The Possible Perfect Partner


or What is the Eggbeater Doing in the Silver Chest?

You’ve fallen in love, you two who were friends. You look at each other and the world around you with an eye single to your own needs. Out of all the faces in all the world, this one face is your kind of face; this one smile, the warming one.

You build your dreams, set the date, and go through the motions of becoming betrothed. And while that enchanting spell spreads over you, you marry. Then, holding hands, you walk off into the sunset to live happily ever after.

New in your discovery of each other’s ways in the daily tasks of life, you are full of wonder—you wonder how you could not have known that this marvelous skier decorates the bedroom with socks, ties, and used lift passes. And when he dries the dishes, he absentmindedly puts the eggbeater in the silver chest.

He wonders how you, his beautiful and sensible wife, could possibly emerge as a toothpaste tube mutilator, a cap leaver-offer, and a financial hazard with a checkbook. What’s more, you starched his no-iron shirts.

You each wonder if two people so different, cloaked with love and some frustration, can ever become one.

It is at such moments that you are glad that you are friends as well as husband and wife. You are thankful for an understanding of the plan of life and the potentiality of the human spirit. In all of your differences there is one important quality you share—imperfection and the right to grow.

So you pick up the socks; he replaces the toothpaste cap; you retrieve the eggbeater; he copes with the overdraft one more time. Then you kiss each other.

Maybe not the perfect partner yet, but you keep trying because you promised you would.

Two imperfect children of God who now look at each other and the world around them with an eye single to another’s needs—friends still and forever.

[illustration] Illustrated by Peggy Hawkins