I always struggle to describe exactly what my husband and I have in common. On the surface we seem like such opposites. When we met he was the Latin party boy and I was the American yoga instructor. He loves dogs and I love cats. But on a deeper level we always connected, though it’s been hard to explain precisely how to others.
I want to say we share a sense of humor, but then I remember a slew of silly comedies that leave him doubled-over with laughter and me baffled and bored. I want to say we share similar political views, because 95% of our ballots are the same. However, I know we both marked different names in the past two presidential elections. I think the best way to describe our connection is that we are never more than two steps apart. For example, when choosing a paint color or piece of furniture we either initially pick the same thing or quickly find a compromise that feels more right than our individual first choices. If our relationship was a dance, our bodies would sometimes be smashed close together and sometimes spinning in opposite directions, but we’d always be holding hands.
The biggest difference between us is how we see the world. Literally. I always knew that different people have different perspectives on life, but it wasn’t until I met Andres that I truly comprehended that we can also have completely different perceptions. Literally.
When Andres and I first became a couple, we had a wonderful dog named Mandingo. On our nightly walks Andres often commented on different things he saw. My head careened right and left, up and down, but I simply couldn’t see what he was talking about. Occasionally, I questioned whether he was making up stuff. How could I miss that cat, that vintage car, that weird guy carrying a watermelon? Try as I might, I could only see half of what he could. I came to realize that I don’t see a lot. On a high school field trip to a planetarium, all the constellations on display shone brighter than the other stars and I still couldn’t pick out the Big Dipper. I know I would be the worst eye-witness, because I couldn’t even describe my own mother accurately to a sketch artist.
I don’t see certain things and because I don’t see them, I don’t know they exist. If Andres didn’t tell me there were parrots it the tree, I never would have guessed it. It goes both ways. The reason my eyes miss details is that I perceive the world energetically. No auras or anything that far out, but I genuinely use my heart as my eyes. I see emotions, rather than physical details. This was the flip side of Andres and I getting to know each other. Driving home from dinner parties, we rehashed the evening. Didn’t you see how flustered she was when she mentioned the first year of her marriage? He was so uncomfortable when you started talking about vacations. How can you know someone for twenty years and not know she had three miscarriages? He was blown away by what I saw and what I learned about his close friends and family.
We see the world differently and that is how we complement each other. Our love offers more complements than mere compliments. The way the color blue makes the color orange pop. The way a valley’s dip creates a peak’s height. The way shadows define light. We do not complete each other because we are both whole, but complement each other beautifully.