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On Relationships

October 16, 2008

I hate the heel of a loaf of bread. It’s too dry for my taste. I think a good sandwich should consist of two slices of bread, perfectly aligned both in shape and color. The heel will not fit that description if used with a piece of bread from the middle of the loaf. My brothers and I used to fight over who would have to eat the heel sandwich.

In my own home, I don’t make the kids eat a sandwich made that way either. I used to not even keep them. I’m telling you this because my wonderful husband decided one day to make me a sandwich. Guess which piece of bread he gave me? Yes! The heel. I’ve got to tell you I was a little put out by that! How rude of him to give me the unwanted part. I didn’t do it to him.

Well, being the appreciative person I was, I didn’t say anything the first few times this happened, until one day I had had it. I stopped him in the middle of pulling out the bread to ask why he insisted on giving me the heel. I informed him (much to his astonishment) that I did not like the heel and I was a little offended that he kept giving me the piece that was unwanted by everyone. His reply amazed me. He had been giving me the heel because that was his favorite piece. I was taken aback.

Now, there are two lessons to be learned here. Number one, we need to not assume that what someone is doing is always for his or her own benefit. What a wonderful life lesson, right? In our world, which grows more cynical each day, our views are becoming skewed. We can’t see the good in people, even those close to us.

Number two, and the reason closest to my heart right now, is that Jerry and I are not exactly alike, and that’s good. Yes, we have the same beliefs on the big stuff. But those little differences (like bread) are what make us good together.

Some people believe that people should be building a relationship with someone who “is just like them.” Others believe wholeheartedly in the “opposites attract” principle. Don’t you think that just maybe it’s actually a mixture of the two?

Yes, you need to be on the same page for the big issues. That’s a given. But those little differences are what make you a good couple. You need someone who balances you out, who can give when you take and vice versa.

So, be grateful for those idiosyncrasies in each other. Maybe even look for some to appreciate. I guarantee you’ll waste a lot less bread!

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