David and I have been together 30+ years and we sometimes wonder why. I mean we're happy and our relationship is healthy, but we're very, very different personalities. We've tried to dissect what makes us compatible … what makes “us” a good combination. We suspect it's that old idiom “opposites attract” at work.
David's quiet and shy. Me? Quiet and shy? Not so much. I'm outgoing and usually pretty social. I love to dance and sing. I have to drag David onto the dance floor and he'll sing with me on occasion, but never in public. He's a good listener. I'm a talker. I'm the communicator of this twosome.
We're both hard workers. Neither of us ever complained about working 60-70 hour weeks when we owned our own business. We just work in different ways. He's a procrastinator extraordinaire. I feel compelled to get things done right away … in advance, if possible. I hate leaving things till the last minute (except sewing projects and polishing stainless). I'm a planner ... A plan, B plan, C plan. David plans projects, but usually he likes things to kind of roll out at their own pace. He's a “go with the flow” kind of guy. I prod and suggest (I'd hate to think of this as nagging???) to make calls, get haircuts, go to the dentist, get information in advance. This usually falls on selectively deaf ears. After all this time, the solution here is to make the calls or appointments myself … charge after him with scissors in hand for the haircut or ignore it and it'll take care of itself. He says “toh-may-toes” ... and so do I. See, there's something in common.
I'm compulsive about keeping things neat, tidy and uncluttered. When David is in the middle of a project, this is just about impossible and after three decades, I'm getting used to that fact. He's particular about his tools and where they go, but otherwise things can get out of hand … like his nav station, for instance, the catch-all for all things odd … screws, resistors, papers, notes, Spanish flash cards from five years ago and paper charts from the South Pacific.
I'm punctual. I like being on time. Punctuality is not in David's vocabulary. I'm the one who works to keep us on schedule, whether it be for a meeting, a visit, or a project. I've become a bit more relaxed about this over the years and David has become a bit more punctual. We usually compromise and end up being “almost” on time. On a boat, it's less important for sure. In fact, the word schedule is a dirty word!
If he procrastinates on some things, he is compulsive about others … like boat chores, maintenance and projects that he's decided are “must-do's”. I'm glad that he is because I'm not. I like a tidy, clean boat, but when it comes to boat chores, I'm the one who needs the prodding.
David needs to be doing something all the time. On the boat he's always got a project. If we're visiting my sister or his sister, he's always willing to tackle a project for them. In fact, he usually asks for the “David-do” list in advance. He likes keeping busy and I suspect he sometimes creates projects if there are none currently available … rare on the boat. I can sit and relax, read, play a game or edit photos. David is more physical and needs to keep moving.
He's deliberate, precise and logical. He's an engineer … what would you expect? I'm none of those things. I'm a spur-of-the-moment, sometimes illogical, “good enough for government work” kind of girl. It takes him forever to write a blog post. I can knock out writing assignments in a jiffy.
I've always tended towards being detail-oriented. Some folks might call this anal. David sees the big picture and takes in the whole scope of things. That's a good fit. It's hard to get from A to Z, without taking B through Y into account.
David fears nothing. He loves a new adventure. He's willing to tackle anything. He's a risk-taker whether it be in business or in everyday life. That's not to say he's reckless. He isn't. He's just willing to try things, push the envelope, think outside the box, run with scissors, color outside the lines. It never occurred to me to live on a boat and sail off into the sunset. If “adventure” was left up to me, we'd be living in a house with a picket fence and a paid-up mortgage. Thank goodness, the captain has a more adventuresome vision than I do. I'd rather be sailing around the world on a boat than knitting mittens like Beaver Cleaver's mom.
Actually, now that I think about it, he does fear, or rather dread, one thing: confrontation. Me, I don't mind confrontation at all. It gets my juices flowing. David's favorite saying when someone won't listen to reason: “Okay, I'm done being Mr. Nice Guy. Now, you have to deal with Marcie!” What a reputation to live up to.
I'm a complainer. I'm impatient. I'm emotional. I get all riled up over some petty thing, get angry, blow my gasket and then I'm fine. David is easy-going. He has the patience of Job and is even-keeled. He's not very emotional unless he gets angry. Then he seethes and the anger foments ... sometimes for days. It takes him awhile to work through it.
I learned that our Zodiac signs are the most compatible for each other: Scorpios and Cancers. They're both water signs, too. Hmmm... that's probably it … or not.
We've come to believe that our strength lies in the very fact that we are opposite in so many areas. My weaknesses are David's strengths and my strengths complement his more subdued personality. We belong to a mutual admiration society. Thank goodness we like us … 24x7 on a boat together could be a tenuous situation otherwise.