Thursday, June 10, 2010
I have always said that the one thing about marriage that drives me crazy is the compromise. That is the six year old in me coming out. But truly, sometimes in life you just want what you want and you don't want anyone elses opinion; good, bad or otherwise. In the ten years of marriage that Jeff and I have (what's the right word here? lived through - no, blissfully skipped through - no, muddled through - perhaps, enjoyed - ahh there we go) enjoyed; we have really done a lot of growing up. I think that goes with the territory. We had five years with no children to learn a lot about each other and to mess up significantly without any serious fallout. Compromises? Oh, we have had our fair share of compromises.
One of my favorites (or at least to tell) started with the wedding registry. I had dreams of floating through the store with my lazer gun, zapping all of the wonderful household items that would truly make our humble Florida apartment a home. Not to be. HE had an opinion. Are you kidding me? I mean, yes we had been dating (and actually living together) for a couple of years so you think I would have been prepared for this. But oh no, when he challenged me on my 'everyday' tableware I am sure that my eyes bugged out of my head. I wanted to say, 'You are male, you don't get an opinion about the dishes!' He decided that he liked an 80s inspired stoneware set that was truly awful. I grew up in the 80s and it was still too close for comfort for a comeback to feel cool. It just felt tired. But then I was inspired. By this beautiful china pattern.
A lot of my friends didn't register for china. I wanted china. I wanted to have it for Thankgiving dinner, for Valentines Day, for our Anniversary. I wanted to have it for years and years and years. Much longer than that stoneware could possibly last, especially if we ever got some nice granite countertops that it could be bumped into and dropped onto on occasion. So I made a deal, a compromise. He got the awful stoneware and I got my beautiful china. Perfect. In fact, who really kept their stoneware around longer than a few years, I could chuck that at the first opportunity. Llittle did I know it might as well be called concreteware - the stuff seriously doesn't break! And believe me, I have tried. Regardless, at some point I will be able to replace it and I will still have my china.
This is the type of compromise that makes a marriage. Both parties have said their peace, no one is willing to budge, yet somehow we are able to come to an agreement that we are both happy with. It takes time, and loads of energy and patience; but in the end we are both happy and closer for the compromise that happened.
Unfortunately there are sticking points in every marriage that don't result in compromise. They become a battle. Most big disagreements, money, kids, home buying, we make a point to work through it. There are those little, seemingly insignificant issues that just won't go away. Like the fan. We have an oscillating fan in our bedroom. Our house is pretty old, in the standard US definiation of old, probably my age; 35ish years. I guess the builder back in the 70s didn't believe in overhead lighting, because none of the bedrooms are wired for overhead lights or fans. We haven't taken the time or the budget to have someone come in and rewire for lights and fans, so we have a little fan that sits on a plantstand that runs while we sleep. We have always slept with a fan, in the past it has been an overhead fan which really causes no complaints for either of us. We like it.
The problem with this little oscillating fan, did I mention it oscillates? Well, to put a fine point on it, Jeff likes the oscillation and I hate it. I guess he likes the creaking noises it makes, or the way it blows the blinds and makes them rattle every three seconds or the way it runs its little wind across your faces like a spider every three seconds! I can't stand it. I like the fan more for the noise than the cooling affect, the white noise, not the creaks and groans of a fan going back and forth and disturbing every little rustling object in the room EVERY THREE SECONDS! So at night when I go to bed, which is probably six nights out of seven before Jeff; I stop the fan from oscillating. Because, at some point, maybe it is after I am asleep; maybe it is in the morning after his shower that silly fan has been turn back to oscillating. Really. It is like I have a little elf who likes to mess with my mind and turn this fan from a still lovely beautiful thing, to a creature of torture who wakes me up in the middle of the night and torments me with tiny footstep like noises! Enough with the fan!