Saving A House Divided
By Bernie Suttle
Sometimes I wonder whether I’m like most men and if most women are like my wife. For example, I’m happiest when I have a minimum of choices of clothing for whatever event I might attend; the fewer the outfits I own the better. I have two pairs of shoes, one black, one brown, that’ll match my two suits and anything else I might wear.
If we are going to a formal event like a wedding, I wear a clean white shirt. On the other hand, my wife has many outfits of various colors from which to choose which are suitable for every occasion. The same goes for her shoes. I think most women are at least in awe of the size of Imelda Marcos’ shoe inventory, if not downright envious.
When I seek something in a store I seek only it and nothing more. When my wife goes shopping, however, she goes to see everything they have to offer and then purchases whatever she finds appealing.
When I’m looking for an item, l go to the same store, look for it in the same place and in the same package as the last one I bought 20 years ago.
Tradition is important!
My wife moves things frequently – furniture, kitchenware,
Items stored in cupboards, closets and drawers and then she wonders why I’m always saying, “I can’t find X; do you know where it is?”
My wife says she’s progressive. I say she’s erratic! She puts her purse in any one of many places and remembers the next day exactly where she put it. I put my keys on their hook, the place where they belong. If I don’t find them on that hook the next morning, I’m devastated. I paint silhouettes of my tools on a board hung above my workbench in black, non-erasable paint ensuring a place for everything and everything in its place.
I pay bills right away; “It may get lost and I don’t want to owe a late penalty.” My wife says, “Wait ‘til it’s due. There may be a credit issued.” I put a new acquaintance’s data into the address book right away; she says, “Wait till we see if we are ever going to need to contact them.” Let’s face it. I am conservative, traditional and concrete, whereas she is exploratory, adventurous and liberal – not in a political way like Democrat or Republican but in a personal, behavioral way.
Our disparate philosophies could be a basis for our going separate ways. However, our listening to each other brings about a synergy. By combining each other’s ideas to resolve a problem we do what is best for our family. This is the method politicians should use to avoid legislative gridlock and start doing what’s best for the people;
I do recognize however that it helps when the two dissimilar philosophies and behaviors share the same bed.