Like waffles and spaghetti – opposites attract

Categorized as 03/19/12 Grounds for Insanity column

Another significant area of philosophical difference centers around our deepest convictions on the place of coffee in our world view.  When you grind it up and boil it down, he’s just a sniffer.  That’s it.  He loves the aroma, but can’t abide the taste.  He’ll actually admit it on certain days when the humidity’s just right, the wind’s blowing just so, and the barometric pressure’s not too high, that it’s got a homey, cozy scent.  He just won’t drink it.  For me, however, coffee is like a furry robe and slippers for the mind.  A warm blanket for the psyche.  A “bridge over troubled waters” on the days that it’s all gone south in the proverbial hand basket.  It’s me being proactive, that daily cup is, “girding my loins,” so to speak, before it all goes south.  Given my affinity for it, you’d think I would’ve converted him from sniffer to sipper by now, but so far, I’ve got nothin’.  If I’m the chili pepper in our family combo platter, he’s the cheese enchilada.  No, really.  Coming as I do from a family who adores Mexican food, it was a shock to meet someone who’d heard of tacos, but had never personally met one.  Eager to please, he’d take me to Mexican restaurants, only to come home and dive into the medicine cabinet, pounding down the Maalox.  He’s toughened up since then, but he still won’t add jalapenos on purpose like Someone Else.  He says he “doesn’t need to have his scalp burst into flames just to feel alive.”  He likes to play it safe like that.  Other times, though, the man’s a risk taker.  Calculated, always, but a risk taker.  If it were up to me, the Schrocks would probably never own a house or drive a car we couldn’t cash off.  Big numbers, contracts, and bankers scare me.  Not him.  If he’s researched it from 49 angles (a strong suit, by the way) and it still makes sense to do it, we do it.  Good thing, too.  Otherwise, we might be squished into a pup tent and driving around in a rickshaw.  With You Know Who pedaling.  Then there’s the issue of how we view life.  On the food chain, he’s the waffle, and I’m the spaghetti.  The “waffle” compartmentalizes.  Work, family, hobbies, friends, and the History Channel are all in separate boxes.  And the “spaghetti?”  Work, family, hobbies, and friends are all hopelessly intertwined.  With no box – none – for the History Channel.  We see life differently, and we process it differently.  He ponders, weighs, and dissects things internally.  I ponder, weigh, and dissect, too.  It’s just more, um, external.  Which means that he gets to hear about it.  All of these differences could, I know, combine, snowballing to sink the ship.  To blow it up.  To torch the union.  It’s not that we don’t fight (we do).  It’s not that we always agree (we don’t).  But we genuinely like each other, and no matter how tough it gets, we’ve decided that the “d” word is not an option.  Those two ingredients, combined with the grace of God, make a recipe that’s worked for us.  With a little chocolate, brown and white, on the side.  

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