Like all the very essential things about life, where a couple must absolutely be in consensus about and have similar likes and dislikes and so on, so forth, so as to waft happily towards a sunset-ty dotage sitting on the front porch in twin rocking chairs, sharing dentures, etc, the husband and I should have, by that logic, dismembered each other within the first year of marriage. The iron rods and the blades should have been drawn with the morning coffee. Or make that tea for him. And coffee for me. And his penchant for needing it at unearthly hours, when the birds are still flipping off on trees, with their heads beneath their wings, and the sun is still to make his presence felt in said sky, with even a single errant ray. And me, with the covers drawn over me, refusing to acknowledge that beloved spouse is awake and alert and bending in every possible direction with morning calisthenics, and pulling out his yoga mat and doing his deep breathing exercises in the same way the Britishers drilled holes in mountains to make train tunnels. Well, yes. He is of the species known as the infernal larks, and I keep firmly on the side of the fence populated by the owls. Read, I am glued to book till the wee hours of the morning, and can barely drag eyelids open at an hour that is in the near vicinity of dawn. When did we discover that we were so wonderfully compatible? After we were married. Of course. We were young at around the time the dinosaurs roamed the earth, and we had no option of testing out our morning waking up habits compatibility, and of course, I was so blinded by love and lust, that I was willing to delude myself that I would immediately convert self into being a tea drinker for the rest of my life with nary a second thought. And learn to appreciate the sea, and spend the rest of my life having vacations on the beach with the sun drilling holes into my melanin, causing them molecules to engorge rapidly and make my skin the approximate colour and consistency of burnt paper, rather than being warm and cosy and cuddly before a nice crackling fire in a mountain log cabin. Well, you get my drift. We do many crazy things for love. My craziest was marrying a man who is an early riser. And a sportsman. And a fitness freak. And a stickler for routine. All of which, kind reader you might rightly surmise, I am so not.
Before I was married, my idea of early rising was if I awoke in time for lunch on a weekend. The spouse learnt quick that he was welcome to rise and shine and take himself for his marathon morning runs to the extreme end of the suburb we lived in, without daring to even breathe while he was in the room I slept in for fear of awakening me. I am not good to deal with when awakened from deep sleep. I think the grizzlies took lessons from me in a past life. Motherhood ofcourse, changed all that. When you have a mewling parcel looking on you as a perpetual rice plate, day and night, you cease to think of time as divided into 24 hours, of which the lack of sun signifies sleep time. You just grab sleep whenever you get a chance and hope to God that you remembered to put mewling parcel into crib and did not roll over and squash said parcel in sleep deprived state. And as said parcel gets older and more active with kicks, and insists on the maternal presence when sleeping, you learn to catch up on your zzzs when travelling. The husband therefore is bright and sparkling and running the minute mile every morning before daybreak while I’m baring fangs at the mirror and jumping back in alarm catching glimpse of puffy faced horrific raccoon eyed vision of vampire victim self.
Therefore, logic would dictate I go into kitchen and fix myself a mug of nice, hot, steaming coffee, with enough caffeine to kickstart an elephant into life, but no, like the good wife I am, I go in and fix mugs of tea. Why, you ask. Very valid question, with an equally valid answer. Sheer laziness. Who has the mental bandwidth to focus on making two different things at such unearthly hours. Yes, and I end up also growling like a sleeping dog kicked by a careless foot, and am tempted to nip at passing folks in sheer anger. Had hubby been on morning cuppa duty, he would have made his chai, my coffee and served it on tray, with options of sugar, brown sugar or sugarfree. I plonk the mug in surly fashion and grunt, “Chai.” Thats how different we are.
And yes, he likes bright colours, I like muted tones. He loves stocks and shares and is great with numbers. I need a calculator if I go vegetable shopping, or just pretend to do mental maths and hand over whatever the sabzi wallah tells me I owe him with a stern expression which indicates that I know he is cheating me out of my back teeth but through the goodness of my heart I will pay up because I am such a non violent human being. I have, I would say, a facility with words. He would rather go in for a rootcanal than type out a letter. He watches Rambo and Rocky. I watch Ace Ventura. He reads Jesse Livermore. I read PG Wodehouse and Dave Barry. He barely grunts in a conversation. And the day he speaks an entire sentence in regular non essential conversation is the day I check his forehead. I, well, lets just say, in my hey day, folks have gifted me brown scotchtape rolls. And well meaning folks ask me if I havent managed to dislocate my jaw. I’m anal about scrubbing every corner of the home with a toothbrush. He could sleep on a bed with no covers and live in a pile of unwashed laundry. Opposites. We attracted. We thought it was love. Perhaps it was just nature’s way of diversifying the gene pool. Maybe it was just lust. But we’ve lasted this long. Despite nearly taking a hatchet to each other everytime it is time to decide on a vacation spot. The obvious and clear impartial and just balance in our relationship can be seen by the fact that we have been to hill stations twice in 13 years, and baked on Goa beaches long enough to get official hippy status. Yup. He drives and I dont. That too. The one who drives makes destination decisions for quick getaways. He is spontaneous, I make lists.
What about you and your spouse/partner/love of your life?