In mathematics we are taught to combine like terms. It makes sense in math. It doesn’t make sense life. I have already blogged my decision to be against same sects marriage, the combining of your life with that of a person of the exact same religious beliefs. But what about other like terms? I’m certainly NOT against same sex marriage, but do mates have to be in common in other ways?
We’ve all met couples who appear to have too much in common, so much so that it makes you just want to puke all over their pancakes. So much so that you secretly wish they’d find out that they’re identical twins separated at birth and (if they’re opposite genders) one of them maybe had a sex change that’s so futuristic it gave them working reproductive organs.
We’ve also all met couples who appear to have NOTHING in common. They fight and bicker to the point of alienating everyone around them. They never do anything even remotely lovey-dovey, in front of any witnesses at least. They have separate lives and maybe even sleep in separate beds. And you wonder why the hell they’re even still together. Is it for the kids? The dog? The house in the Hamptons?
Most of us are somewhere in between. We have things common with our lovers but we also have differences and we understand that that’s a good thing. But do you ever wonder if maybe you need more things in common with your lover?
Robert and I discussed the other day that we actually don’t have all that much in common. Is that a necessary thing?
We argue over politics. He’s really not that into politics and neither am I. But whereas he spends parts of his days that aren’t devoted to productive tasks or sleeping by hanging out in Azeroth or browsing various webcomics, I spend mine mostly on facebook and reading the blogs I follow. By doing this, I come across politics and the discussions thereof. Sometimes I want to talk to a non-web-based human about the subjects, so I start to rant to him about the discussions I’ve had online and my point of view and why I think the other person’s point of view is not accurate. While he does occasionally agree with me, a lot of times we end up in arguments over it. Silly to be arguing over such things, really.
We argue over money. Okay, so that’s not unique. I don’t know the stats on this, but somewhere I remember reading that money is responsible for a large number of the marital spats and subsequent divorces. There is a power struggle in our household. We both want to be the dominant one. But I can slip into a submissive role if necessary. I don’t know that he ever could. So when he buys things we don’t need and then yells at me for doing the same, or when he refuses to give me money for something I want or need because it doesn’t fit into his idea of a budget and I don’t have a job anyway so I don’t have rights to money, or when he tells me to go out and get a job but I have to pay for daycare, I get more than just a little peeved.
We argue over looks. This is a touchy one. We all know that my self esteem isn’t exactly in a bull market most of the time. Robert knows this too. I think he says things that are meant to be helpful, but they turn into hate-words somewhere between his synapses and my spiral ganglion.
For instance, I’ll be happily enjoying way too much of a chocolate cake, and he’ll say:
“You don’t need to be eating that.”
I think what he means is:
“You complain about your body image and how you wish you would be thinner because then people would like you more because society has set an impossible standard of beauty for women and you want to try to achieve it even though you know it is impossible because you think being pretty in the eyes of society will make you happier but you know deeper down that it won’t because you have to love yourself like I love you and you know that I think you are beautiful.”
But I hear:
“Put that cake down you fat ugly whore. God you’re disgusting! That’s why I’m going to cheat on you with that hot chick from work.”
And an argument ensues…
I’ll admit I’m a self-loathing fattie, but I’m also a hypocritical one. I hate fatties! When it comes to sex, combining like terms in the sense of two fat people is just icky. All that blubber bouncing off of each other. I’m speaking from experience, mind you. I’ve fucked a fat guy or two in my time (no names will be mentioned and I wish I could erase the video from my mind). And some guys get so fat that their penis actually appears to have shrunk. Robert is not a fattie, but he’s not thin either. He had abs when I met him…now he has a gut. But he doesn’t quite have moobs yet. I don’t berate him about his weight. When he brings up wanting to lose weight, I mention that I do too and maybe we should walk together or something. But if he says things like the above scenario, my claws come out. I start attacking his looks.
He once had teeth that were so straight and white his smile reminded me of an orca. They’re still straight, but they’ve darkened by the comsumption of too many sodas and a waning interest in oral hygeine. I have the same waning interest, but oral hygeine was never a big ritual for me, and yet no one’s ever said anything to my face about it. In one episode of family guy, Peter says it’s weird that he hadn’t brushed his teeth for a week and no one has said anything. I wonder if people notice things like that about me…but I digress.
Perhaps, in some ways, Robert and I are too alike for our own good, whereas in other ways we are too different for each others’ good. Perhaps, though, we are just like thousands of other couples out there, bumbling through this thing called a loving relationship, without a clue as to how to do things like communicate. Perhaps we have combined like terms, as every human is human.
Tom Lehrer–Try as you may, you just can’t get away from mathematics!