The Stories I Tell ~ from The Word Cellar

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I love stories. I'm the one at social functions with a dozen new anecdotes. But I worry about hogging the conversation. Sometimes I tell myself that I'll be quiet and let others do the talking. But no matter how hard I try, my stories insist on bursting out! Here I can let my stories (the classics that I tell again and again, as well as new ones that unfold along the way) run free. I'm a professional writer and editor, and sole proprietor of The Word Cellar. I write for a variety of publications and clients on everything from green buildings and nuclear reactors to entrepreneurship and the arts. If you need words written, edited, or enlivened, I can help. Contact me.

2.27.2007

A House Divided

Jenn James
Bacon CrispyFlimsy
Chocolate Dark Milk
Coffee Leche, no sugar Negro, extra sweet
Cola Coke Pepsi
Bread Multigrain White
D├ęcor Eclectic Traditional
Coolant Open windowsAC
Fabric Softener Downy Liquid Bounce Sheets
Work Style Multi-tasker Single-focus
Life StyleSpontaneousRoutine
Internal Clock Night OwlEarly Bird

In the last post, I mentioned that my husband and I are a house divided. This whole idea started as a joke about the little things: I like my bacon to snap when I bite into it while James likes to rip off a floppy piece and gnaw away. While not a vegetarian, I do love my veggies. And while not strictly a carnivore, James would be happy eating red meat all day every day. It turns out that these opposites aren't so bad. For example, I eat the carrots and broccoli out of his Chinese food and he doesn't bat an eyelash. And although we usually won't share each other's bacon, we won't steal the other person's bacon, either. In other words, we don't compete for the same resources.

But we've realized that our differences run deeper. In some aspects of life, we're polar opposites. He likes routine, lots and lots of pre-planning, and tends to be an "all or nothing" kind of guy. Me? I like to mix things up and will jump into a project just to get started, even if I can only accomplish part of it now and part of it later.

This causes some serious problems when we try to do things together, from cooking dinner to choosing furniture (we have different tastes there, too). And don't get us started on doing projects around the house. We can end up infuriated and exhausted before we begin.

Is it really true that opposites attract? Maybe on a certain level, but I think that to maintain a close relationship, two people must share a basic worldview and core beliefs. Despite our differences, James and I share a vision for our future as individuals and as a couple. We want to live life to its fullest and fulfill our God-given potential in a way that helps others and betters the world.

We're still trying to figure out how to do this in the midst of our differences. The ironic part is that sometimes we argue for a long time only to realize that we actually agree on the end result or main point. But I take comfort in knowing that we're both reaching for the same goals and are committed for the long haul. We're working on using our differences as a source of inspiration and learning instead of frustration. I'd like to think of us as Yin and Yang.


Years ago -- long before I really understood how true this is -- I developed a theory that love is more than something that happens to you. Love is a choice. We may be a house divided in some ways, but our love is a series of choices that unites us.


Photos: Photography by Melinda, 2001


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add to kirtsy | 6:35 PM

3 Comments:

Anonymous allyson said...

Those photos of you two are ADORABLE! I love it! It's funny, because Chad and I have almost that same list! It's very important not to compete for the bacon, but alas, we both like ANY kind of bacon so much that we will happily snitch it from each other without blinking an eye. Must be love.

2/27/2007 6:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh my gosh - you two are super cute. these photos made my day.

3/12/2007 11:38 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Thanks, Anonymous. Come back and keep commenting! :)

3/13/2007 1:47 AM  

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