Every once in a while, a story from my childhood will remind sk and I just how different our lives were before we met. My stories usually confirm for her that my work ethic, simple living and finding great joy in the smallest of things originated from my first eighteen years of life living on a farm. . . a poor family farm. Due to this beginning, she usually finds my childhood stories endearing. And then, there are times when she looks at me with those big beautiful brown eyes and I can tell she has no concept of what I’m saying because what I’ve just told her is totally out of her realm.
I can tell you right now, for example, she would have no way to relate if I told her a story of how my Dad, when he found a liter of piglets born out in the pasture on a cold morning, he always hauled them up to the house for my Mom to help save. She reached for the small bottle of cooking sherry (Neither one of my parents drank and this was the only bottle of alcohol in our house.), gave each piglet a dropper full of the liquid, rubbed the core body of each one before she placed the animal in an old cardboard box, lined with newspapers and towels. This box was then placed on the opened oven door. There they stayed until each one warmed up enough to start functioning normally. This story would elicit a blank look from sk, who again would marvel at how totally different our worlds seemed.
Let’s go with the obvious for starters, sk is originally from a tropical island and I started out in Indiana. The town closest to where I grew up was a few miles away and had over 6,000 people as of the 2010 census, this is also the biggest city in the county, which is the third smallest in the entire state.
Sk grew up in the 11th most populated metropolitan area in the world with over 11 million people, again taken from the 2010 census. Sk was one of seven children, I was one of two. My parents graduated high school, married then settled down on the family farm, on my father’s side. Sk’s parents were both professionals; one an engineer and the other a psychologist who chaired the psychology department at one of the better schools in the entire country. My family was financially poor, I would put sk’s in the upper middle class; yes, her parents were well-paid professionals but they also had seven children to feed and raise.
As you can see, we did not have much in common. However, with all these differences we still hold common core values. Friends who spend time with us realize we are opposites even today and they can’t understand how we’ve made it together this long, ten years and counting. They’ll say things like, “oh, that old saying must be true. . .opposites do attract, right.” Well, maybe, I don’t know. What we know to be true is that it’s those fundamental values that we hold dear, the values that are absolute, those values that neither one of us will sacrifice just so we can say we are in a relationship. That’s the glue that keeps us together. And that is my advice for anyone looking for a partner in life, find someone with the same core values as you. . . and one you enjoy talking with. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter if you are both into action movies or if you both like the color green, what will matter are those things you hold dear and will not adjust. How important is family to both of you? Do you both expect to have a sit down dinner at the dining table without the TV or stereo playing where you can discuss daily events or topics geared towards your family? Is this important enough for you to do every night or are you willing to compromise and agree to have sit-down dinners four nights a week? What’s your stand on infidelity? On loyalty? Religion? Is your religion so important to you that you can not ever see yourself with someone of a different faith? Or is the fact the other person is committed to a religion that works best for them more important?
These are some questions you are better off in the long run if you ask yourself before entering a relationship. If you do not know what you value, take time to figure it out. Keep in mind though, this is all just my opinion, my theory. One little butches view on relationships does not make the world go around, but it may just help the world be a better place for some happy respectful-of-each-other couples. . . and that’s a good thing.