- Common interests
- Common or compatible career goals
- Other (children, religion, general morality, etc.)
I must say, when one of these "relationship experts" begins pontificating about how "important" it is to "get to know" the "person" you plan to "marry" in so many important "ways," I scoff. I also chortle, guffaw, and occasionally reflux. (It's my diet.) Because they never talk about the things that are really important, the things that make or break 99% of otherwise happy marriages and relationships, according to my opinion:
**THE LITTLE THINGS**
So, here is Deb's Guide to Petty Compatibility. Understanding your Petty Compatibility, on its own, does nothing. However, if you are compatible on the BIG THINGS, take a look at some of these little, petty things. These are in no way based on my relationship.*
1. Toast compatibility.
A. Toasters: some people like leaving the toaster on the counter, some prefer it be put away, necessitating one partner's hovering over the cooling toaster like an anxious mother bird, waiting for it to be cool enough to handle and/or not ignite the paper grocery bags stored in the toaster cabinet because who puts away a toaster, honestly?
B. Toast Material: some people like Pop-tarts that are hot, frozen waffles, or other toaster fare that is not, exactly, toast. Does your partner ever check the darkness setting? Or does he blindly press the button down and walk away while the last two pieces of bread are transformed into charcoal?
Solution: This problem is far from insurmountable. Visit the home of your intended. Is there a visible toaster? If not, make a casual request ("Say, I feel like some toast right about now."). Observe your beloved as he or she toasts the bread. Be prepared.
2. Bread Compatibility
A. Type: some people like hearty, flavorful, whole-grain breads or those crusty breads that are fresh-made. Others prefer the squashy, white, slightly damp plain white breads devoid of all nutritional value. Who is to say who is right? (Me.)
B. Use: some people prefer to use bread down to the last piece. Others prefer to allow the heel and the "buffer" piece to be discarded. In addition, some people eat the bread "in order," starting with a heel piece, while others save the initial heel to help keep the remaining bread fresh. This can be huge.
C. Storage: some people are casual about their bread bags, giving it a twist and tuck and allowing the little plastic-coated metal wire to go by the wayside. Others are obsessive about tracking that little piece of wire to the ends of the earth, if necessary, and use it to seal the bread by twisting it both clockwise and counter-clockwise 87 times with each use.
Solution: While at the home of your intended, take a casual peek into the pantry, breadbox, cabinet, or cardboard box, provided no one is sitting on it. See what varieties of bread are available. If it is unsatisfactory, send your future partner to the grocery store to get some "good bread" and see what he comes back with. (Ladies, you should all do this anyway. It is loads of fun.)
3. Cabinets, drawers, switches, and appliances
Some people are careless about leaving cabinet doors or drawers open, or light switches on. These people are relaxed, carefree individuals who simply have more on their mind than closing some stupid cabinet or drawer. Others may not appreciate this sort of freedom and, Gestapo-like, prowl through the house ferreting out doors to close and switches to flip.
Solution: I'll just shut the cabinet.
So, there you have it. Three points of Petty Compatibility for otherwise happy couples. I haven't even made it out of the kitchen yet. There are countless points I haven't even found yet, because they haven't come up. But they will. If there is one thing I've learned from my 23 years on earth (quiet, Mom) it is this: people will find things to fuss about. I try not to do it, but goodness knows I'm not perfect. And some people don't even try!
But, compromise is possible, when two people love each other and someone is willing to change.
I put my foot down on the bread, though.
*This is totally about my relationship, as I'm sure you have not figured out by now because I did such a good job of keeping things vague and non-judgmental.