It has been a long while since I have written about Donnie and me, at least in terms of our relationship. There is no particular reason for me to write about that now except perhaps it is time to return to my first post and develop it more.
The odd things about Donnie and me is that 40 years ago no one gave our marriage a chance. It would never last, we were told by nearly everyone, because we were so different.
They were right about the being different part. Certainly, it is difficult to find much that we have in common except a passel of kids and easy to find what we do not share. The list is very long.
(1) Donnie is a scientist; I am a humanist.
(2) Donnie prefers to work outdoors; I prefer to work indoors.
(3) Donnie is an introvert, who likes being alone in nature; I am an extravert, who seeks out people and interaction.
(4) Donnie prefers to stay at home and speaks only English, once trying to learn Russian, that experiment ending in abysmal failure; I am on my 18th language of active study, being able to read nearly fifty and not even knowing what some of those are that I can understand, and as a result, I love to travel and live among people of differing cultures.
(5) When we travel, Donnie looks for comfort and familiarity, i.e. he likes to live at home abroad; when we select a community for settling in, I look for one where traditional American culture shares the streets and institutions with people of other cultures, i.e. I like to live abroad at home.
(6) When we travel, Donnie dreams of flying first class but has never done so; because I travel more than 100,000 miles a year, I sometimes get upgraded to first class, which is unimportant to me, and generally sleep through the whole flight anyway.
(7) In college, Donnie was a poor student, and I helped him with his studies; in college, I was a good student (which is perhaps why I initially became a teacher and then an educational administrator).
(8) Donnie likes to photograph; I like to write -- at least, there is possibility of complementarity and collaboration here (and we do collaborate on publications).
(9) Donnie is a night owl; I am awake during "normal" hours, i.e. day time.
(10) At the end of the day, Donnie would want to know that our kids' bellies were full; I would want to know that their minds were full.
(11) Donnie likes to climb real mountains; I like to climb the allegorical kind.
(12) Donnie likes to watch ball games; I like to play ball games.
(13) Donnie likes moderate climates; I like really hot ones (like Jordan and Uzbekistan where I have spent summers) and really cold ones (like Maine where I grew up and Siberia where I have spent winters) and get confused by moderate ones.
(14) Donnie collects gadgets; I collect people.
(15) Donnie grew up in the middle class in a city and attended one of the best public high schools in the USA; I grew up in the lower class on a farm and attended one of the worst public high schools in the USA (strange then that I would become the better student -- ah, right, motivation and interest...).
(16) Donnie can fix things easily, especially technological ones; I can break them easily, especially technological ones.
(17) Donnie cooks well; I cook abysmally.
(18) Donnie loves to eat; I forget to eat.
(19) Donnie likes to play; I like to work.
(20) Donnie likes to play computer games; I like to play musical instruments.
(21) Donnie wanted no children; I kept turning up pregnant and when I was done with that kept bringing home other people's children to raise.
(22) Donnie likes an empty nest; I fill it with cats since the children I have been gathering lately are fully grown young people.
(23) Donnie likes to drive; I like to be driven (hm, another complementarity, perhaps that works okay).
(24) Donnie prefers air conditioning; I get sick in air conditioning -- fans, including the kind you wave in front of your face, are my preference.
(25) Donnie forgets important dates, like our anniversary; I forget them, too. Ah, finally, something in common!
This is just the tip of the iceberg. I could go on and on and on with all the differences we have encountered over the years. People are right. We are very different from one another. Perhaps they are also right that opposites attract but the marriages of opposites don't last. There is always that possibility. Time will tell. Right now, we are at 40 and counting.