person. She doesn't get emotional very easily, is pretty even keel. She is annoyed by chatty people. She does get angry but when she does, she blows up and it is over. Poof. Five minutes of yelling and then she is over it and it is behind her.
I am not emotional either. I tend to be rather cool and aloof. But...I am not particularly calm. I have been told that I am a "type A" personality. This basically means that I am right
When Bing and I argue, she tends to let her anger out and then she is done and is ready to fuck. Put it behind us.
I hold a grudge. I seethe silently. I let her vent and then sit coldly staring at her and when she asks me if I'd like to respond, I roll my eyes and shrug, tell her no.
And then she tries to kiss me to make up, and I nearly jump out of my skin and tell her to take her cotton pickin' hands off of me. THIS SECOND.
Then, of course, I explode. I painstakingly pick apart her argument, tear it to shreds and hand it back to her in pieces. I respond and then some. By this time, she has realized that it is going to be a very long night and profoundly wishes that she had just sucked up her anger because, hey....Maria is going to stay mad for about four hours.
I go silent and deadly. She goes wary and careful.
And four hours later, well....okay...I am ready to make up. Bing begins to breathe again and we can talk calmly.
When we go out with friends or family, she is by far the most friendly, the one who wants to stay at the party for several hours. I am the one who is ready to go home and read a book in about an hour.
Bing and I are about as different as two women can be. How she knew at age eighteen that we were meant to be together and I didn't know it until I was in my 40's...well..I don't know. And sometimes I don't know how she stands me. She says it's easy, that I am her mate, her lover, her everything. That even when I drive her nuts, she still wants to wake up with me in the morning.
And, I have come to the conclusion that I feel the same way about her. When the chips are down, she is the one I want, the one I need, the one I seek. She's my morning kiss and my goodnight one too.
We manage to make it work, although we both acknowledge that this relationship is work. It isn't just an effortless slide into home plate. We have to plan our strategies to get around those bases. Maybe that is the key, we are on the same team.
So...tell me about your marriage, your relationships, what makes them work, what splintered them, what worked and what didn't.
If you aren't coupled, what didn't work or what was the final straw? Why did that towel get thrown in? Are you happier alone?
I'm torn, I admit. I could live without Bing, I have lived on my own and liked it very much. Yet, I have decided that this relationship will be my last one. This one will be the one that sticks. And with a woman who is my complete opposite. I wonder why that is? I wonder if that is precisely why it works. Maybe she is ying to my yang?
I'm curious about your relationships.....