Hi, my name is Katie and I am an optimist. I prefer yes to no. I see half full glasses everywhere I go. I think everyone and everything has potential.
Everyone except maybe Molly. Molly’s hopeless.
Meet my husband, Chris. He is a pessimist. Or, as he prefers, a realist. His first instinct is to say no. He sees half empty glasses around every corner. He thinks that everyone and everything has the potential to fail.
This is what a marriage looks like between two polar opposite personalities:
“Gosh, the weather is beautiful! Look at those big beautiful clouds in the sky!” I would say.
“Those are (insert weird scientific name for cotton candy clouds). Its going to rain and storm and thunder and hail,” Chris would say.
“Wow! That sounds like fun! I love a good thunderstorm! Let’s watch a movie in our pajamas and eat ice cream until my stretch marks are stretched back out!” I would say.
“Are you crazy? Don’t you know that during torrential downpours, our house could flood which could knock the power out which would turn off the freezer, melting your ice cream into a puddle of goo that I could slip on in the dark of a power outage and if I was holding the Bean when I slipped he could go flying out the window and be sucked up into the funnel of a giant tornado that has spawned off of the horrible thunderstorm????” Chris would say.
Over the years, I have tried to appreciate what Chris’ viewpoints bring to the table. We always have money in savings because Chris believes rainy days are just waiting to attack us. And our bank account. He saves receipts and buys warranties because he knows all products will break eventually. We always have spare everythings – tires, candles, non-perishable food items, Q-tips – in case the world would come to an end and we would find ourselves in a cave underground with a bunch of cockroaches and some computer geek named Tad who, like, totally saw the end of civilization coming.
You never want to face the end of the world without extra Q-tips.
I, on the other hand, never leave my house with an umbrella because I refuse to believe it could rain on a day this beautiful. I think dandilions are beautiful flowers and refuse to acknowledge them as weeds. I think most, if not all, people are trustworthy. I believe in the power of positive thinking and have been known to say that I can “think it to reality.” I’m terrible in a crisis because I never, ever see them coming and so I just walk around repeating, “How do these bad things happen?”
Some people say that opposites attract. That Chris is the yin to my yang. That I am the sugar to his sour. That he is the bitter to my sweet.
Personally, I think he is the dirt on my fresh strawberry. The fly in my sweet iced tea. The oil stain on my bright white driveway.
What’s that line from Pride and Prejudice? When Willoughby is talking about Colonel Brandon? Its something like, “He has threatened me with rain when I wanted sunshine.”
THAT’S WHAT ITS LIKE TO BE MARRIED TO A PESSIMIST.
I come home with great news to share with Chris. He shoots me down with some silly trivial negative detail. And I want to take my half full cup and throw it in his face and shout, “BACK OFF MY SUNSHINE, YO!”
But he can’t. He just cannot back off my sunshine. He is genetically, physically, psychologically NOT ABLE to hear something and not immediately process what negative implications it might have.
(For the record, I used at least four words in that last sentence that I don’t fully know the meaning of.)
To combat this, I like to randomly break into song around him. I feel like its good for his poor, negative soul. Or I like to put him in direct sunlight if at all possible. Like a plant. Like my own personal negative plant of darkness.