When Justin and I were first dating, I wore a shirt that brought out a long-standing and recurrent disagreement between the two of us. The shirt was obviously blue, except that Justin was completely committed to the idea that it was purple. Ever since, we simply cannot agree on the colors of things. Case in point: last night we were evaluating the paint I picked out for the dining room. I was going for a shade between blue and green, but when I got it on the wall, I wasn’t sure I liked it. It’s SO blue, except that Justin insists that it’s really very green. (The color is “Geyser” on the middle of the front swatch.) The argument doesn’t always involve blue, though–pink or orange, black or navy, gray or muted green–name two colors that could be confused for one another, and we have debated them.
I imagine that all couples have these insignificant topics of contention they simply can’t agree on. Aside from color, Justin and I routinely disagree about whether/what preparation is needed before getting in bed at night (it’s never already made, which enables this conversation to continually occur). I absolutely have to straighten and smooth all the wrinkles from the sheets; Justin climbs in regardless of the level of disarray and makes himself comfortable. When he goes to bed before me, a conflict of interests (his need to remain comfortably arranged vs. my need to straighten and rearrange) inevitably occurs.
These silly disagreements always remind me that no matter how well you know a person and how many weighty, important issues you feel exactly the same about, there is always still a fundamental, insurmountable divide between you and someone else. Knowing that Justin and I stare at the same wall and see two different things–and that I literally cannot ever see it through his eyes–feels baffling to me.
It also seems like knowing how to resolve small and unimportant issues is maybe the real art of making a relationship work. Odds are a relationship where two parties don’t agree on foundational topics like politics, religion, money, work/life balance, etc, won’t get too far anyway. But working out which tool is the correct one for washing a pan, how plastic bags ought to be stored in drawers, whether it’s acceptable to play a musical instrument while watching television with another person (this has really been discussed on multiple occasions in our house)–these are the questions life is made of.
Do you have these silly sorts of disagreement with your significant other? If so, how do you resolve them?