So many areas we could discuss, but the one that seems to present itself the most is the difference in our social behavior.
If you know us well, you're probably aware of a few basic facts.
1. Ron thrives on interaction with lots of people.
2. I do not.
3. Ron cares very highly about what people think.
4. I do not.
My husband lives in a complicated world of pretty colors. Someone might walk away from a lengthy conversation with him feeling like his best friend, having no idea that as soon as they're out of earshot he turns to me and says, "Who was that?" When he's asked to do something he doesn't want to do, his response is, 'Sure!' and then develops a detailed excuse to get out of it later. He's the life of any party and no one gets offended in his presence. He loves the social scene and the social scene loves him.
The upside for people is, Ron knows them and likes them soooo much. The downside is...what downside? The dude rocks.
I, on the other hand, live in a simple world of black and white. I either remember who you are or I don't, in which case I'll say, "Please remind me how I know you" or "What's your name, again?" I either want to do something or I don't and I'll answer yes please or no thank you with sometimes little or no explanation. Social interaction on a larger scale is fine in occasional doses, but my happy place is always small, real and intimate, with people who know me well. My goal is not to offend, but anything less than sincere is taxing for me.
The downside is, some people might think I'm anti-social...or a jerk. The upside is, I'll always be honest with you. So if you don't want to know something, please, for your sake, don't ask me.
Classic Introvert vs. Extrovert.
But believe it or not, our differences in our dealings with others isn't always a social disaster.
Within our family, it's a non-issue because our kids know no different and the entire dynamic leads to lots of laughs.
Professionally it works, too. He the loveable Engineer who spends his day surrounded by people and conversation; me the Massage Therapist who's content to spend endless hours a day in a dark room listening to soothing music with someone who most likely doesn't want to hear the sound of my voice while they're trying to relax.
It's a win/win.
And we both play killer Bad Cop. After 21 years of marriage, we're pretty good at falling into the role...a DirectTv service rep who may or may not have a restraining order against my husband can attest, as can Mark from Orkin who might never agree to come to our home again, but if he does I bet he doesn't open with "Mam, your treatment from 2 weeks ago is still working." Hey, Mark from Orkin. Let me tell you a little story. Once upon a yesterday, there was a flea on my arm. The end. He was pulling his gas mask over his face when I backed out of the driveway.
How miserable would life be without Bad Cops?
Here's another fun fact about us:
1. Ron says awkward things to people.
2. So do I.
I've mentioned before that strangers love to tell Ron their life story. My reaction is to look at them with my best 'please stop talking' face but not before Ron has asked them a follow-up question encouraging more conversation. Cashiers are the worst. So I lean against the cart until the conversation ends...and sometimes I'm treated with a great ending. One cashier told Ron that she lost her grandmother the previous day. That conversation ended when Ron said, "I hope you find her." Two weeks ago, an elderly cashier in Hilton Head told Ron all about her recent move to the island, complete with the exact housing development she's living in. I really wish I'd been looking at her face when Ron closed with, "Hope you have a safe day." Pretty sure she's still sleeping with one eye open. And I'll never forget the time he was home when a massage client arrived and he said to the guy, "Enjoy my wife." Not okay, Ron. Not. Okay.
But his lapses happen when he's not on his A game. Mine happen when I'm actually trying. On our drive down to Hilton Head, I awoke to find us parked at a gas station at 4am. Ron was inside using the bathroom, so I decided to go in and get some coffee. While I was checking out, the employee asked me where I was headed, then asked where Hilton Head is and where I was from. Considering the early hour and my aversion to small talk, I thought I was handling this guy's attempt at conversation really well, until he asked how much further I have to go and I said, "That depends. Where am I right now?" I'm betting he kept the video footage of me leaving with the big man who exited the bathroom at that moment in case my picture appeared on the news that night.
See, no good comes from talking to strangers, kids.
God brought us together because it works...or maybe God makes it work because we somehow got together.
Either way, somebody might owe the world an apology.