• Poles apart, yet together

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    Alice Bustos-Orosa

    Alice Bustos-Orosa

    Though compatible, married couples often realize how diverse their interests can be. It’s probably a life lesson most husbands and wives understand about each other that are essential to all kinds of relationships. I’m often amazed that despite being married to my husband Mike for more than 17 years, there are pursuits and hobbies we allow the other to pursue, yet are uniquely each our own.

    For starters, although we both love to read, Mike and I have never had the same reading list. His penchant for Dan Silva was something I haven’t developed at this time. So, will he probably never get to appreciate a Cecelia Ahern novel for instance. In fact, over dinner once, I was surprised to hear that a good friend’s husband took to reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s novel Eat, Pray and Love. Honestly, I cannot even imagine Mike picking a book from my shelf, probably slightly finding the often cutesy and fancy cover print a little too girlish.

    Saturdays are also times spent momentarily apart from each other for both of us. For the women in my family, a morning at the grocery or at the mall is considered a perfect way to start off the weekend. But on most Saturday mornings, my other half would lose track of time tinkering with car engines at the garage for hours. I’ve often asked Mike incredulously about what boys do at the garage all day without ever being bored. And his casual retort is that bantering with the mechanics and looking at engines underneath car hoods is just plain fun and interesting.

    And just when you think a day at the garage is enough, when he gets home, he then watches the mirthful and candid British show Top Gear.

    My sister Nina remarked quite casually that maybe our husbands feel the same way about cars as we do about clothes and fashion. And she may be right! Men and women probably feel the same adrenaline rush from finding the perfect dress as men do from figuring out what’s making a clanking sound in a car engine.

    Then there are the little things that prove my other half and I are stark contrasts at times. My obsession with little details, as in making the bed whence I continually pull on the duvet and fluff the pillows till it looks as if nobody’s slept on it at all; or when I need to press toothpaste tubes so that its contents are evenly spread through. He thinks that I’m simply stressing myself out by paying too much attention to these trivial things. But truth is, I find it comforting to find things around me creaseless, orderly and clean even if Mike barely notices any of these. He is often amused too at how much I love container stores with their little travel shampoo bottles and color-coded plastic cases.

    I suppose that through the many years we’ve been together, there are times that Mike and I are simply north and south. Although the North and South poles never shall meet, they do need each other, and maybe metaphorically to pull the world together. I guess it is in staying true to our individual selves and pursuing our own passions that make the times we’re together more interesting. After all, an essential lesson couples do learn about enduring relationships is that you both need to have a sense of humor for the other’s quirks, yet standing behind the other in pursuit of long-sought dreams.

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