Live With Thats.

Posted by admin on September 29, 2014 in Relationships |

I’ve been thinking a lot about Live With Thats lately. Over the course of my life, I have had more Live With Thats than I can count, largely because I would find myself in relationships where this round peg was never going to ever fit into that square hole.

O.K., minds out of the gutter.

If you’ve ever had a relationship that just wasn’t quite right, you probably indulged in the Live With Thats, too. The person you are dating has some quirks that are pretty far afield from what you’re either willing to put up with or live with, but you brush them off with a lively “I can live with that!” and move on.

Perhaps you even can, at least in the short term. But then the Live With Thats become the What Was I Thinkings and before you know it, your internal compass is so screwed up you can’t tell north from south or east from west.

I’ve only noticed Live With Thats because I can’t find a single one in my relationship now. This is a first. I have always had a handful of Live With Thats right off the bat, if not entire steamer trunks.

It’s not that Kat is perfect. I know she’s not and she knows I’m not. As we often joke, we are imperfectly perfect for each other and perfectly imperfect.

It wasn’t until only recently that I discovered why I don’t have any Live With Thats with Kat. For the first time in my life, I’m not trying to used-car-salesman myself into a relationship.

Yes, used car salesman, used as a verb, not noun. In the past I would have stepped on to the Love Lot and railroad myself into buying when I should have stayed looking. Let me demonstrate. In my last relationship I was doing Live With Thats like there was no tomorrow. Contra dancing every Thursday? I can live with that. Son ruminating for a half hour whether the syrup has soured (it hadn’t). I can live with that. A case of dried seaweed at Costco? You mean people eat that stuff? I can live with that.

See how it works. Perhaps at no time in my life did I do a bigger sales job than when I was marred in Florida. Nope, not a typo. Marred, for ‘i’ definitely wasn’t married.

You are a teetotaler? I can live with that. You want to move to Melbouring, out in the middle of nowhere, and live on a horse pasture? I can live with that. You want your exhibitionist friend to move into the guest room for a month? I can live with that.

I could go on and on. It’s not that anything was wrong with my ex. I don’t want to give you that impression. I’m sure she has a match somewhere on this planet. Instead, something was wrong with me. I was in continual salesman mode, trying to convince myself that this was true love and that everything about life in Florida was hunky-dory. It wasn’t. But I was immersed in Live With That Central.

There have been other times in my life that the Live With Thats flowed like wine. There was my Disney-loving love interest who thought every weekend should be spent at Disney World. I can live with that I would tell myself over and over. And I could live with that house of hers, which looked a bit like an antique mall window display with shelf after shelf after shelf after shelf of tacky knick-knacks, so many in fact that you couldn’t even find a place to set a drink down, let alone visualize yourself living there ever. Thankfully, that was a very short period of Live With Thats followed by a very curt I’m Outta Here.

I’m sure you’re seeing the trend here. Lots of Live With Thats without much Love With That.

Ooh, wait, a new concept. One that just rolled into my head as I write this. It suddenly occurred to me that this is the difference with Kat. She has some quirks, I’m sure. I can’t tell you a single one, but I’m sure they are there. The difference, however, is that I can Love With That and not have to Live With That. She is who she is, and very early on I told her that I accepted her unconditionally, for all her astounding good points and her inevitable pitfalls. They are a package deal and there’s no need to sell myself on her. I was sold from the first date and I knew that I didn’t have to do a thing to sell myself or others that this was the one.

As my friends will tell you, I did a regular sales job in the past. I tried to convince my closest friends that there were some real possibilities in some impossibly bad, and even epic, choices I’ve made over the years. They remained unsold. I guess I should remained so as well, for I was the only one listening to and believing the sales pitch.

Thankfully, I don’t have to sell anyone this time around, including myself. It’s the most effortless thing I have ever done in my life. Heck, I didn’t even have to try to add a little gloss to this 56-year-old roaster. She likes me just the way I am, even with the questionable alignment, pingy engine and lumpy upholstery.

I guess she can Love With That like I can. It’s a pretty amazing thing, one that is leading to I Can Be With Her For The Rest of My Life (and then some).

We regularly drive the kids nuts with our overuse of the word, “Wow!” But it seems to capture the whole thing perfectly for Kat and I. We’ve never been in this place before, a place where there’s no need to Live With That, only Love With That, and that is the it and all, everything and forever.

In the Emerald City, leaving all the Live With Thats on the lot of love,

– Robb

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