Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What I have in common with the Obamas:

If you know me, you know that lately I've been obsessed with the Obama family. Everything from what kind of dog they might get, to where Sasha and Malia would go to school has cought my attention. So, when I heard that Michelle Obama would be featured in the cover story of this month's Vogue, I ran to the store to get a copy.
I finally got around to reading it last night and was disappointed to find that it couldn't really tell me much about our beautiful new first lady that I didn't already know. It talked about how "real" she is, and what a dedicated mother she is, etc. What did catch my eye, however was actually a line quoted from a 1996 New Yorker interview with Barack: "

"I'm extremely happy with her," he told Mariana Cook in a 1996 interview with
the couple recently published in The New Yorker, "and part of it has to do with
the fact that she is at once familiar to me, so that I can be myself and she
knows me very well and I trust her completely, but at the same time she is also
a complete mystery to me in some ways.…It's that tension between familiarity and
mystery that makes for something strong, because even as you build a life of
trust and comfort and mutual support, you retain some sense of surprise or
wonder about the other person."
My best girlfriend may remember me saying somthing similar to this on late night on her family's front porch during the somewhat embattled early years my relationship with Husband. Husband and I had a hard time back then. We fought a lot, and I often found myself in tears and he found himself not knowing what hit him. I often asked myself why I stayed with him when he made me so upset sometimes. I found myself conflicted with my rational self telling me to ditch him and my emotional self telling me that I couldn't live without him. (This all sounds very dramatic, doesn't it? I don't mean to be so gushy.)

But why? How did I manage to fall so stupidly in love with a man that I have so little in common with--a man who just didn't get me, and I didn't get him either? That night on the front porch I realized that the question was the answer. The fact that Husband is such a mystery to me is what made him so enthralling. To this day, I tell people that I just don't get him, and I like it that way.

In the time since we've been together, Husband and I have each learned so much about how the other thinks and operates. I understand why Husband has chosen certain weird hobbies and that has helped me accept them. I understand why Husband doesn't like parties and other large gatherings of people, and I often go by myself. I also learned that he and I each have different ways of showing our love for each other. Now, the raging fights that we used to have on a regular basis are rare.

Reading over what I've written, I can see that I appear to be trying to sound like an expert on relationships. I'm really not, but I have decided that it was important for me to question why I chose Husband and why he chose me, and to question frequently why I choose to stay with him, especially when the answer seems the most unclear. To this day, I find that the answer is that I still havn't solved the puzzle.

1 comment:

MillielovesMolly said...
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