Thursday, 26 July 2007

complements to the chef

My friend Don is an excellent cook, a bit of a perfectionist in the kitchen (gee, is that possible? Is perfectionism relative? Like calling something mildly unique. He really is a perfectionist, but I don't want him to sound weird), which his wife is not. It's not that she can't cook. Her meals are less frequent and more casual than his, but quite tasty. Her gift is appreciation. She loves Don's food. His face lights up when she praises his craft. The set-up works really well.

You might say that he's a tireless giving person and she a carefree lazybones, or that he's a compulsive control freak and she a self-denying saint. Neither description fits. They are both happy. And lucky to have found each other.

I don't know about opposites attracting -- I think it might be more like an awareness of different gifts. Robertson Davies described his relationship with his wife in a phrase (I don't have the interview in front of me, and I'm not going to bother to look it up) something like, We complement each other. She can drive, and I can spell.

Me, I'm tidy. I'm not a clean freak -- not at all. I mean, I shower and change my clothes every now and then, but I can stare at the same small stain on the door for days (in fact, I'm staring at it now) without feeling compelled to wipe it off. A pile of laundry, on the other hand, affects me viscerally. When I see a stack of dirty dishes or a sprawl of magazines, I shiver. Returning from a trip, having left my teenage daughter in charge of the house, I find myself moving towards various offending areas in a haze, muttering like a superhero under my breath, Must ... put away. Thea is not tidy. (I wonder how she'll do next year at university, in a room about the size of our shower stall? I figure she'll either adopt neatness, or suffocate.)

What kind of person would complement my tidy gift? Someone who would vacuum, maybe. Hmmm. Not bad. So to all my friends out there who have been offering to set me up: my ideal partner would be clean. Of course, knowing how to spell would be an asset too.


Marilyn said...

Ask prospective dates to send in establishing shots of their bedrooms. If there's a surprise in the drawer, be careful!

Arthur Slade said...

I'm intermittently tidy. It's a fault. I know.

Arthur Slade said...

Did I mention I'm intermittently tidy.

Richard Scrimger said...

Dear Marilyn

Surely that would depend on what the surprise was?

Richard Scrimger said...

Hey Art

And, it appears, intermittently forgetful. You know, I am still staring at the same stain. Good thing I'm moving. Whole new set of marks to notice.

Anonymous said...

Small rooms are the best for messy people. There's a limited number of places to look for lost things. There's also a limit to the amount of your stuff that can end up on the floor before you have to decide whether to step on things or dig out a path.

Richard Scrimger said...

Hey, Anonymous

You have a point. The truth will out sooner in a small room. (That's probably a bigger point than I meant to make here.) RS

Richard Scrimger said...

Dear Marilyn

I like the aggressive dating style. Show me your bedroom! I win whether they get the wrong idea or not.