If I am lucky in life, then I must be even luckier in love. According to most couples, marriage is hard work. They always stress how it needs constant attention and maintenance. Perhaps all these hard working married people are orchids – fragile, temperamental, and require optimal conditions in which to grow. If so, then my husband and I must be weeds. We are hearty, stable, and extremely low maintenance.
This is not to imply that we are similar in our weedy-ness. On the contrary, we are polar opposites. My husband is a shade lover and I am totally full sun. He searches for solid food while I absorb large amounts of water. He has a sturdy, straight stem with compact and organized leaves all sitting securely upon a deep and solid root system. I have variegated leaves and multiple tendrils that tend to shoot off in varied directions based upon my interest at the moment, all the while planting small roots to hold me firmly along my path. I believe this represents symbiosis in its most majestic state.
Let me submit this thought in more human terms. My husband is a total neat freak and I am a wandering, unfinished project. He enjoys organizing, and I generate continual chaos – providing him ample opportunity to engage his natural instincts. The benefit for me is that when I am searching for the items I need to create disarray, I know exactly where to find them. This union of opposites allows each to enhance the life of the other while we maintain our individual characteristics. We gain purpose in our own lives because of the other’s peculiarities rather than in spite of them. It is poetry in motion.
Sometimes I find myself exploring new ways to enhance our marriage. For example, I recently discovered a new method of foreplay – I organized my shorts shelf. Let me explain. Against the back wall of our master bedroom closet sits a laundry basket below a wall of shelving. The sole purpose of the bottom shelf is to hold my clean shorts, and the laundry basket is obviously for my dirty clothes. Admittedly, it is often difficult to discern where the clean shorts end and the dirty laundry begins. This must have been an ongoing source of visual discomfort for my husband who naturally gravitates to order, and I knew better. I should have recognized the fact that he, being a physician, would walk into the closet and see a large gaping laceration oozing its cotton contents, begging him to heal the wound, and he would be helpless to do so. In my state of comfortable chaos, I remained oblivious (for months) to the irritation he must have felt. When the realization of his still unspoken angst finally came to me, I put my retired nursing skills to work and become the RN he had married. I unpacked the wound, removed all unwanted debris, cleaned the surrounding area, and repacked the wound with a fresh new stack of cotton. I have no doubt that what he saw upon entering the closet was a perfectly straight incision with an equal number of casual and dressy shorts per side, every pair a perfectly executed stitch. I adored the amazement on his face. The wound was healed; it was a miracle. I felt his excitement. I could have been standing in our closet naked with the remote control in one hand and a cocktail in the other and not have achieved a better result. In this case, all I had to do was enter the room. Love was already in bloom. Not wanting to lose the mystique, I decide to wait a month or so before clearing out my side of the bathroom cabinet.
Author: Brenda Sloan
Brenda Sloan started writing in response to the challenge, “One can’t simply just write a book.” Accepting this challenge gave life to her first novel, The Elusive Mot Juste, and turned an amazing woman into an author worthy of recognition. She lives in South Carolina with her husband, four children, and their goofy Labrador, Buddy.