So I’ve been thinking about this wonderful institution of marriage. Actually I was cleaning up the kitchen after supper. I was sliding bread crumbs off the cutting board into the garbage. We had homemade vegetable beef barley soup with a slice of crusty bread. On the counter sat this tub of Olivio. I guess it’s a buttery tasting concoction made from olive oil. John’s eaten it for a long time. This after years of eating “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.” Ugh. I believe it. Right next to the Olivio sat my little Rubermaid container. Cuddling 2 sticks of buttery stuff. Called butter.
|Butter versus Olivio. No contest says me, the butter lover…|
My Mom rarely ever had margarine in the house. She used butter for everything, even when she baked. I’m not that extreme. I use Imperial Margarine when I bake unless the recipe calls for butter. But this isn’t about butter or Olivio. It dawned on me how different John and I really are. He’s rarely without a big glass of ice water (iced tea all summer long). I can barely choke down 3 ounces of water to take my one pill a day. I have been drinking Diet Pepsi for decades since it hit store shelves. John prefers Diet Coke, but he doesn’t drink very much pop. (So my grocery list includes 2 kinds of pop and 2 different spreads. No, I can’t call my butter a “spread.” Sounds like something that goes on top of our bed). I hardly ever put extra salt on anything. Not on sweet corn or a baked potato. And very little on popcorn. (But all three HAVE to have real butter or I’ll go without). John salts everything before he tastes it. In his defense, after 45 years of my cooking he knows what everything is going to taste like. Therefore knows what’s needed to make it edible. And that obviously includes a lot of salt. I would be happy making a big pot of spaghetti sauce, homemade soup or beef stew and eating it 4 nights in a row. John might give a fleeting glance in the fridge at something I made 2 days ago. But the dish has lost all appeal now because it’s a leftover. So it’s usually me scarfing up the leftovers.
But it’s not just food where we differ. I’ve always been an early riser. Never slept in, even as a kid. John requires much more sleep than me. I get up about 5:30 or 6. Drink a cup of coffee, read the paper. An hour later eat a toasted whole wheat bagel with yup, butter. Almost everyday. Then start working on a new post for my blog or read for awhile. John wanders downstairs about 9. By this time, I’ve been up so long, the coffee pot has already shut itself off. I really should change that feature. Eh, he likes his coffee tepid anyway. He says I have no tastebuds cause I drink hot liquids-hot. Duh. So I’m now ready to head back upstairs, make the bed, take a shower and tackle what the day has to offer. When I mosey back down, he’s done with the paper and in the kitchen making breakfast. What in the world? It’s 11 o’clock. I’m ready for lunch. He’s eating eggs, sausage and orange juice and I’m making tuna salad, chips with a Diet Pepsi. Ah, the odd eating habits of our retirement. We do always have supper at the same time. But rarely sit by the dining room table anymore. Kind of sad really.
|2 of the same pillows. His is now a round ball, mine remains in it’s original shape..l|
He beats the living snot out of his pillow every night. Before my “new” pillow 3 years ago, I used the same one for 15 years. It just fit me and my head. He needs a replacement pillow 3 or 4 times a year. He’s a night owl. My head’s bobbing all over “my nest” after 9 pm. He comes from a large boisterous family that enjoyed a bit of drinking. My family was small, house always extremely quiet. And no drinking. He likes to work outside. Putzing around with yard work, mowing. He wants, needs and insists on the greenest, weed free lawn this side of the Mississippi. If I have to be outside, I want to be laying on a chaise lounge, reading a good book, getting a tan. I know, I’m terrible. He likes to hunt. He loves being on a boat fishing. I get seasick just looking at a rocking boat. I do think this has a lot to do with my hearing loss and Miniere’s Disease. Problems with my inner ear fluid imbalance. Causing me well, balance problems.
|John’s first fishing boat. He said it was too small for Lake Michigan, ugh…|
He’s still listening to Creedence Clearwater Revival and the Beatles. Nothing against either, especially the Beatles. Best band ever. But I’ve moved on. After I started walking daily in 1998, the tunes I still had on my Walkman by 2005 were literally putting me to sleep. I coerced John into making me cassette tapes of mixed music. Not an easy task. I’d line up about 6 CD’s with written instructions. Ok, I want track 2, 7, and 10 from CD # 1. Tracks 1, 3, and 5 from CD # 2. I’d have to add up the time of each song and get as close to the total minutes and seconds as the cassette allowed. If it cut off a song, I’d be ticked. For awhile I tried using a personal CD player attached to my waist. It was so finicky, when I blinked it skipped. Soon Josh (tech wizard) was making me tapes. He’s really the one who started me on today’s pop music. He’d add some songs he liked with a good beat to keep my feet moving. Now I listen to P!nk, Maroon 5, Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull. And I make my own playlists from iTunes on my itsy-bitsy iPod. Such a big girl.
How do 2 such different people stay together for 45 years? Or is it because of our differences we play off each other and get along pretty well for the most part? He’s much more opinionated than me. That’s a fact Jack. Or at least about voicing his opinions. He’s amazing at fixing about anything this house, car, truck or yard equipment can throw at him. I can’t, won’t or don’t fix anything. Except food. He watches a lot more TV than me. We do have programs we watch together at night. Shows we record so we can zip through them without commercials. But I would certainly give up the TV before my iPad or Nook. Doubt that’s what John would choose.
We have a lot in common too. We both love movies. Although 98% of the time if it’s a star, name of a program or movie in question, I’ll have the answer. In the trivia department I rule. He says I still make him laugh. He’s been good to me. Denying me very little over the years. And I’ve asked for plenty.
|John and me years ago. Good times…|
The last 45 years hasn’t always been a cake walk. When couples loudly declare they NEVER fight, I can’t help it, I just don’t believe that to be true. Even couples head-over-heels in love and lust have to get irked at each other sometimes. Our marriage journey has been a bit bumpy at times. I was always more lenient with the kids than John. That caused some spats. And 90% of our arguments were about one kid. (He-or-she-who-must-not-be-named). We went through a rough patch at about year 20 that was scary tough. But we were committed to each other, our kids and our marriage.
One of my pet peeves is reading about lavish weddings. Spending enormous amounts of money on a stress-filled-money-sucking-waste-wedding that lasts a few hours. Just nuts. If couples invested as much time and effort into the first 3 years of marriage as they do planning that idiotic event, the divorce rate would plummet. Don’t misunderstand me. I know not all marriages are made in heaven. I’m not against divorce at all. Actually my parents should have divorced. They were not a happy couple together. And it wasn’t all because of Larry’s death either. But divorce was rare back in the 50’s and 60’s. Especially in a small Iowa Dutch town, so they stuck it out. Sometimes you just marry the wrong person. Move past it and try again. Or not.
John and I do whole heartedly agree on quite a few things. One biggie is that we have been blessed with 3 amazing kids. And if that weren’t enough, they in turn have graced us with 4 fantastic grandchildren. Thanks God. We weren’t the best parents in the world, but we tried hard and loved them always. Shannon, Joshua and Adam all have college degrees (and then some) and are responsible, giving, ambitious, hard-working, caring adults and parents. The family as a whole has been blessed with good health. Another biggie. We have an enormous amount of love and pride for all of them. There’s really not much in my life I would change…
|Zipping thru year 11 with Joshua 4-1/2, Adam 3 mo. and Shannon 10. 1979…|