Opposites Attract, Part 1

February 11, 2011

While DH and I have a lot in common, we come from different backgrounds. It definitely shaped what I was looking for in a future husband. I think in some ways I was a surprise to DH and perhaps it was that refreshing quality that helped his attraction to me.

DH is a military brat who lived the first 16 years on military bases in the Pacific. They did not live close to family for the most part. I have learned from some military wives over the years that some of these assignments can be insular (on base, not involved with the locals) or immersed in the community around you. DH’s parents chose the latter and I believe DH had an amazing opportunity to be a minority. It shaped him and his idea of beauty. I think he himself was surprised that we ended up together when the majority of his previous romantic relationships were with those of with asian or hispanic beauty.

Being a military brat meant moving every 1.5 to 3 years. He even moved to his father’s last duty station his senior year of high school. You traveled light if the military was moving you so purging on a regular basis kept personal things to a minimum. On one move one crate with all of DH’s toys, half his bed, and all his baby pictures went missing and was never found. It has made DH a minimalist. His bachelor pad was homey but sparse. But his asian inspired decor appealed to me. It spoke of things I had never experienced; things I wanted to experience.

I, on the other hand, ceased to be a military brat at age 6 or even younger (we had moved off base when I was 4). Until college I had lived in the same bedroom for 14 years. The youngest of three children, things were my identity–my collections declared my interests and marked my territory. And collect I did. In fact, I collect collections. And yes, I am just this hairy side of becoming a hoarder (but I will purge on a regular basis!).

We were moving into our first home just three short weeks after I graduated. DH had loaded the things he wanted from his bachelor pad and thought he would have plenty of room for my one room in my childhood home. HA! He had no idea how much stuff I could accumulate in 17 years. I honestly think with the exception of large pieces of furniture, I had more boxes… of things. And of course bridal shower and wedding gifts.

I was (and still am) attracted to DH because of his childhood growing up all over the world, because of his career so different from any that I’d known even what little I knew about the military. We’ve been married 15 years, together 18, and I’ve traveled and experienced more in these 18 years than I did in my first 18 years. I’ll admit we haven’t traveled as much in the more recent 10 years but we did have a major trip for our 10th anniversary and two Disney trips with the children in those years.

DH found me appealing because I represented stability. He couldn’t fathom not moving every 3 years or less. He couldn’t imagine not going to multiple schools. He was already established in his career when we started dating and even more so when we got married. I’ve said before that knowing wives are holding down the fort and that home would be the same constant is important to sailors, military or not. It also didn’t hurt that we were dating more than three months before I asked him how much he earned.


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