Sometimes I can’t tell where Vigi’s sandals leave off and mine begin. I chose sandals instead of pumps or oxfords because they’re open and leave plenty of space, much like my lovely lady herself. They were also the first thing I saw as she glided toward me the first time we met. As my eyes crept upward from her toes, they revealed a pair of neat white slacks, then a pressed white blouse, and finally a deliciously dark tan topped off with tresses of sun-bleached blond hair. My mind photographed the image more clearly and more indelibly than anything a camera could have recorded. I filled in more personal detail on the way back down.
That was thirty-three years ago and we’ve learned an awful lot about each other since then, including that I don’t like wearing sandals and she doesn’t like wearing any shoes at all. We’ve actually reached the point where we frequently finish each others’ thoughts. I don’t mean each others’ sentences, I mean each others’ thoughts! On more than one occasion I’ve wondered whether we’ve grown to be that much alike or if we started out that way. Did that kind of simpatico draw us together in the first place?
It isn’t that we always agree or buy matching outfits, or anything like that … although we’ve been known to choose the same color combinations when getting dressed, only to discover our twinhood later. It’s more like being together just feels comfortable. It’s familiar. It’s also scary. Sometimes Vigi knows me better than I know myself.
Take last weekend when I was rummaging around under the kitchen sink, looking for the stuff I spray on the furnace filters when I change them. “It’s on the right, all the way in back,” she informed me. “What is?” “The Endust. Isn’t that what you’re looking for?” I hadn’t said a word to her! I was so taken aback that I just laid out on the floor and laughed until my tear-streaked face went stiff and my ribs ached. I was finally able to foolishly ask, “How did you know what I wanted?” She said nothing. She didn’t have to. She simply smiled that ‘feline got the fish’ smile that can only be properly executed after half a lifetime together. It’s amazing how much can be conveyed with just mouth corners, if it’s the right mouth.
You know how we’re told to walk a mile in the other guy’s shoes? Well, Veege is inside mine while my feet are still in there! On those rare occasions when we’re not in blissful agreement, we don’t really argue, we ‘bicker’ … and she’s a great ‘bickerer!’ It’s never personal and usually about something silly like why the spare car key isn’t on its hook or how the perpetual clutter (mine) seems to live on the corner of the kitchen counter. Her most effective ‘bickering’ weapon is merely providing a brief entree to the subject and then clamming up. Sometimes I get on a rant like some giant steam engine rumbling down the tracks, breathing fire and belching smoke … unable to put the brakes on until I realize that I’m the only one participating in the discussion. Once I feel stupid enough, it’s over!
Her patience is probably the greatest reason why we’re still married after so many years and, in my book, why it gets better every day. She knows exactly how much rope to play out before she ‘yanks’ and has mastered the art of letting me think I’m running the show, while all the while she’s the one in charge.
On those even rarer occasions, when there is actually some tug and pull, nothing gets us back into the same sandals faster than simply facing each other, holding hands and looking straight into each others’ eyes. It’s impossible to fight, bicker or argue in that position. I’m not saying the sun always comes out but it’s a great way to avoid the lightning and thunder … to slip on more comfortable shoes, especially if you’re joined at the toes.
Listen to Bananas Crackers and Nuts Podcast. Find Links under “Recent Podcasts”… and more shows on my Podcast Page.