There is a piece of age-old advice that lingers in magazines and among women-to-women chats. To keep the mystery alive, it goes, don’t pee in front of each other.
Before Kevin and I had even moved in together, I had peed in front of him. Oh well, I thought, there goes mystery. I relayed this to my mom recently during girl chat and she had an interesting perspective: sure, there’s no mystery in our body functions, but there is mystery elsewhere. The no-pee theory simplifies mystery to be something elementary and single-minded, and implies that mystery can only be found in one form.
For us, I realized, the mystery is in our work. Kevin is a mechanical engineer; he builds things from scratch and can take any engine apart. Our jobs are COMPLETELY different, and when he shows me his projects and I get to see what he does all day, I feel like I am learning something entirely new about him. It is a world of mystery.
I loved this insight, from none other than a young President Obama:
On what sustains their relationship: “…Part of it has to do with the fact that she is at once completely familiar to me, so that I can be myself and she knows me very well and I trust her completely, but at the same time she is also a complete mystery to me in some ways. And there are times when we are lying in bed and I look over and sort of have a start. Because I realize here is this other person who is separate and different and has different memories and backgrounds and thoughts and feelings. It’s that tension between familiarity and mystery that makes for something strong, because, even as you build a life of trust and comfort and mutual support, you retain some sense of surprise or wonder about the other person.”
There’s something really intimate and beautiful about knowing each couple has their own mysteries that are specific to only them.
Photo via H-o-r-n-g-r-y.