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.


  1. Congrats on finishing GATE training and getting your certificate!! That's fantastic!!

    As I was reading through your post, I realized that Clinton and I have something in common. He's generally wary and mistrusting of people and so am I. I tend not to trust anyone until they've given me good reason to do so.

    Anyway, for the most part, Matt and I have little in common. I'm very angst-y, while he's very calm, but I prefer not to look at that as us being opposite, and more like he balances me out. We both love to read, but our interests are very different. I've adapted to his hobbies, as has he to some of mine, and over the years we've adopted shared hobbies, but for the most part, we're fairly different. We share the same religious views, but while he's more to the center politically, I'm way out on the left. I have opinions about politics he simply cannot get behind, but I feel comfortable debating them with him because he doesn't judge me unfairly. So, I do think that opposites attract to some degree, but common ground is also needed where it's important.

    On a somewhat related note, being married to a debate champion is a pain in the rump. LOL. Arguing with him is like being on trial, I swear to you.

    Then there's us and I agree that you and I are are so, so different. We didn't start out that way, but years and life's experiences have turned things that direction. We've both grown in our convictions as we've gotten older. Still, I'm glad that mutual desire to be friends allows us to do so. Sometimes, tumultuous friendships are the spice of life. ;)

    And, now that I've written way more than I had intended, I'm off. :)

  2. Congrats on your Gate certificate Jodi! Really interesting post about opposites attracting (or not attracting)...Jeremy and I have similiar views on most things (like politics and people), and we share a lot of similiar interests (Vegas, reptiles, etc.). But we have enough that we disagree on that keeps things tumultuous at times! And he does NOT like social networking, blogging, texting, or writing at all. Actually, I have never seen him read a book the whole time we have been together (just magazines).

  3. Both of these responses were really interesting to read! Kristyn, two things: First, Matt used to be a debate champion? Wow--you are BRAVE for marrying him! I was on the high school debate team my senior year, and I actually came in second place when we competed with a highschool in Riverside. But at least coming in second still gives room for someone else to win ONCE in awhile.

    Secondly, how'd you know that you were the friend I was talking about? That was supposed to be all mysterious and cryptic. Hee hee...kidding...

    Shannon, interesting that Jeremy doesn't like to read. Clint reads from time-to-time, but only non-fiction, which I find sort of ironic, because most non-avid readers would find the non-fiction genre to be boring. He likes series once in awhile too though...he's read all of the "big name" series, such as Lord of the Rings, Narnia, Lightening Thief, etc. He won't read anything with dark maguc in it though, like Harry Potter, or even Twilight.

  4. Thank you! I like your blooger background- with the colorfull bubbles- You and my mom type waaayyy more than we do!

  5. Yeah Dylan, me and your mom are very long-winded!


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