The odd couple is still alive and well

The odd couple is still alive and well

You know how they say opposites attract? Maybe it’s true. Gar and I are very different. He’d say, “Ya, she’s different; you have no idea.” In my book, he’s the one that could use a little work. He’s never in a hurry to get his bags packed, honey-dos completed or calls made. His parents said that when he was young, he wouldn’t start his homework until nighttime, then be up late finishing it. I, on the other hand, am the polar opposite. In school, when given a project that wasn’t due for two weeks, I’d go home and do it that very night. I’m still like this and even after all these years under the same roof, Gar can make me gnash my teeth with his procrastination. But I know for sure he’d readily admit that he has woes when it comes to me; the biggest being that he doesn’t like when I expect things fixed and finished before the sun sets in the west. Our kids call that bossy. Gar isn’t as brave as the kids.

Another way Gar and I are different is, when I’m told something, I get all the details. What color, what size, where they went, who they went with, was it great? If you tell Gar, “I’m going to be home late tomorrow,” he’ll say, “Okay.” If he tells me he’s going to be late, it’s a guarantee I’ll have 49 questions and 52 follow-ups. In actuality, I think most couples are very different and we have to learn to work with those contrasting personalities. With my quirks, I’m frankly surprised Gar isn’t a heroin addict.

Not all couples make it to the alter. Sometimes one decides they aren’t compatible and calls the whole show off before it can begin. Awhile back I read with interest, a true story about a couple in India who were to have an arranged marriage. The groom’s family had bragged that the young man was highly educated, which was obviously a strong selling point to the bride’s family. On the big day, the groom showed up on his decorated horse with his ceremonial procession of family and friends, called the baraat. Greetings were exchanged between the bride’s side and the groom’s side, then the groom joined the bride at the altar, known as the mandap. Gar would say, “When it comes to anything pertaining to matrimony, mandap and mayhem are the same thing.”

The bride and groom exchanged garlands to signify the nuptials could begin, but before the bride would proceed, she had a request. In front of God and everybody, she demanded the groom recite the mathematical table in multiple of two. I’m stopping a moment to mention that I’ve seen cop shows where the officer makes someone count backwards by 8. I’ve always thought if a deputy pulled me over and asked for that, I’d simply put my hands out for the cuffs.   

When this groom couldn’t do math as requested, the bride called the wedding off. The young man’s failure made it clear that he and his family had lied about his education, but the lying wasn’t what troubled the bride-to-be. Family members tried to dissuade her from walking away, but the bride was firm in her decision. She could not marry someone who didn’t know basic math.

I think, before we got married, if Gar would have known how incompetent I was at math, he’d have figured, “It’ll be okay, she can be taught.” Such a trusting albeit, clueless guy. What Gar wouldn’t have known was at her high school graduation her math teacher, eyes brimming with joyous unshed tears, clapped, no, pounded, his hands together in glee. When she was handed her diploma, he sighed in relief, knowing he’d never have to have another nighttime homework phone conversation with her, and just to be sure, he got an unlisted number.

I asked Gar once what he’d think of renewing our wedding vows? He frowned and stared at me a moment then, I guess wondering if he’d heard right, questioned, “Get married again?” I nodded affirmatively and he snorted, “Oh, heck no, once of that was enough.” I’m really glad he had never asked, not only about my poor math skills, but also my complete lack of cooking savvy and totally pathetic thinking abilities. Now that I think about it, God did it right. It’s good He gave me a guy who never did ask too many questions. I’d have been a goner, before we began. 

Trena Eiden [email protected]