We had an interesting event happen tonight. We ordered a pizza (that’s not the interesting part) and they forgot our bread sticks (still not there, wait for it). So, we call back down to the pizza place and they apologize and will send someone over promptly. So, the pizza guy gets here and the conversation at the door regarding our forgotten bread sticks is taking a bit long. I start to wonder what the hell is going on up there (Read as: my anxiety is putting god awful images into my head) so I grab some pants and head up front. Before I can get out of the bed room, my wife appears and has the bread sticks and a free giant cookie (score!) and has a worried look on her face.
The pizza guy, in his wisdom, backed into our driveway and drove off into the ditch.
My wife is almost in a panic because she wants to help this guy and solve the problem. I on the other hand, don’t see it as our problem and this is where we usually collide. However on this occasion she left it to me because she “knows how I feel about these things and that we are opposites on these situations”. I agree and I go to talk to the guy on our front porch who has driven off into our ditch.
I greet the guy and I advise him that I do not have the capability to pull him out of the ditch. I let him know that, unfortunately, the neighbors that we are (somewhat) friendly with are not at home, our next door neighbors are sketchy as hell and that I don’t recommend them, and that there are some other neighbors across the street that seem like good folks with a truck. When I then ask if he could not call in to his boss and explain what happened, he let me know that he could, he needed to, but he would probably get into trouble.
He let me know that he was going to make a call and I let him know that if he needed anything to just knock. Then I went back to my sandwich and my free cookie.
I came back into the house and back to my wife to report what happened. She didn’t look enthused. The rounds of “what if’s” started: “what if he is cold”, “what if he doesn’t get help? “. I re-assured my wife that the pizza guy would live to deliver another day and that all would be well. That’s when she mentions the opposites thing again and I told her that yes we handle human interactions completely differently and that we balance each other out. Where she would have invited the guy in, made him hot cocoa and wrapped him in a blankey; I would have pointed out possible solutions to the problem that he could take and assisted as well as I could have while minimizing my interaction and liability. You know, the “right” way (IMO).
That got me thinking about opposites.
Opposite: 2. contrary or radically different in some respect common to both, as in nature, qualities, direction, result, or significance; opposed:
My wife have some very common traits and qualities; however when it comes to this one thing: helping people (financially or with a dilemma beyond our capability) we are polar opposites.
I am a cynic , my wife is an optimist.
My wife is a giver and I am a still a cynic.
Now I am not heartless, if I see a starving kid on the street, then I am going to go grab him something to eat. Not for karma, not because of the universe, and not because of some god, goddess, or spirit, but because it’s a hungry kid on the fucking street; however when I see people with a covered up stroller begging for money so they can “Get X for the baby” and that baby hasn’t made a peep in 20 minutes on a noisy street, then I am a bit cynical about your intentions with the cash you are asking for and even if you have a kid in that stroller at all. Sorry, but I am not sorry.
My wife however has been so kind hearted and giving to the point that she has had her charity abused by people. She was taken advantage of financially and put in real danger by some “neighbors” at our old apartment. She had her heart broken by ” a good friend” after she took advantage of her kindness. So, when these situations arise, I talk to her or just jump in the situation when shit goes too far. There was a saying that I found for her (and later found was a quote by Henry Ford) and I wanted her to take it to heart:
“Givers have to set limits because takers rarely do.”
As I am her opposite in this one aspect of our life together, she does the same for me. Because I can go beyond cynic at times and become so full of apathy and disdain for people that I go full-blown misanthropic.
misanthropy: (noun) hatred, dislike, or distrust of humankind.
Yep, even my normal modus operandi when things for me is to hate mostly everyone, or at least mistrust them. I look for the angle, the con, the “how am I getting fucked by this” factor with pretty much every interaction that I have with a human. If we meet at a party, I will tell you now, I will be civil , I will even be charming, but I probably don’t care for you.
Now, to be honest, I am not a sociopath, or a psychopath, I have been tested ( not joking). I am just highly introverted, and I am severely emotionally detached; however if I have sunk into the full depths of my misanthropy, then I don’t like anyone. I don’t want to be around people, ANY PEOPLE. My wife has a way of pulling me out of this by at least getting me to get out and seeing at least one friend. Of course it them ends up being multiple friends and I usually end the night with a smile on my face. So, again, counter-balance.
So, if you and your SO are opposites on something, don’t look at it as a “deal breaker”. It may end up being the strongest aspect of your entire relationship and the one that you end up cherishing the most. You just got to figure out how they fit and work.
So, good luck with that.
And if you haven’t figured out the title, yet. I will just leave this …