“Has anyone ever told you you look exactly like Demi Moore?”
When Chelsea heard that line, she just about lost it. She was at a singles dance, an experience she found slightly more revolting than a freshman mixer. But Chelsea had just moved to the city, where she didn’t know a soul, so when she saw an ad for the party she went with the highest of hopes.
She was so disappointed. One clod after another crossed her path. When she heard the “Demi Moore” line, she was ready to say, “Stuff it,” grab her coat and leave. But she looked up to see exactly who the dumb cluck was and that, as she says, was “it.”
“We danced once, then talked for two hours over the noise. We were both hoarse for days.”
On paper, it did not look like the perfect match. Chris was 34, a big blond, husky guy, a happy-go-lucky bachelor, the outgoing “good buddy” type, and a high-school teacher who had just received his law degree at night.
“He’s the kind of guy who goes to Auto Show and meets people he knows,” says Chelsea. “He specialized in putting down Eastern preppy snobs.”
Chelsea was (guess what?) an East Coast preppy —a Wellesley graduate to be exact — and an admitted nerd. “I’m quiet and shy,” she says. “He likes buxom domestic women; I’m tall and thin, not much in the figure department and a horrendous housekeeper.” Not only was she not domestic, she was working in a bank by day, studying for her MBA at night.
They never could quite figure out if they were attracted to each other in spite of the obvious differences, or because of them. All they knew for sure was that the attraction was there. After six months they got engaged and after another six months, they married.
It’s never dull around their house. “We argue about almost everything,” says Chelsea. “He’s a roaring Democrat and I’m a card-carrying Republican. I watch Fox news in the bedroom and he’s got MSNBC going in the den.
“We usually wind up staying home because we can rarely agree on what to do. He likes active things. I prefer sedentary things like movies. I have one friend he likes, the others he barely tolerates. I don’t like any of his friends.”
Needless to say, when this happy couple takes their vacation each summer, their hands don’t instinctively grab for the same travel brochure. “My idea of a vacation is lying on a beach in the Bahamas,” says Chelsea. “He’d love to train-hop through Europe.”
But compromise is the key to this couple’s happiness and so for their vacation this year, they’ve decided (for Chelsea’s sake) to visit her family back East. They’ll stay with her parents, her “two hyperactive teenage” siblings, and the family’s three dogs (Chris hates dogs). For Chris’s sake, they’re making the 19-hour trip in a sleeping car.
“I’m sure people who look at us must think we’re lonely. We don’t have many friends, we don’t go out much, but the secret is we’re very content with each other.”
Is your partner your opposite? Send your tale, along with your questions, problems and rants to firstname.lastname@example.org. And check out my new ebook, “Dear Cheryl: Advice from Tales from the Front.”