Tuesday, 10 May 2011

so - WHY mis(s)match(ed)??

I met the boy that I love on Labour Day Monday last year. He was (well, still is - don't worry, he's not dead, this isn't that kind of blog!) working in a nearby city and was (is!) the most intelligent, hilarious (read:  ridiculous), infuriating, sexy person I've ever met. So of course I'm crazy about him.... even if he does refuse to submit to having his picture taken unless he is a person of mystery:

We met on a dating site of all places - I love telling people that* - and on May 1st we're taking the wildly crazy step of moving in together - after we drive 5,000 kms across Canada to settle in Vancouver. The boy has one year of school to finish and he's lived here for a year on a very sweet work co-op that got extended to an unheard-of full year when his boss realized that if boyfriend leaves, he has to train a NEW person. [ That sounds like sarcasm: it's really not. I get the impression the boss is kind of the absent-minded professor type and I could see how the realization, having abruptly dawned at the last minute, would have thrown him a little :) ]

You could say the boy and I are mismatched .... but I'm gonna lean on the word a little and add "divinely so" .... The thing about being with someone who is so different from you is that you're never bored and you're always being taken by surprise when things are not the way you thought they were. Yes, the other person will make you crazy; yes, you will argue a lot; yes, you will find yourself fantasizing about throwing things at his head over an discussion about the make and model of police vehicles in certain provinces (not making this up); yes, there will be a time when you will find yourself crying in the garden section of the local hardware store (still not making this up) because you feel like it's _never_ gonna work.

But you also learn a lot - about yourself and what's important to you, you learn a totally different perspective on someone else, and you learn why you think/feel the way you do when you find yourself arguing for it. Sometimes you find out that something you think was of life or death importance has no real value to you anymore; and sometimes you realize that something you thought was a random quirk is actually part of a value system you didn't know you had ....
So for me - the value system is "mismatch". I've always been drawn to the handmade vintage things of the world. Some of my favorite things - my pyrex cookware (can't show you cause it's packed and will stay packed until we find our new place!), a vintage pot trivet, iced tea glasses in glowing amber, and a grinning, cheerfully garish ceramic cat - were $2 garage sale finds or free gifts from the Chinese grocery I used to frequent before we moved across the country!  Boyfriend thinks they're incredibly ugly ....

.... but I love love LOVE them.  I think we'd been dating two months when I brought the trivet over to show him "THIS is what I like, and by the way, it comes with us when we move!"

It turns out I love things that don't match.  My favourite design style right now is still "shabby chic" - but I have a very active black Australian Kelpie mix who loves to get into everything, and thinks that beds are actually designed for him and humans have this irritating habit of wanting to sleep in them all night long - terribly selfish of us, of course:

Shabby chic stuff is gorgeous and white/pale pink/pale blue etc. and already a little tattered. If shabby chic incorporated short black hair all over everything as part of the style, and if it leaned further from "tattered" into "steps from the dustbin because it's held together with duct tape", then it would work - as it stands, not so much!

So instead my decorating style is a weird hybrid of shabby chic in select areas (i.e. NOT the bedding :), retro 50s/60s, French country, and steampunk .... And I love seaside influences, blue and white stripes, brass & stainless steel, dark wood, formica, and that scary 50s lime green for everything from lamp shades to appliances.

So you can imagine how boyfriend shudders when I talk about buying furniture and making curtains. It is going to be a struggle to merge just MY design ideas, never mind including boyfriend's design sense:

But we're gonna try -and the plan is to document it at least somewhat on this blog.  Hope y'all can follow along.  And tolerate the fact that I talk like I grew up in the deep South even though I'm from cold cold Canada.



*A fun fact about online dating:
Every single person we've ever told had the exact same reaction. First, a blank and faintly panicked look, like we've just admitted to wearing each other's underwear all the time. Then, bracingly, "well.... Yes.... That's good. My friend/cousin/mother/dog walker's sister has a friend who met someone on a dating site." Like they need to emphasize that there are at least two degrees of separation between themselves and the world of internet dating. This is usually followed up by a reassuring "It's the new way to date, you know! Who wants to go to a bar and pick up some drunk person! It's a new day and age, you know!!" Then there's a few moments of high-pitched laughter before they subside into uncomfortable silence.
It's like they all went to the same PR school that taught them 1) yes, you're right, internet dating _is_ weird ....  However 2) internet dating is currently considered acceptable so you need to respond appropriately without shock or judgement. I feel like we should come with a warning label. Or ease into it for the faint of heart. Mostly I just like blurting it out though. You should try it sometime :)

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