Friday, November 30, 2007

Comfort Fit

L is new on our team. She reminds of myself many years ago - relatively naive, very eager to learn and hesitant about speaking her mind. I had seen her at the cafeteria sometimes with a guy I have worked with before. He is her husband. They have been married a couple of years. I would have never guessed.

There is a connection between some couples that spark between them an arc of completion. They lack nothing when viewed individually but when you see them together you realize what had been missing. The whole is much greater than the sum of the parts. My uncle and aunt are one such couple I know. Together they have certain aesthetic and emotional balance that is obvious even to a complete stranger.

Unlike a lot of couples who fate conspires to bring together like mismatched Lego pieces that can never quite mesh, they seem to be perfectly complementary. L and her husband also reminded me of the way my ex and I were. Everyone we met assumed we were dating and we felt that was cool. We thought we must look happy and carefree, still not weighed down by the responsibility of matrimony.

Each time I introduced him as my husband, something felt odd and out of place. It would have been much easier to just introduce him by name and not have to assign a relationship with me. He seemed to remind himself of my position in his life each time he called me his wife. That arc had never sparked. We were the two Lego pieces thrown together that did not belong together. This is not something time can heal, mend or undo. The fit was completely wrong.

Sometimes people start over, willing to take another chance on destiny to see if the dice will roll right this time, connect them to their true complement where the fit is comfortable. Others stay on, often unaware of what is really missing. For L it is being peeved that her husband will not allow her to work a slower-paced, lower-paying government job so she has time and stability to have kids. They don't have a dog because he does not care for them. L adores dogs. The list is probably much longer, I have known her only for a few days.

In time, the kids will come. They will work out a middle ground that leaves both slightly discontent and exhausted. The marriage will feel more a work in progress less the sweet labor of love. They will both shift, slide, duck and dodge trying constantly to find that comfortable state that some couples have naturally. They might always look like they are dating and not quite married yet.

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