“I’ve decided that I’m going to marry Leon,” small daughter announced as I picked her up from school the other day.
Luckily, as they’re both in primary school, there’s time for all concerned to get used to the idea.
“Oh right,” I said. “What’s so special about Leon?”
“He’s very good at pretending to be a wolf.”
Now I don’t know about you, but when I met my husband, I don’t remember having wolf-impersonation skills very high on the list of attributes I was looking for a future husband, but who am I to question small daughter’s priorities?
It did start me thinking, though, about what it is that attracts us to another person. For me, it was my husband’s confidence and generosity of spirit that attracted me to him (and the fact that I fancied him like mad!), but if you were to ask someone else what attracted them to their partner, you would get a different answer. I think it’s a highly personal thing and not easily quantifiable, based on what we think we often subconsciously need from another person to complete the picture of ourselves. Perhaps that’s just as well when we’ve all looked at someone else’s partner at one time or another and wondered what they saw in them! I’m sure my parents thought that about a few of the boys I brought home as a teenager, but fortunately they always got on very well with my husband, and now he has a great relationship with my Dad that’s entirely different from the parent-daughter one that I have with him – usually involving mutual shouting at the football on the TV or watching a ‘boys’ film’ about war!
It seems to me that spending your life with someone is like fitting two jigsaw pieces together, and whilst those pieces might seem the most unlikely of matches, the fact that they do fit together is what’s important. And this theory applies equally well to friendships. My three very best friends are all completely different people to each other and yet I fit with each of them perfectly and we have been friends for years. Perhaps that feeling of ‘clicking’ with someone is the sound of the jigsaw pieces fitting together!
So, back to small daughter and Leon’s wolf impressions. Would life be easier if all we had to do was howl at the moon to meet the perfect friend or partner? Probably, but then the rest of life gets in the way and we need to know that people can support us in times of emotional and financial stress. It may well be that one day, rather than becoming a son-in-law, Leon will be consigned to anecdotal history or, more likely, my husband will want to test small daughter’s boyfriends on their howling ability just to remind her that when she was in primary school, life was very much simpler.