Wednesday, May 25, 2011

They say that opposites attract...

I once overheard someone ask the mother of six kids (!!) how she managed. She responded that she was definitely not a Type A personality; in fact she was probably Type B-...she said she was so Type B that she was "practically dead."

I've always envied those moms. I wish I could be more relaxed about stuff, but I am very much a Type A personality. I am a rule follower, and a goody-two-shoes, and tend to be very structured. Some might say rigid and controlling, but I think that's just mean!

I married one of those Type B, laid back, go with the flow kind of guys. Mr. Wonderful drives in the far left lane, even when he knows that his exit is coming up. 

I will drop subtle hints to remind him of this by saying something like, " know your exit is the next one, right?" 

Mr. Wonderful will reply, "Yep."

I try not to say anything. I bite my tongue. And then, I can't help myself. I blurt, "You need to get over, don't you think?!"

"Relax. I've got plenty of time."

I will grip the armrest of the car and begin gasping in panic as I see the exit quickly approaching. I squeeze my eyes shut as he whizzes through two or three lanes of traffic to, finally,  exit at the very last possible moment. I don't understand it - he never has any trouble getting across all those lanes and exiting in time. If it were me, which it never would be, people wouldn't let me in and I would end up missing my exit.

He knows that this makes me twitchy and I sometimes suspect that he does it on purpose to watch my horrified reaction. I plan ahead and get in the proper lane miles ahead of my exit. I like to be prepared. Mr. Wonderful says that I am silly because that lane is the one that is the slowest.

He can run to the grocery store to pick up milk and bread and return home with JUST milk and bread. I don't believe I have ever done that. Even when shopping just for those items, I will still browse up and down every aisle - just in case I have forgotten something we might need. I like to stock up. Just in case. You never know - there might be an earthquake, or a war, or a tsunami or something. I like to be prepared for every possible eventuality.

I like everything in it's place. I like my tupperware to be stacked neatly. Mr. W figures that as long as it's in the proper drawer, it's good enough. I like shoes to be left in closets. Mr. W leaves his in the foyer. I like to fold clothes the "right" way - I smooth out all the wrinkles and line up the seams. Then I place everything in neat little stacks in the drawers. Mr. Wonderful folds clothes in a sort of hurried, rolling motion and shoves his clothes into a drawer. I am compulsively early everywhere I go, because I have an innate horror of being late. Mr. Wonderful is a bit more loose in his interpretation of "on time." 

When we have company over, I like to get out the good, rarely used china and crystal and cutlery. Mr. Wonderful thinks we should have a "communal glass" and eat off of paper plates. He thinks I do too much. I think he does too little.

Although at first glance it would appear that we are complete opposites, we actually have more in common than you would think. We have a similar sense of humor, similar parenting styles, similar tastes in music and books. We both love reading and traveling. We both love a good party, yet are homebodies as well.

We've learned to adapt. I have learned to leave the house during any sort of project. Painting? I like to go slowly and carefully - making sure not to drip and being very precise when painting around trim or windows or doorknobs. Mr. Wonderful likes to just slap it on and wipe up any drips afterwards. So I have learned that it is much easier on my sanity (and probably his too) to just leave him to it and come back after it's all finished. I think Mr. W prefers this as well - he can work in peace (or at least to Lady Gaga blasting from his ipod) without my constant reminders that he missed a spot or he dripped on the baseboards and should wipe it up right away.

I think that we have been good for each other. His more relaxed outlook has forced me to lighten up a bit. My more structured (and dare I say practical?) approach has helped him to attempt to be more timely and detail oriented. Plus, my obsessive-controlling-Type A fretting amuses him greatly for some reason.

We're still a Type A and a Type B...but perhaps I've become more of an A- and he has become a bit more B+...

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