Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Have you lost yourself?

A friend of ours is getting married.  He's an older gentleman and this will be his second marriage - his first wife died of cancer several years ago.  So in all of the prepping and hooplah that goes with getting ready to get married, households are merging.  This is a very strange phenomenon.

Back in the day, Frank and I moved in together but neither of us had much so really, it wasn't a matter of merging two households it was more like completing one another.  Whatever it was that he didn't have, I did, and vise-versa.  By the time the move in was complete, we didn't have duplicates of anything and all was well.

But now, looking at two people who have lived long lives, maintained families and complete households for 40+ years and you end up with a LOT of stuff.  Even more so when you never throw anything away.  

So we're watching this transition and it borders on hysteria.  They have completely different tastes - she is a little artsy (lots of flowers, candles, nick nacks, pastels, etc) and he is...well, he's a man who is...shall we say... countrified.  Lots of animal heads, tractors and wood.  The combination of the two styles merging together is odd to say the least.

So this had me thinking, when you have something like this happen, who wins?  Who compromises?  Who has to get rid of their stuff (or more of their stuff) and lose themselves?  I know that in most cases the woman wins because guys don't usually care so much about their surroundings but this whole situation is making me a bit sad.  He is definitely losing and I'm not sure I like it.  Not that I just don't like her taste in stuff but I don't like the fact that he is having to get rid of so much stuff.

One funny story about when Frank and I moved in together involves a ceramic chicken.  It was hideous...well, maybe that's over-doing it but lets just say that it was NOT my style.  Well, being that I was moving in to Frank's "bachelor pad" some things did have to go just because...well, blech!  So he allowed me to get rid of the ceramic chicken.  

And I did.

In the trash.

In a way that left no room for it's return.

I still hear about it to this day.

Twenty two years later.

And you know what's funny about that?  Other than the fact that I have earned the title of "ceramic chicken hater", he had no use for that item so there was no reason to save it BUT because it was his, and he'd had it long before I arrived on the scene, there was an attachment.   A stupid, ceramic chicken attachment. 

Ugly pottery aside, how do you make someone get rid of items of sentimental value to make room for sentimental items of your own? I hope I never have to find myself in that position although I am not a hoarder so even if I did, there's not much that I'd have to merge with.  

I think that people should make a few more concessions and let each spouse's personality come through but in a way that doesn't wreak havoc on the senses or hurt the eyes of everyone visiting your home.  For now, this particular couple still has a long way to go before people are going to walk through their house without a sense of unease...


Lin said...

I would think that it would be fair to scrap mostly everything and keep a few items, and then start fresh with decorative items that you bought together. It's only fair.

And it would be a nice, fresh start of their new life together.

Grampy said...

That is so funny. I would love to see their house. The ceramic chicken cracked me up. My wife and I merged and she did not like a lot of my things.Being a man I wasn't really attached to much. So I made so called sacrifices. I used them to get rid of some of her things that I hated.It is all in the way you play the game.LOL