Opposites create a lasting relationship

Opposites create a lasting relationship By Bob Karolevitz I've written about this before in a column called "Opposites Attract," but here at the farm we have several other areas of conflict besides Phyllis squeezing the toothpaste tube in the middle and my sleeping so late in the mornings.

Television is one of them.

My wife is a news buff, following each development of a story and getting angry regularly at politicians, judges and wayward people. When she isn't up to her eyeballs in a breaking event on CNN, she's a surfer, changing channels faster'n you can say Larry King Live.

She can whip past a baseball game in an instant, even though I might want to watch an inning or two. She thinks baseball is too slow and therefore it is something I shouldn't waste my time viewing.

When we do settle down to watch a show together, I usually forget my hearing aids.

"Turn the volume up higher," I say, as I strain to listen to the dialog.

"What do you mean turn it up higher?!" she retorts. "They can already hear it over in the next township."

Our compromise should be His and Hers television sets, but it hasn't come to that yet.

Another point of contention has to do with her trying to accomplish something constructive all the time. On more than one occasion I've accused her of being a workaholic, but I can't seem to get her to slow down. I'd like to take time to smell the posies, but she exhorts me to action.

That's good, of course, because I need someone to light a fire under me now and then. For instance, in the acknowledgement sections of my books I have had to thank her in a variety of ways for forcing me to meet deadlines. As a matter of fact, I'm running out of words like cajole, coax, nag, wheedle, entice and persuade to express my appreciation for her continuing help.

Then there is the matter of shoes.

All those years in the Army has ingrained in me the need to have things lined up. I like shoes in a neat row. On the other hand, she kicks them off willy-nilly, obviously not caring how they land. I said we should have Saturday inspections, but she outranks me, so my feeble threat is just an empty gesture.

Finally there's my office.

Admitted, there are books and papers scattered all over, but I like to think that I know where everything is and that each item � if not disturbed � will eventually find its way into a column or book. Consequently, the vacuum cleaner stops at the door.

Phyllis calls my work room a "boar's nest," but she honors my eccentrities and stays away. She must sneak in when I'm away, though, because the cobwebs have disappeared and the dust is gone.

Needless to say, I'm convinced that opposites do attract, and so I intend to keep it that way. I'll be as opposite as I can be in order to maintain our relationship.

I know that Phyllis will continue to kick off her shoes willy-nilly, and she'll whiz right by the ball game on the tube, but I don't care.

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said: "From things that differ comes the fairest attunement." I plan to stay attuned.

© 2001 Robert F. Karolevitz

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