Do you young’uns remember the Newlywed Game? It aired during my formative years, took a few decades off, and reappeared in 2009 for a few seasons. In it, a newly married husband and wife had to answer questions their spouse couldn’t hear. The couple was awarded points if the wife’s questions matched the husband’s, or the husband’s matched the wife’s. You get the idea. In the later version, even a few gay couples were on the show. That’s social progress for you.
This is my sixteenth Valentine’s Day with J. Sixteen whole years, and I know everything about her. I think we’d be masters at the Newlywed Game, even though we’re far from newlyweds. We’re not able to finish all of each other’s sentences (just most of them) but I can often predict what she’s thinking. I know her likes and dislikes, I know how we’re similar and different. Lately I’m batting close to 1000.
For example, when we were out walking yesterday, I pointed out a car colour I liked, and J. agreed but added, “I’d probably get sick of it.” I could have told you that even before she uttered the words. Call me psychic.
I can also predict with certainty that if J. likes a pair of shoes, I will not. “Why don’t you try these on, honey?” she says to me. “It’s alright, sweetie,” I respond, “they’re ugly/institutional/grandmotherly. They’re all yours, i.e., your feet can look ugly/institutional/grandmotherly.” As a skilled therapist, I can assure you that it’s healthy for couples to agree to disagree sometimes, especially on matters of such critical significance.
To prove how well we know one another (since the Newlywed Show is no longer an option), last night we both took a compelling questionnaire currently making its way around the internet, “Which country fits your personality?” J.’s responses classified her as UK (that’s obvious–she loves beer), while I classified myself as Japan. Japan? I didn’t even pick sushi as my favourite meal (immunocompromised diet and all)! J. laughed until she cried envisioning me as Japan.
J. thinks she knows me so well that she responded a second time for me to see if the outcome would be different. She must figure she’s a better judge of my character than I am, which is often true. What country did her responses make me? Japan, yet again. And she didn’t even pick sushi as my favourite meal either!
So of course the challenge was on: I re-rated her to see if, with my responses, she remained UKish. But no, according to me, she too was Japan! I have no idea why everything I touch turns to Japan. I even chose beer over tea for her, although she drinks a lot more tea than beer. Sure, I selected sushi for her but only because she loves sushi.
So I must concede that, although I may indeed know which car colours J. would quickly tire of, I clearly still have many things to learn about my beloved, as she obviously does about me. May we have many more years to improve our batting averages.
Happy Valentine’s Day. May you receive as much chocolate as I hope to. (Another relationship tip: there’s nothing wrong with the odd hint.)