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Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday Freelance: MARRIAGE, PART II

In a land long ago and far away I heard that it's best to marry someone of a similar background (for compatible expectations), similar goals (compatible destinations), and similar beliefs (compatible travel through life).

I then wore a badge and gun, and one day met a man who did too. Like me he was raised in a Catholic family of eight children, and had recently come to believe salvation comes solely by faith in Christ. We loved the outdoors, time spent reading, travel, and hours the Midwest calls second shift and the West calls swing shift. When the subject of children arose he said two and I said three—close enough for government workers.

One cop in any marriage is difficult enough, so I got a desk job until I became a mother and homemaker. I'd loved the dry sunny Colorado outdoors, but now hide inside from Michigan's damp cloud cover. We've learned to take separate Colorado vacations together—he hangs around deer camp and I hang around dear kin.

He likes his meat and potatoes mild and prefers variety (home-cooked), while I prefer ethnic heat and spice and can reliably cook only the familiar. I exhaustively check ingredients for what's healthy while he heads to the checkout with what's happy. Our five kids might view him as a couch potato and me as a Mexican jumping bean, but of course neither's entirely accurate.

Early on he insisted on a computer I saw no need for and am now joined to at the hip. I resisted his plea to get me a cell phone and now use most of our minutes. People often query his firearms expertise, while I wield the sword of the Lord's Word.

He loves T-shirts and hates ties though I coordinate dresses with accessories even at home. His ideal Sunday afternoon is spent quietly relaxing with the paper, but the more people the better for mine. The cup is inevitably half empty for him and half full for me—and I'll argue even 10% full isn't empty.

His (sometimes boring) steadiness anchors my (possibly rash) impulsiveness. My fluid intensity contrasts his static stoicism, enabling well-rounded perspectives—and misunderstandings. Plentiful tears of laughter or grief color my comedy-drama view of life, defying his dream of a mundane calm life. He shuns the spotlight that I glow in to applaud me.

His work is to step into the world's chaos and restore order. My work is to wait for his day's end and restore him. When I work to restore the world and get in over my head he pulls me out.

We're impossible opposites. Either of us is competent enough to survive alone. Yet we desperately need each other, for neither of us would be wholly who we are without the other.

Who could make two become one without ceasing to be two? The God who hears John say two, Anne say three, then gives us five.

Next Friday, Marriage Part III

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