Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Male Version of Myself

Even when I was ready to start dating again, I was looking for someone "different" this time. Different from the others; someone
more like me. Someone who cherishes family time, and being outdoors, and photography, and most of all, me. Yes, I wanted someone who wants to make me a priority because I would be willing to do that for them. 

There was no master list, with requirements and ultimatums, but I was aware as I met different men that while they may have had certain attributes that were desirable, I knew that I would be "settling" by putting up with other habits that would be problematic in the long run. I was hoping to find someone like me. I realize there may be some truth to the whole "opposites attract" thing, but this time I was willing to try someone more similar than opposite. Not identical, but someone who could understand and appreciate who I am because of who he is.

Would it be asking too much to find someone who loves words, and understands the basics of grammar? Would it be possible to find someone who liked to read, and didn't watch TV every night and weekend? Was there someone out there who liked to hike, and liked to make plans, and could manage money? I don't need rich; just someone who can live within his means, and still enjoy life. 

My kids agree; Chuck and I are a good match.

I wanted to find someone who could appreciate the wonderful human beings I created who became some of the best people I know. Yes, I wanted someone who would love my kids as if they were his own. I wanted a man who was a good father, and wanted me to be a part of his children's lives. I wanted someone who didn't drink or smoke. Someone who would choose uplifting entertainment for us to enjoy. Someone who likes music and art and theater. If that person could like to dance, even if it's just in the privacy of our kitchen, that would be awesome, too.

Thanks to Chuck, my family includes three more sons, a beautiful daughter-in-law, and a darling grandson.

I guess I was looking for the male version of myself, basically. That's no small feat...not that I'm that phenomenal, but the likelihood of my finding many of my qualities in a man would be pretty amazing.

And yet, I did it. I found the male version of myself in Chuck. Last week I shared this graphic with him, with these words: "Somehow, I think we did."

His response? "Pretty much."

We have enough differences to keep things interesting. I am naively trusting. Chuck is more guarded, and hyper-vigilant about locking things up, double-checking doors and windows, and protecting our valuables. Where I tend to take a buckshot approach at tasks, Chuck is very focused and thorough, seeing each task to its end. I can get worked up into panic mode quickly, and Chuck tends to be reasonable and calm. I would like to think I'm pretty relaxed about most things, trying to minimize most ailments, and Chuck has self-professed hypochondriac tendencies. 

Our likes and dislikes are similar, with some big discrepancies. I never met a food I wouldn't try. Chuck has tried a few foods, and based on his limited previous experience, can predict that he wouldn't like much else. I like music from many genres, especially country, except opera. Chuck loves classical music, tolerates my country music, but does not like opera. (Whew.) We both want to try opera sometime, to give it a chance. I love water and coffee. Chuck loves Powerade Zero, only the blue kind, please. I love sweet snacks; Chuck loves salty snacks. 

This morning, I realized another way we are alike. And I also realized there can be drawbacks to being so similar.

There was a mouse caught in the trap behind the microwave. I got everything ready for the trash to be taken out to the curb, and I left the room. 

"Honey, are you going to make me do this solo?" he called from the kitchen.

"What, the mouse trap?"

"Yes, the mouse trap."

"Yeah, you can do that. You can do that, right?" Oh, please say yes. Please say yes.

Bless his heart. He hates that disgusting chore as much as I do. He asked me how much the mouse traps were, and if I would mind if he just threw the trap away with the mouse, and we could buy more. ABSOLUTELY! I totally understand.

I wanted to show him how much I appreciated his taking care of the rodent situation, so for the first time in several years, and the first time ever since we were married, I mowed the lawn for him after my walk this morning. Neither one of us likes to mow; neither one of us likes to clean house. Luckily, neither one of us likes to have the ugliest lawn in the neighborhood, and neither one of us likes to live in squalor, so we make sure chores get done.

Chuck was so happy. He hates mowing the lawn. Not that I love mowing the lawn, we're very much alike, you see, but I figured I could use the extra exercise, and it made me so happy to do that small act of service for him. He sent thank you text after thank you text. 

We are quite the pair, he and I. I am the female version of Chuck, and he is the male version of me. It took long enough, but we finally found each other.

Hmm...I just realized the new mouse traps are still in the package on the counter. I guess I'll have to take one for the team. Ew. I just hate this part of being a grownup. Tag, I'm it. I suppose I'm getting off pretty easy if the only thing I have to do in the mouse removal operation is bait the traps. I'm glad my handsome prince takes over when the traps work. He'll always be my hero.

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