Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Do Opposites Attract?

Today was a good day! After a series of three two-day training sessions, I am finally certified to teach GATE kids! I have my official certificate--both a "pretty" one for display, and the not-so-pretty one that they send to credentialing for their permanent records. The training was very enlightening. I feel much better-equipped to teach not only my GATE kids, but my proficient students as well. I actually felt little pangs of disappointment that the training was over. Only teaching three days a week was making me feel very lively and fresh with my students. But I'm definitely not going to miss creating all of those sub plans every week! Tomorrow I'm officially back to work, and I'm nervous as to what condition I will find my room in, but for the most part I have a good group of kids, so I'm sure it will be fine.

I found a post under my drafts that I had written on November 29th, and I'm really surprised it was never posted. Maybe I thought at the time that I still needed to read over it for grammatical errors or something...I don't know. Anyway, I'm going to go ahead and post it now with this entry, so everything that follows is that entry.

Clinton and I are what most would consider polar opposites. I'm an extrovert; he's an introvert. I thrive on confrontations; he avoids them like H1N1 (I was going to say "the plague," but thought I'd modernize it). I am talented academically (almost a teacher's pet of sorts); he is not. I love writing; he hates writing. I have no sense of direction and often struggle in the common sense department, whereas he is loaded with a natural ability to troubleshoot and problem-solve. I am what one would call naive--I'm overly-trusting and tend to give people the benefit of the doubt, generally assuming the best about them until I am proven wrong. Clint, on the other hand, is wary of others and has a general mistrust of people until they have shown otherwise. I am cheerful and full of nervous energy, he is mellow and calm. I can't seem to say "sorry;" he has no problems apologizing or admitting he was wrong. I like warm, sunny weather; he likes cool, gray weather. I like kids; he doesn't. He loves to cuddle; I'm about as cuddly as a disgruntled hedge hog after falling into a cold puddle. I'm a dog person, he's a cat person. And the list goes on.

But after eleven years of marriage, obviously something is working. So I guess this just begs the question: do opposites really attract?

You would think that after the list of opposing characteristics I listed above, that I would be a firm believer that opposites do indeed attract. But I'm not so sure. The thing is, even though Clinton and I are complete opposites on practically every little issue, we do actually share the same beliefs on what some may argue are the two biggest items: religion and politics. Sharing the same perspective on these two big ones not only makes conversation between us very easy and natural, but it also makes it nearly impossible to have really huge fights, because based on our values, we both already know what the "right" solution is. Somehow all of our differences just seem to balance each other when we're in agreement with issues of spirituality.

So at this point, I'm leaning toward opposites not attracting. Just take a look at the people you hang out with; they tend to share the same political ideologies and religious viewpoints (or lack thereof) with you. Most of my friends, for example, are right-wing conservatives. I never set it up this way on purpose, it just seems that life has a way of bringing like-minded people together. And on the other side of this, I nearly permanently lost a friend recently because her and I were so different on our beliefs about the world. Her and I are about as opposite as they come, and I think it's only by sheer willpower that we make some semblance of a friendship work. And if it's this hard to sustain a friendship with someone who is your polar opposite, imagine a relationship. Sure, there might be an initial attraction to that person; that exciting allure, but any kind of enduring relationship with that person would fizzle out quickly, because ultimately you and the object of your desires would have no common ground by which to build a relationship.

I'm glad that Clinton and I are so different on so many issues, because this adds color and life to our marriage. But I'm also glad we have enough in common to meet each other in the middle when it comes to the really important things.