Beatrice: For them all together, which maintained so politic a state of evil that they will not admit any good part to intermingle with them. But for which of my good parts did you first suffer love for me?
Benedick: Suffer love. A good epithet, I do suffer love indeed, for I love thee against my will!
-Much Ado About Nothing
A blogger friend of mine does a weekly post, every Tuesday, where she blogs about something in her life for which she is grateful. She calls it “Gratituesday” and I thought I’d give it a try this week.
Every Tevye needs his Golde, and for every Benedick, there must be a Beatrice. And I have found mine – if you hadn’t figured it out, that’s us in the picture there. Soon we will have been married for three years and will have been together a couple of years more.
Now it would be easy start spouting a whole bunch of Hallmark commercial stuff here about why I’m grateful for her – about how she’s always by my side and supports me no matter what. Here’s the thing though: she isn’t and she doesn’t.
And that’s why I’m grateful for her today. I stress ‘today’ because, as you might imagine, this is not the whole dynamic of our relationship – merely the one I choose to blog about today.
My wife calls me on my bullshit (and I’ve got lots of it). She lets me know (not always gently) when I’m being an arrogant ass. She points it out if I come off as a slimeball (it happens). She keeps me grounded – and I’m a better person for it.
Another reason I’m grateful for her is she complements me. No, I didn’t misspell compliment. I meant complement.
I have many flaws. My flaws are too many to list, and names have not yet been created for some of them. Yet in nearly every area where I find myself lacking, my wife is particularly strong. She covers for my weaknesses, and mediates my extremes.
To more clearly illustrate my point, I’ll recall to your mind an old thought experiment:
Take a toddler and seat them at a table. Place a cookie on the table in front of them. Tell them “You can eat that cookie now, or you can wait until tomorrow and I’ll give you two cookies.”
Obviously, the toddler eats the cookie and just steals two the next day. Some of us grow out of that pattern of behavior, some of us don’t. Me? I’ve gotten worse. I really act with little to no thought for the future or the consequences. I’d have that cookie down before the test proctor even started telling me that I could eat the cookie. My wife is much more methodical, much more of a planner. She puts every cent she has somewhere to be saved. If we find a penny in the couch, she’ll save it.
We balance each other out, and together, us against the world, we are more or less complete and much more able and capable than either of us would be by ourselves. And that’s what I’m grateful for today.