One is oneself, then when there is a connection to another that seems random or ill-fitting, you marry and figure it out.

My husband is educated as a physicist and works as a software engineer/consultant. I majored in soc/psych and worked for government and non-profits. He’s a genius in the field of science and technology. I’m smart but my talents go to literature, legislation and people skills.

Somehow we clicked, two weeks after 9/11 when Americans were talking to strangers about what happened. The next day he asked me out, opened the car door, took my hand and never let go.

We really didn’t have disparate backgrounds. He grew up on a dairy and I lived above one. The farm kids were our friends and we made hay forts and stepped, inadvertently, into cow patties. And they protected me from bullies on the school bus.

We shared a lot about ourselves before we married a little over a year after we met. We met the parents et al, then eloped because of my family, not his. After years of marriage things settle (believe me) and a wise person is wont to figure out why.

We’ve more in common than our differences in what he calls “hard skills” vs. “soft skills.” Traditional male/female roles. Over the past few years he’s learned soft skills and it’s not as easy as writing code that transforms trading systems.

Honesty, integrity, leadership skills, people skills, technical skills. We each bring our own to the table and they mesh. For years I’ve been a volunteer leader and mentor, creating projects and managing ten times what anyone else did.

We both have disdain for bosses who cannot lead or teach the job at hand and who can never admit to making a mistake. We believe in the servant leader relationship where one is only as good as one’s “team” however large and the ladder goes up, rather than down.

Know what you’re talking about. My husband was all business and tech. He lived in a man cave in the dark with a mattress, first dual-brained computer he built from scratch. He had a desk made from two file cabinets with plywood on top, a chair and a lounge chair and only a 72 oz Dr.Pepper and individual string cheese in the frig with wrappers going from frig to computer. And he used a Scooby Doo towel from the shower and had a clean/pile and dirty pile laundry “system.”

Yes, I have tamed the beast, so much that I’m beginning to regret some aspects of the transformation. Yes, we’re on a high floor with a great view and floor-to-ceiling windows. About ten years ago he learned how a grilled cheese sandwich was made but still prefers me to make them.

I have created a food snob. From string cheese and Monterey Jack to judging cheddar by age, I messed up. He now asks if he can help in the kitchen. Conveniently he always asks when I’m almost done or are prepping and ask him to get his ice and water and please take the dog out.

He has his library which includes Numerical Recipes. I’ve 150 cookbooks that give me references, memories and comfort. We’re both technicians, scientists and good, smart folks that make a difference. I got a crosswalk last year. People were getting killed, the city finally built it and now that the paint is fading I got the Mayor’s office to re-paint the lines as no-one stops for me and our old dog.

There’s another similarity. A year after we married we adopted a rescue dog, a sweetheart who needed her hips taken out and physical therapy as a pup. She’s 10.5 years old now and I’m the food wench and disciplinarian and he’s the fun guy.

When we wanted to take her to his parents 10 years ago they said they’d mow one of the goat pens and she could stay in there. I told my husband I wouldn’t go. He told his folks she’s a house dog and sleeps on our bed. His dad scrubbed a crate and placed in the room we’d be staying in. She now has full run of the house, jumps up on his Dad’s section of the sofa to see him coming in on the four-wheeler after feeding the cattle, sleeps on our bed. Now when we fly in and have someone stay with her at home, Mom says “what, she’s not coming?”

She has to do extra kitchen floor vacuuming and mopping when Zoe’s not there during our three-day Thansgiving cooking extravaganza where we unintentially drop crumbs. I used to bring one dish, now it’s six but there are 60 people at Nanny’s Thanksgiving. Ahh, you can’t even imagine the dessert table.

As to thanks I have to thank Nanny and my husband’s parents for raising a great man, one that I love, trust and is my best friend in the world. I’ve said this before but marry a geek. He’s smarter than the football quarterback and may be someone you’d like to have a breakfast chat with for the rest of your life. Similarities. Cheers, Dee




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