83: My Other Half

83: My Other Half

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Married Life!

My Other Half

Don’t marry the person you think you can live with;
marry only the individual you think you can’t live without.

~James C. Dobson

There’s a scientific method to finding the perfect spouse — not that I’m scientific — but my husband is and therein lies the secret. When a right-brained person marries a left-brained person you get one whole brain and from then on anything and everything is possible.

Prospero is very math and science oriented. He likes things proven. He speaks several languages. He is a gifted and meticulous craftsman. And what amazes me the most is that he can do mental math.

I, on the other hand, am a literary soul. I love art, history, and have never needed anything as silly as facts to believe in the possibility of something. I’m a gourmet cook but can’t bake because that would require measuring ingredients and I can’t be bothered.

Together we make the perfect couple.

When I told Prospero that I wanted our new home to look like an old Italian villa, he laid black and white marble floors. I brought home grapevines and he not only planted them, but also planted a grove of fig trees. I dream up an idea; he executes it. We work in perfect harmony.

This is especially helpful when vacationing. I think up these fabulous vacations and by the time we get there I know everything there is to know about the history of the civilization, major works of art, sights to see and restaurants in which to dine. Prospero can speak the language, convert money in his head, figure out the shortest distance between cities, and — most importantly — drive a stick shift.

Occasionally there’s some trouble in paradise, like the time I wanted to do a little shoe shopping in Rome.

“I love those shoes,” I said, looking into the store window. “Come in and help me buy them.”

“No.” No? “You want the shoes, you go buy them,” he decided. “I’ll see you later.” And with that he walked off in the direction of a café leaving me in a mild state of panic.

But I really wanted those shoes.

Shopping is a universal sport and the basic rules apply wherever you are. Besides, almost everyone in Italy speaks English. With that, I opened the door, took a seat, and was helped by probably the only salesman in Italy who only spoke Italian. But that didn’t stop me. I dragged him out to the street and pointed to the shoes. After a few, “troppo grande” and “troppo piccolo” I, like Goldilocks, managed to find shoes that fit just right.

In fact, by the time Prospero came into the store to find me, I had done so well that there were seven shoeboxes stacked next to me. I wasn’t even worrying about converting money since I decided to charge the whole thing and let the bank worry about the math.

That would teach him not to break up the team.

Prospero and I are two halves of the same whole. Our basic goals are the same but we’re each able to tackle the challenge of getting there in our own way — and bring our partner along. It not only works but has the added bonus of creating a harmonious atmosphere in our lives. We can never be jealous or competitive because we can’t even do the same things!

Yes, of course there was that initial spark of lust on our first blind date that ignited our romance. And there’s still a mad passionate love between us that’s lasted over thirty years. But when it comes to having a marriage that runs smoothly for over three decades, it’s being two halves of the same whole that counts.


~Lynn Maddalena Menna

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