Contrarian Love

couple engagement hands human
Photo by Leah Kelley on

“Can I get a pair of diamond solitaire earrings?”

My tone is playful. He responds with gravity, asking me a zillion questions and finally pronounces that yes he will.

“Can we adopt twins?”

His immediate reaction is one of incredulity and anger. The next morning, he is sheepish as he agrees to expand our family from two to four.

“Can we buy a bigger home?”

The answer to this took multiple weeks of me wearing him down until he caved. He still drives to our old neighborhood because he is a sentimental person.

“Can I sign up for a two-week residential writing program?”

His answer is an instant yes and then a belated “what is the cost?” I ended up spending the best two weeks of my life at Yale surrounded by all this writing and reading.

A while ago a person on Twitter admonished folks for dating people who do not read what they are writing.


I shook my head and moved on. But the tweet stayed with me, the fallacy of it all.

Saathi and I are nothing like each other. Our interests rarely intersect. He reads what I write when it suits him and if he feels like it. He rarely asks me what I am working on. He is not interested in the characters in my head or how they come to life. He rarely shares what I do or parts of my writer’s life with his circle. He and I rarely talk about politics.

We tend to talk about family. We like listening to songs from the 80s and the 90s. We have inside jokes that date back to the first few months of courtship. We bond over old baby videos of the twins and then later of Laddu. Our favorite thing to do together sans kids is eat out and maybe watch TV.

I don’t gush over the Australian Open when he sits googly-eyed in the wee hours of the morning. More often than not, I grumble and curse him for the way tennis consumes him. I once urged him to spread his wings, to seek greener pastures, to keep up with his peers. Now, I count my blessings that we have our evenings and weekends untouched by work.

In the run-up to all things heart, red and candy, I am often stumped. I focus instead on getting things for the children and reminding them that they will always have my love.

How do you celebrate someone who clearly is a better person than you are in spite of quirks that make you want to scream into the void? What do you name something lopsided that has you feeling perineally in debt? How do you reconcile societal norms for celebrating love with something that questions traditional rules?

By writing a post like this and embarrassing the said spouse of course! 🙂

Happy Valentine’s Day love.

3 thoughts on “Contrarian Love

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