My husband Jeff and I are very different. He’s just over 6’ – I’m just under 5’. He thinks and analyzes most things before he speaks. I also think and analyze but after I speak. He’s a gifted athlete. I hold my own in most sports…from a seated position. He…well, you get the point. If ever there was a case of opposites attracting, Jeff and I are the poster couple. Most of these ‘difference’ we were aware of when we married, a second time for both of us 37+ years ago and, even today, make no difference in the love, respect and admiration we have for each other.
There is however, one area in which we differ that ruffles our feathers and isn’t as easily overlooked – conservatism versus liberalism. Please note I didn’t say Republican versus Democrat because it’s not so much a matter of politics as it is viewpoints. Jeff comes from a long line of conservatives. I, on the other hand, come from a longline of liberal conservatives or conservative liberals…people with one foot stuck in each idealism.
We’ve had ample opportunities to be on opposite sides of many fences. You see, besides being married, we were, and still are, business partners. For 30 of our 37+ years together we’ve discussed hiring, investments, expansion, client approaches, logos, renting versus buying an office building and even Christmas cards…pop-up versus standard! All gave us plenty of opportunities to disagree however, we always found a way to bridge any gap between us.
For whatever reason, the bridge between conservatism versus liberalism is more like a rickety, open-boarded rope bridge you would see in an Indiana Jones movie and it isn’t easy to navigate. When watching a news report that slants a little left or right, we take our ‘positions’. Jeff settles deeper into the sofa with his back a little straighter and I can smell the wood starting to burn from his thinking. As for me, I can feel my blood start to boil, my face turning a lovely shade of crimson and any word that comes out of my mouth will probably be an octave or 2 higher than normal.
WHY? I wish I knew.
Is it a gender response? A cultural response? My heritage is Italian and getting emotional over whether to call it ‘gravy’ or ‘sauce’ is not unusual. Jeff’s heritage is English and there are times, because he is so laid back, I stop myself from checking for a pulse and heartbeat and that’s in the middle of a ‘discussion’.
We’ve talked about this seemly insurmountable wall and have come to the conclusion to agree to disagree. In the end, we love each other, respect each other, share similar values and have the right to our own opinions…even if he’s is wrong. WAIT…I think that was my inside voice!