Thursday, August 14, 2008

Opposites Attract

I often find myself wondering how Jim and I ended up together. Most everyone who reads my blog knows our story, but besides the actual physicality of meeting and falling in love, I wonder why we decided we should end up together forever. Of course there's the whole fact that back in the day we found each other -- to quote Zoolander -- ridiculously good-looking. So there was that. We were drawn to each other. But past the looks we really don't have much in common!!! Let me elaborate.

Well to start, Jim's Canadian and I'm American. To most people that's not much of a difference since America and Canada make up most of North America. These people must not be from Canada. To a Canadian, Canada is VERY different from the US. Very different indeed!

Jim's a country boy, I'm a city girl. I'm talking blink-and-you-miss-the-town country. His closest neighbors were cows. Jim spent his childhood outside, playing in the woods, playing in the river, shooting things with his BB gun, and helping nearby farmers brand their cattle.

I grew up in the suburbs right outside a large city. I spent my childhood shopping at the mall, swimming at the public pool, biking to my friend's houses a few block aways, going to movies, and taking an occasional weekend trip to my grandparent's cabin in the woods. The country was a novelty.

Jim's the middle child, I'm the youngest. Jim grew up in a family of six kids. He was the third -- smack dab in the middle. He was your typical middle child. All the connotations that go along with being in the middle apply to Jim. I was the youngest of three and only girl. I was spoiled. I usually got whatever my heart desired. Jim's go-with-the-flow-I'll-take-whatever-I can-get attitude often clashes with my I-have-to-have-that-right-now-because-I-want-it outlook. I've actually learned quite a bit from Jim in this aspect. I've learned that I don't have to have the best of everything. I've learned that quality items purchased second hand can work just as well as buying items brand new, and If they don't, I've learned that I have a capable husband that can fix it. I've learned humility and gratitude. So, in this aspect I'm glad Jim and I are different.

Jim's athletic and my athletic ability leaves something to be desired. Jim LOVES sports. ANY sport. He loves playing sports, watching sports, reading about sports. He gets a thrill out of competition, and there's a drive in him where he must be the best, and usually he is. I on the other hand, hate the pressure of competition. I shy away from playing group sports because I don't want to let down my teammates with my awkwardness. I'm just not good at group sports and don't enjoy the pressure. Sometimes I'll play something if it's "just for fun" but to Jim it's not fun unless someone is winning.

Jim is adventurous and I'm wary. I mean jumping from cliff to cliff adventurous. I tend to not do things unless I feel absolutely certain that it's safe. My wariness grew a hundred fold after we had Tralee. I'm always telling Jim to be careful, and he's always telling me to take a few risks. It makes for an interesting situation when we're doing something like four wheeling. I usually don't go very fast, and stay on the safest trails while Jim flies above my head soaring off of jumps.

I love doing cultural things Jim doesn't. I love museums, concerts, ballet, theater. Jim despises these things! Our first fight happened when I took him to an art museum. We had only been dating seriously for a few weeks when I took him to the art museum on the USU campus. I was excited to show Jim my favorite painting there. He took one look at it, told me he hated it, and I got furiously mad. I couldn't understand how he hated something I adored, so I did the most immature thing I could think of at the moment; I called him a name and stormed off. I meant to call him a buffoon, and ended up calling him a bassoon by mistake. To this day when I get mad Jim asks if I'm going to name-call him a woodwind instrument. I usually end up laughing at that point. I've come to realize -- in the eight years I've known Jim -- that he's just not a cultural guy. If I'm REALLY lucky I can drag him along to a museum, usually with a bribe. I keep hoping he'll connect with something and enjoy the experience. Usually he complains about being bored, and I tell him to stop acting like a bassoon. I can usually get him to smile at that.

Jim loves the great outdoors. I do too -- to an extent. Jim goes on week long hiking or kayaking trips and is totally in love with the experience. I miss my bed and shower after a day or two. Usually we compromise and stay at a cabin in the wilderness. That way I can spend the day outside hiking, fishing, swimming, and playing outside, but find comfort in a warm shower and comfy bed at night.

So you see, in many aspects Jim and I are polar opposites. I can only assume the old cliche "opposites attract" really is true. It has to be! Jim and I recognize this fact often when we're butting heads. 

One thing we DO have in common is we both have a knack for being incredibly cheesy goofballs. When we realize how many differences we share, we often break out singing Paula Abdul's song "Opposites Attract".  Often it's in the car, and that's not the only song we bust out.  I can only imagine what passersby must think when they see us singing at the top of our lungs to the top 40.  Speaking of singing in the car, we also improvise our own numbers for time to time. One of us will usually start by singing something completely random like, "Oh, we're going to go buy some eggs at the store!" then the other person adds to that with something like, "We need some eggs cause we don't have any more!" We go back and forth, sometimes joining in together. It's really quite dorky, but we enjoy it.

We are also GREAT at pushing each other's buttons. . . in a good way (and bad way too sometimes). I can't tell you how many times we've gotten into food fights, wrestling matches, water fights, etc. We're good at getting what we want from each other. It's not that hard since we want to make each other happy. I know Jim often sacrifices something he wants to do, to do something that makes me happy. I've done the same for him. So, I guess that's what keeps us together.  We don't agree on much, but we make up for that with our intense desire to bring a smile to each other's faces.

We really do enjoy spending time together, and we love each other a lot. It's just that I'm surprised that we do, considering how different we are. The ever-so-wise Paula Abdul and M.C. Kat (insert sarcastic undertone) sure were onto something when they sang,

"I take--2 steps forward
I take--2 steps back
We come together
Cuz opposites attract
And you know--it ain't fiction
Just a natural fact
We come together
Cuz opposites attract . . .

". . . Things in common
Just ain't a one
But when we get together
We have nothin' but fun."

Haha!! Love you Jim!!


Croslands said...
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Croslands said...
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Croslands said...
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Croslands said...

That was such a good read. I even laughed out loud at some points. Wonderful entry, I loved hearing all of it. Thanks

Croslands said...

Okay, I'm sorry, that was all me. I pressed enter FIVE times. I am such a dork.

Hannah S said...

What a nice reminiscent post. I didn't know Wisconsin had cities. Just kidding! Some of your photos look just like Tralee. You're so beautiful!

Jodi said...

What a sweet post. I love it. I love seeing you guys together. Since I knew you both, it's so fun to read about your lives together. How sweet that you have each other -- even if you are so different.

Boom said...

That was great Leslie! Loved it! Who is croslands?

Necha said...

I love this post...and do you know why opposites attract-it's because they have so much to learn from each other. :)

Audie said...

Your hair is super cute in the pic with you in the pink shirt. Love it! I liked the museum story. I laughed so hard. Wait...still laughing. Jared's back in Boise. Tell Jim not to be too big of a distraction! Thanks!