Blaise Pascal says “The heart has reasons that reason does not know…” We will have been married for 18 years come August, we are the two most unlikely people who have ended up together and the picture above demonstrates how varied and opposite most of our opinions on any given subject are.
Last night after dinner at a friend’s, we started exchanging stories about how we met our significant other. Amazingly our stories were very similar, and recalling our early years together got me thinking about how much fun these 18 years have been…
My husband meets my Dad for the first time:
So, my Dad came to Detroit for the wedding, at that time my husband Inam was in Chicago. We had both just graduated and told our parents we wanted to get married. My Dad came to Chicago to meet his intended son-in-law. The flight from Dubai, United Arab Emirates was 13 hours. The toilets on the plane are of course notoriously tiny – who do they think will fit into those things – super models? And then to make a tiny space tinier, if that is possible they also have to fit everything you could possibly need/not need – shampoo (are you really going to wash your hair in there ), eau de toilette (translates literally into toilet water laughed so much about that), soap, toilet seat covers (like you have space to manoeuvre those), vomit bags (in the toilet really!!!) etc… My Dad has this thing about going to the toilet, he must go exactly when he needs to, with no delays. And he needs water. So the minute he landed at O’Hare International, he found Inam (I had sent him a picture) standing, waiting for him. Imagine my husband’s state of mind, meeting his future father-in-law for the first time, needing to make a great impression, going over all the questions he would need to answer, trying to remember all the answers we had rehearsed.
“Hello, are you Inam?”
“Yes, I am, you must be…” My Dad interrupts.
“Here hold my bag, I need to go to the restroom, where is it?”
“Just follow me.” And Inam leads my Dad to the restroom. My Dad runs in, only to run out faster than he went in.
“I need water!”
Inam is flustered, this is not a scenario he anticipated, but he like a good son-in-law, runs over and gets mineral water. My Dad takes the bottle and runs back in. First meeting over – later I find out that Inam had bought Perrier, for the toilet!!!!!!!!!! (There is no water to wash in the toilets in the West, and people from the East need water to wash.)
I ‘accidentally‘ drop my deodorant stick into the toilet bowl:
So we had been married about three years and had a really lovely duplex in Chicago, I worked at Children’s Memorial Hospital and Inam was working with a friend on his own Computer Networking Company start up. I would have to leave for work early, and as in old houses built in the 60’s the sink is right next to the toilet bowl. I had my deodorant stick on the edge of the sink, and after using it, I placed it back on the sink – or so I thought! Alas! it fell, I heard a splash, plunk and hoped against all hope that what I feared didn’t actually happen. Well, I am an architect, and I know that there is a trap at the end of the toilet bowl, but I was just out of the shower and my brains had been freshly cleaned so I flushed the toilet. Yes, everything you can imagine and worse happened, Inam came rushing hearing my screams, fearing the worst – a lizard. If only, I wish…he calmly told me to get to work I would be late. I left. When I got home, tired and hungry 8 hours later, the toilet was fixed, the laundry done, the toilet clean and dinner cooked, all this with no plumber or take out! My husband is amazing.
Inam is a night person and I am a morning person:
My internship at an architectural firm required me to be there at 7:30 a.m. At that time I had no car, and so this endeavour required that I take a bus at 5:15 a.m. and then change to another one to reach work at 7:25 a.m. It also meant that I couldn’t miss the 5:15 bus of else I would be late. Inam didn’t need to get up and be at work till 9:30 a.m. He is a night person, does his best work late at night and I am totally the opposite. I chirp in the morning, he groans. Without coffee I collapse at 8:00 p.m. while Inam can stay up till the wee hours. When he realised how I was getting to work, he would wake up in the morning and drive the 45 minutes to and from my office. Later, when I got a car, he would get up, and (in winter) start the car, scrape the snow off it 15 min before I had to leave for work. How can I not love him?
I could go on and on, but you get the picture. Still, many people are caring and selfless, many people go out of their way to help, you do not end up marrying everyone of them? So, what is it? Why do we love that one person so much?
1. He never fights about money, never asks how much I spent, never asks what I spent it on.
2. He never goes to bed angry, we always make up and that makes the next day truly a new day.
3. He accepts me with all my faults and vices – trying to change me was just not an option. I do have virtues that I make sure he never forgets.
4. He takes care of the kids, he cooks, he sews and when my father was in the hospital I went to Dubai for two weeks leaving him in charge of the kids – when I returned the kids told me that I could go away for an ’emergency’ any time, no sweat.
5. He encourages me to be independent, to succeed in whatever my latest project is, and always supports me no matter how trivial my ‘plan’ is. He is always excited.
6. Our family is his priority. He works hard so I can stay home with our kids. (and go to Starbucks).
7. He is a good listener, and a great judge of character.
8. Religion is an important part of his life, and so is being a fair, just human being. Not staring at immodestly dressed women and setting an example for our kids about being tolerant, altruistic and magnanimous.
9. He is the most trustworthy and loyal friend I have.
10. I cannot imagine my life without him.
Beyond that there are no other reasons…