Yin, Yang and the Garden of Love

My parents tied the knot when my mother was just 17 and my father was a youthful 21. Those two silly kids are still going strong, all these years later. I joke that if nothing else, they are role models in perseverance.

I look like an exact mix of the both of them, no?


I often wonder, do opposites really attract? My parents’ union is certainly a study in contrast; Bert is the yin to Mikey’s yang. Bert has a fiesty Italian/Portuguese spirit, with dark skin and eyes to match. Mikey, on the other hand, is a mellow-as-can-be Irish/Swede with hair the color of that used to be the color of wheat, and eyes of cerulean blue.

Bert thinks fast, talks fast, eats fast and lives in a constant state of now, now, now! We must get everything done now! Mikey takes his sweet time in everything he does, regardless of who is waiting for him. Usually, it’s Bert.

“Jesus Christ! I told you I wanted to leave by noon. It’s 11:55 and you’re just putting your shoes on now? Oh, great. This is JUST great. We all know how long it takes you to put your shoes on. I might as well go make a hard boiled egg because by the time you’re ready to go I’ll be hungry again.”

They bicker (as most married couples do), but they would never leave each other. Are they suckers for punishment? Maybe.

Just kidding, mom and dad… love you guys long time!

More than anything, they’ve chosen to honor the commitment that they made so many years ago, even during times when (I’m sure) it’s been very hard to do. Hell, I have never lasted in a relationship for more than three-and-a-half years; I can’t even begin to conceive what 35 years must feel like.

People change and because of that relationships change and are fluid entities. Both involved parties have to be willing to roll with the punches, hopefully figuratively rather than literally.

I think that in any romantic affair, you have to be willing to love the other person more in times when they’re pushing you away. It’s almost never going to be 50/50 in terms of affection and effort; there will be times when your partner will (for whatever reason) only be able to give you 20 percent. The natural reaction is to mirror that lack of effort when in fact that’s the last thing you should do… I’ve learned my lesson. You must push your pride aside and give 80.

Patience is a virtue and true love is a splendid garden that must be tended to with regularity. Relationships are not easy, but they are worth the work. I may not have been ready in the past, but I know that I am ready in the present.

Now where did I put my gardening gloves?

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9 Comments

Filed under The Personal

9 responses to “Yin, Yang and the Garden of Love

  1. Mary Anne

    I can SOOOO see your mom m aking the hard-boiled egg comment! That made me laugh so hard.. They are 2 of my favorite people, as you know, and it is so great that they are still together after all these years.

  2. Angela Towne

    I love it. Reading this couldn’t have come at a better time for me. Thank you.

  3. Great point! Long-term/marriage isn’t simple or easy, and it’s so important to remember that we’re always changing…we’ve got to allow one another the room to grow.

  4. Bert

    OMG! LMAO again at work this morning. Not only do I have to watch my back around you, I have to lock up the pics! Loved the writing!

  5. Bert

    Did u forget your dad is half Swedish!

  6. Great post! I really appreciated the fact you mentioned marriages/relationships will likely never be 50/50. Being flexible and adapting to changes within certain respects in a relationship is KEY. My parents are the same, they’ve bickered, had they’re arguments, but have stayed together. A lot of it has to do with the way our parents were brought up. It’s sad that as time passes, divorce rates increase where society views divorce as more acceptable, which is a good thing, however this societal view also allows those who have been divorced to look at the situation and say to themselves it’s ok to do it over and over. What are the choices? Find someone A LOT older or find someone who exhibits the same values. Kind of a no brainer, but it’s such an uphill battle. No wonder there are more people today who remain unmarried for their entire lives.

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