x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Similarities and differences in marriage

I used to think that Mr T and I were exactly alike. In the first few months of our relationship, every discovery was quickly followed by widened eyes, a gaping mouth and an incredulous 'No way!'

I used to think that Mr T and I were exactly alike. In the first few months of our relationship, every discovery was quickly followed by widened eyes, a gaping mouth and an incredulous "No way!"

I secretly hugged those nuggets of similarity to myself like they were made of solid gold, marvelling at the constant proof that I had found my tardy Mr Right.

We both get the shudders from the idea of raw fish and cannot accept the way sushi has taken over restaurant menus, we both hate seafood save for shrimps doused in neon-pink Thousand Island dressing, we both can't manage spicy food without fearing an impending ulcer.

We both love ninjas and vampires, we both can watch three movies in a row at the cinema without giving it a second thought, we both play musical instruments. We've both lived in Cyprus, we both never understood the allure of the sitcom Seinfeld, we both love the colour purple and we think ice cream is the best dessert. However, two peas in a pod we will never be. Our vastly different attitudes towards footwear is the crux of a variety of differences.

He has been sporting the same pair of trainers for four years, and shows no signs of stepping out of them. They are the constant accessory to his jeans, and it is driving me nuts. I cannot for the life of me understand how a person can attach his or her self to one pair of shoes and still be happy.

When I met him, he owned a total of three pairs of shoes: the trainers, a pointy, black pair for suits and a vague third pair that I was told existed but I never met.

The first thing I ever bought him was a pair of black, soft leather loafers to wear as a casual shoe in the hope that those trainers would retire. Slowly, I have managed to expand his shoe collection: he now owns seven pairs. But he still wears those sneakers nine times out of 10. I, on the other hand, gather shoes around me like I'm preparing for a worldwide footwear shortage.

This past weekend, Mr T and I stumbled across a shoe store where all sizes were displayed on shelves: you could try shoes on yourself, without the hassle of a shop assistant. I picked out eight pairs and somehow managed to talk myself into only buying five.

Mr T perused the shelves for five minutes, tried on one pair, and bought them. He spent the rest of the time watching my bag.

I suppose we're not as alike as I first thought. His third language is Turkish, mine is French. He hates to be rushed in the morning, and I can sleep in until 10 minutes before I have to leave the house. He eats bananas, and I would rather die than have them anywhere near me. He has blue eyes and I have brown. He has no backside to speak of, and mine comes with its own address.

But he accepts the shoes I hold so dear, and never talks me out of a new pair. It's not so much our similarities or differences.

It's more that we complement one another, I think.