Riffing off Phil’s crotch (thank you Phil), and back to Barb and I, we have lately begun to question the validity of our tagline. The area we have clearly failed at, the area in which we have let you down, dear readers, is the claim that we have “different opinions”. Because we mostly don’t. And we don’t “don’t” on purpose. We simply put our opinions out there and, as it turns out, most of the time, we agree ... with each other anyway. We sure didn’t plan it that way, but as it turns out ... we agree. After two-and-a-half years blogging, this is becoming painfully clear. Or in this case, happily clear. We are not good cop bad cop, nor are we Betty and Veronica. We are kind of two sides of the same coin. Actually we are not really two sides. We are both crammed into “heads”, leaving the blog without a “tails”. A great example of this is that Barbara thought it was hilarious that I mistook her husband for mine on that fateful grabby ski trip. See? We cannot not agree!
So here’s the question. Why? What is it? We come from different backgrounds and have a big gap in age. Born 9 years and one day apart. But we are sister thinkers. Sister feelers. Fellow Cancerians. We are not alike in outward personality at all. But wow, we are SO alike in our deep chocolaty centres.
Before writing this post, I went through our relationship in my mind, fast forwarding and rewinding, and what I found was that we have indeed disagreed in the course of our friendship. The reason it doesn’t stand out as disagreement is that it is dealt with so swiftly and fairly that it evaporates almost immediately. Both of us have been on the receiving end of disrespect in our individual work environments in the past. Both of us are people-pleasing, non-confrontational gals. So when we do disagree about a thought or a direction, we really truly go as far as we can to see the other person’s point of view. We agreed at the beginning of our working relationship that we would always go a mile in each direction of two ideas until we came to the outcome of each. Then we would examine them equally and let the winning idea present itself on merit. And it always has. Every time we have done that exercise we have both jumped on the winning idea no matter which of us was the instigator. I think that’s how we treat our friendship too. We are always there to bail the other out no matter what. We never seek to blame, as we are too busy seeking solutions. Are we lucky? Yes, we are. But, like our marriages, we work at it. Because the friendship is worth it.
Here are some things I would like to disagree with Barb on. I would like to disagree if she didn’t want to travel with me. I would love to disagree if she didn’t want to write with me. I would like to disagree if she ever says we should stop being friends.
So we agree to agree. But you can feel free to agree to agree, or agree to disagree, or just disagree. I’m fine with that. Apparently, we both are. And for our part, maybe once a month we should get all in each other’s faces. Hmmmm ... no, we’d just end up crying! Or maybe we should change our tagline because we are clearly not living up to our claim:
“different ages, different husbands, different underwear”
Can’t argue that!
Barbara: Oh, Deb, I am so so glad you finally addressed this little conundrum of ours. And, man, do I LOVE the way you’ve addressed it. Every thought, every discovery, every observation you’ve made here mirrors my own feelings (what I mean by that is: I hadn’t yet fully formulated all these thoughts, discoveries and observations, but I WISH I had, and IF I had, I’d only dare hope to express them as adorably and wonderfully as you). Okay, I’m agreeing with her (aka: openly loving her) again, aren’t I?
I have to emphasize Deb’s point that when we started blogging we really truly imagined we would disagree more—not for the sake of it, but by virtue of the fact that we were—on paper—quite different. And also for the sake of really showing the “two sides of the coin” thing. Looking back, I find it hilarious that we (pretty much) always agree. I love the way you’ve expressed the “why” of it here, Deb, and I (quite naturally!) agree with all your points. The double irony is that we’ve gathered an amazing group of like-minded souls here that often (but not always) agree too!
I do think it makes TMA a lovely, welcoming place. BUT I’d also like to reiterate that we are always open to differing opinions, especially because we talk here about the things that affect us and, by doing so in an open and vulnerable way, we also get to revel in the tweaks and shifts that inevitably come from getting a kaleidoscope of different reactions from all of you.
As much as I am definitely a “people-pleaser”, one of the best lessons I’ve learned from this experience is how to own my own opinions, even if they’re different—and, yes, even if they’re the same. For me, not worrying about pleasing people all the time (because I now truly understand that I can’t) and seeing my true heart for what it is has been a HUGE personal development. Would it be easier if everyone, including you, Deb, always agreed with me? Sure. But I still love that even the same opinions have different variations, and even the different opinions that are expressed here are done so with loving care and compassion. It has—believe it or not—made me less fearful and more patient with the many utterly different opinions out there and everywhere.
As for your new tagline, Deb—yup, our underwear is definitely, always, and 100% different!