When opposites attract

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Sarah Long arrived in Australia from the UK in early 2010 and met her Mr Miner soon after. They're based in Sydney and he does drive-in, drive-out (DIDO) to Orange in country NSW. Sarah came out to Oz as part of a six-month backpacking trip around the world, and never went home!

We had a fight this evening. One of those fights that starts as an off-hand comment, but then builds and builds and makes you want to have it out. One that makes you want to shout and scream about it, to throw insults (and perhaps plates) just so that you can clear the air, make up and feel better.

But Mr Miner isn’t a plate thrower. He says his piece and then he wants it over, forgotten, end of argument. I, however, am a plate-throwing, door-slamming screamer (AKA a drama queen). So I simmer, feeling angry and upset that this argument is unresolved (I didn’t win) and unappreciated (did I mention that I didn’t win?).

They say that opposites attract and in our case I would say that is very true. Mr Miner is quiet, calm, shy and brooding (like Liam Hemsworth in any movie) and I am loud, chaotic and outgoing (like Miley Cyrus in real life).

I like to think that we have the classic introvert/extrovert relationship. I’m the Elizabeth Bennett to his Mark Darcy or Frozen’s Anna to his Kristoff. Not that either Miss Bennett or Anna got in trouble for drinking too much tequila and being silly on a night out, but I like to imagine they’re the kind of girls who would.

As I write this, he’s looking at me through the screen door and I know he’s pulling faces to get my attention and trying to make me smile so that he knows he is forgiven. But I have decided to be angry and now I can’t let it go that easily or he will have definitely won.

Obviously this fight was about our differences. He wants calm and quiet and would quite happily stay in and watch movies on the sofa. But I want to go out and be crazy. I want to go dancing, ride wrecking balls, save my sister from an ice palace etc, etc and unfortunately these traits don’t often go together.

There is no way we will resolve this argument because neither of us is going to change. Which is the kind of thought that might well have had me panicking in a, why-are-we-even-together? This-will-never-work! I-am-over-thirty-and-what-if-we-never-get-married-and-have-kids, downward spiral of questioning. After all, it didn’t work out so well for Liam and Miley!

But right now, as I listen to him cook in the kitchen and I sit in the big comfy balcony chair he bought me, in the beautiful evening sun of this country of his, I feel calm again. We will not always agree on everything and I don’t know if I would want to. God, it would be exhausting being in a relationship with another me! Perhaps he is a bit of a saint…

I love this FIFO/DIDO lifestyle because an argument is over quickly. You don’t have time to be mad and angry at each other when you only have seven days together and you know you will kick yourself when he’s gone and you spent all that time being mad at each other.

We both know that I will go out and be loud when he is away and when he is home we’ll have nights in and cook dinner and watch movies together, so this lifestyle also allows us to compromise if we really need to.

My parents have been married for over 30 years and they argue every day (about everything). Once when Mum was ranting about Dad driving her mad, I asked her why she didn’t just leave him. "Don’t be silly," she replied, "who would I argue with if I did that?"

I go into the kitchen and he is cooking risotto and I can’t help smiling, because I once wrote an MFM column about crying while making risotto because I was so sad he was leaving to drive out. I feel a surge of affection and go to give him a hug, only to realise that he has managed to use every pot, pan and available surface in the cooking process!

As I clatter the dishwasher open and begin to throw plates in, making huffing/puffing noises so that he knows I am still angry at him, he looks at me and grins. I throw a well-aimed plastic fork at his head, which he grips in pain. I move to apologise and ask if he’s OK, just as he looks up and grins again and I know this time we’re even.

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