DO OPPOSITES ATTRACT? The Art of Compromise

If you have millennial children they most likely have perfected the art of compromise. As baby boomers, we generally “played it safe” when choosing a spouse. Hubby and I went to the same city private school, were raised by families of the same religion and chose professional fields that were medically related. In the 1970’s, the term “partner” referred to an associate in a law firm, not the soul mate you were living with. Because we came of age during the 1970’s, the “hippie commune” lifestyle was the closest concept to group living. Today, our millennial children share rooms in other people’s houses with their partners.

As a college student, Amy had developed “The 12 Essential Characteristics” her ideal husband would have to possess. When I met Jon 1 week before their wedding, it was clear to me she had a shadow list of characteristics because Jon did not fit the official list, and for that I loved him instantly!!

Our millennial daughter and her husband are definitely opposites, and yet that is exactly what draws them passionately to each other. When they plan trips, Amy always makes sure Jon’s passion for hiking and her love of museums are satisfied and their shared passion for all things vintage is never left out.

She is short with dark hair and olive colored skin and he is tall with red hair and fair skin. Amy was raised in the city with museums as her playground. Jon was from a small town where nature was his companion. She attended a public school with 1000 in her graduating class. He attended a small boarding school with 25 in his class. Yet, they both attended small colleges: Jon on the West Coast and Amy on the East Coast. She delved into the wonders of art history, music and writing and he satisfied his curiosity for science.

As many of us moms did, I tried to help Amy find her “thing.” First I tried sports: t-ball, swimming, ice skating, horseback riding; next I tried ballet, tap dancing, singing and acting. Nothing seemed to catch her attention UNTIL…making of all things creative came into her life. First it was clay, then painting and finally musical instruments, ( by 6th grade she was playing flute, trombone, French horn and the piano ). I admit it was overkill and we quickly realized that our 5 foot tall daughter could not bring all these instruments ( sans piano ) to school. But, our Amy found her “thing” which has served her well through her 20’s and 30’s. Jon was raised with a hammer in his hands and can build anything from the ground up. He is a true sportsman who swims, skis, hikes, camps and plays soccer.

When they met as young adults living and working on the West Coast they found a shared love for travel and adventure. Both had traveled to India and throughout Europe. They shared a spiritual outlook on life and were big readers. For Jon, those old fashioned tomes you hold in your hands, ( gotta love his sense of antiquity ), and Amy devours literature on her e-reader devices, ( modern woman hear me roar ).

Over the years they have been together, Jon has taught Amy all the sports I tried but failed at. I always felt she would learn to swim and overcome her fear of flying balls if she trusted the person teaching her. Within their personality traits, I have watched trust and faith grow as their love for each other grows. While living and teaching in China, Jon wanted to take her to Kathmandu to experience the Nepal Trek. They chose February when the trails were icy and snow covered. Amy, not being the outdoor type but definitely adventurous, was all in. As they climbed the highest peak, Jon strode ahead of her and waited, and waited…finally Amy joined him, out of breath and sweating from the workout. As she tried to catch her breath in the thin air, Jon dropped to one knee and proposed to her. With tears streaming down her cheeks, she screamed “YES” and then quickly asked, “can we go home now?”

Their ability to compromise was on full display as they planned their wedding. Amy was the pre-teen who had her wedding cake designed in her head: 6 tiers of frosted cake with flowers flowing from all tiers. Jon wanted a simple party with no food and store bought invitations. The cake turned into a cupcake tree and future posts will describe how in 5 months a beautiful tribute to this amazing couple was created.

This millennial generation breaks all the molds, takes all the chances in part because they were the ones caught in the middle of the Great Recession. In my heart, I believe they will be the ones to give our country back its soul and spirit.