Nine on the 9th: How We Are Different

This is a list of nine glorious ways that Kristl and Rachel embody the phrase "opposites attract" and how that works and doesn't work for them on a daily basis. 1. Math/No Math: Kristl loved math all through school.  She loved math so hard that she decided to major in math in college.  She only stopped loving math when it stopped being math and became theoretical (i.e. not really "math"). That's when she left college to go be an acupuncturist.  Kristl is really good at computation, mental math, being a calculator, figuring out how many of that will fit into that, etc. On one of their first dates, Kristl challenged Rachel to make her do large number multiplication in her head. It was amusing, but Rachel never knew if she was right or not. Rachel, on the other hand, is Team No Math. She will do her best to avoid mental math if she can eyeball or intuit how much she will need of something. She was a straight A student all through grade school with the exception of 4th grade math, in which she received C's because she could not slam multiplication tables into her brain fast enough. She managed to adapt to higher level math (algebra, calculus, etc), because it WAS more theoretical, but the calculations were almost always the reason she lost points on quizzes and tests. Thankfully, Rachel passed her AP Calculus exam with a 3 and did not have to take ANY MORE MATH EVER in college. The only bad thing (so far) about being a farmer, is all the math Rachel has to do to figure out how many plants will fit in a plot. Agony.

Studying

2. Sports: Rachel was never really good at sports, but she really loved playing them growing up, especially basketball. (Having been raised a conservative Christian, she had a shirt that said "Christ is Life, Everything else is Basketball." Don't judge.) In high school, she played basketball, and ran cross-country and track. She was pretty buff. Kristl, on the other hand, did not play sports. At all. She was very involved in choir, drama, and student government, but didn't play a single sport in high school. The funny thing is, Kristl's not actually bad at sports, she just never had the desire to play on a team. When Rachel tries to apply sports team analogies to real life situations, Kristl frequently can't relate. Neither of us really enjoys watching sports that much, unless it's our friends playing in a league or it's an Olympic year.

3. Looks: We look completely different. Completely. We were thinking about the old adage that partnered couples start to look alike as they get older and we tried to figure out where we were similar - where someone would be like, "Oh, it's your ears, definitely. Your ears are the same." Yeah, no.  Kristl is short, she's got big boobs, she's half-Chinese, she has short legs, brown eyes, dark brown hair. Rachel is half a foot taller, has basically no boobs, she's got some hips, long legs, blue-green eyes, light brown hair, she's mostly German-American with some Anglo-Saxon muttness thrown in. Our faces have different shapes; our ears don't even connect to our heads the same way. We do both have size 8.5 feet, but our feet are shaped very differently. We've concluded that as we age, we will only look the same in spirit.  If you start to think we do look alike, it's merely an illusion.

See? We don't look at all alike!

4. Introvert and Extrovert: This one is sort of a cop out, but it frequently plays a big role in our lives. Kristl is definitely more introverted, so she needs a lot of alone time to get her energy back when she's had to be around people. Rachel is more extroverted, so she is able to get energy by being around people. Sometimes this comes in handy when Kristl has to go to a party for something semi-professional, but she doesn't really want to talk to people. She can bring Rachel, and Rachel can talk to people and enjoy herself while Kristl can still make an appearance for the sake of her business.

5. Cats and Dogs: Rachel grew up super afraid of dogs, because she was attacked by one when she was three, and Kristl grew up super allergic to cats (thankfully, she's adjusted to Delilah). Rachel grew up with at least one pet cat in the house at all times, and Kristl has always loved dogs, but her mother refused to let them have labor-intensive pets growing up, so they had things like fish and a Japanese quail. Kristl wanted to get a dog as soon as she had her own place that allowed them (which she did). So, obviously, the fact that Kristl and Rachel now have a cat and a dog together is a pretty big accomplishment. Bradley and Delilah have been very patient through the whole process. Little known fact: Rachel told Bradley that she loved him the first time she met him, on her first date with Kristl. It took her almost four months from that day to say the same thing to Kristl.

Rachel loves Bradley.

6. DANCING: Kristl loves dancing. She loves swing, lindy hop, and tap, and tends to thrive in dance styles that allow freedom within structure. She's planning on taking up tap again, just because she loves it so much. Rachel is quite a different matter and loves to dance in as free a style possible. She loves to just groove to the music and isn't good at super structured moves because she doesn't exactly see the point of it. If you can impress people without structured moves, then just move your body. Part of this difference of opinion about dancing style and structure is why Kristl and Rachel haven't tried any partner dance classes yet. They have their eye on the queer tango class, but they have yet to commit.

7. Sleeping style: This is a little bit difficult to describe, but Kristl and Rachel have very different approaches to blanket usage while they are sleeping. This bothers Kristl a great deal and bothers Rachel very little, until she completely loses a blanket or a pillow and finds herself super cold and sad in the middle of the night. They don't even share blankets for the most part because each person in the bed is the master of her own blanket destiny. Kristl usually makes it through the whole night with her blankets in place, while Rachel is lucky to make it to midnight without dropping a pillow or curling into the fetal position because she's cold and she's lost her blanket. Kristl frequently will ask Rachel if she wants her pillow or blanket because she looks uncomfortable, but Rachel doesn't answer these interrogatives...because she is sleeping. (Kristl usually gives Rachel the pillow or blanket back anyway and then Rachel smiles and it's super adorable.) The best is when Rachel loses her own blanket and then tries to steal Kristl's. Kristl loves that.

8. Cooking style: Rachel makes big messes when she cooks and it stresses Kristl out to be in the kitchen with her working on the same project. They can peacefully coexist in the kitchen, IF Kristl doesn't pay too close attention to what Rachel is doing. Rachel does always clean up after her giant messes, and then cleans up after the tiny messes that Kristl leaves when she gets too stressed out by cooking in the same kitchen as Rachel and has to leave. We both try to clean as we go, but it doesn't always work out as planned.

Canning tomatoes is definitely one of our messier kitchen endeavors. Last year there may have been a lot of Kristl yelling at Rachel for being messy. Hopefully things will be different this year.

9. Good morning/good night world:  Rachel falls asleep pretty easily, especially since having to wake up at 4:45 for farm work, but it takes her a good hour to be a fully-functioning human in the morning. Kristl takes a while to power down in the evening, but she wakes up almost immediately in the morning, or pretty much whenever she's woken up. Sometimes, especially in the spring, Kristl will wake up all on her own around 6:00 am for weeks at a time, just like the sun. This bothers Rachel to no end, as Kristl will wake up and start chatting immediately. For the first year of their relationship Kristl had to learn not to talk to "Morning Rachie" until she was given the okay.

Nine on the 9th

Well, we managed to publish one additional post since our last Nine on the 9th, so that's some progress. As we mentioned last month, we are in quite the transition right now. As things get a little more solid we will definitely fill y'all in on what's going on, but you'll have to just bear with us for the time being. 1. Kristl's right eye is noticeably smaller than her left. It especially shows up when she's smiling. Her family affectionately calls it her "small eye."

Check out that small eye

2. Rachel is went to the Summer Olympics in Atlanta in 1996. She got to see a women's basketball game, an archery competition, and rowing. Her aunt and uncle bought her and her parents a brick with their name on it which you can still find in Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta.

3. We take our pets to the Royal Treatment Veterinary Center, a holistic vet here in Chicago. Bradley has received acupuncture, chiropractic, laser, and water therapy for his bum knees. He's currently on a raw diet and we're in the process of trying to switch Delilah to one as well.

4. Kristl loves shopping for school/office supplies. Earlier today Rachel said she wanted to go to Target to get a notebook and Kristl got so excited she teared up. Seriously.

5. Rachel went to Russia when she was 7, just after the fall of the Soviet Union. Her parents took her with them on a mission trip to Latvia and part of the trip was a train ride to Russia. She has visited St. Petersburg and Moscow and was even able to tour the inside of the Kremlin.

6. Recently we have designated Rachel as the bacon cooker and Kristl as the egg cooker in our family, because Rachel cooks awesome bacon but frequently messes up the eggs and Kristl cooks pretty great eggs, but often burns the bacon. This is why we're a good team.

7. Kristl was a swing dancer/lindy hopper off and on for almost 10 years. You could find her out dancing most nights of the week. Unfortunately, she's fallen out of the scene lately (mainly because she likes to be in bed by 11 and that schedule isn't super conducive to social dances). Hopefully she can convince Rachel to take some classes so they can dance together!

8. Rachel used to have a nose piercing. She got it in San Francisco in 2008 and had to take it out when she got her wisdom teeth removed in 2012. She couldn't get it back in after the surgery, but it hasn't been any great loss to her beauty or character.

Rachel showing her curling prowess with the stone (a tea kettle filled with water)

9. We are in a supper club with some friends and the most recent event was in honor of the Olympic opening ceremonies. We each were part of a two-person team representing a country. We chose China and I made flags out of felt and glitter for our outfits. Jess cooked dishes from each of the countries present and made us compete in 4 events. We won the "curling" event (which our competitors attributed to us having taken a Learn2Curl class, but we attributed it to sheer awesomeness) and then dominated in the land skating (like pairs skating but on land, in Jess' kitchen, to a surprise music selection), to everyone's surprise (those years of partner dancing really paid off). We were middling in the other two events (a blind taste test and "Name that Tune" game), but managed to pull off the win.

Victory for China!

Disclaimer: The politics in Russia are horrific and we know there is a lot of controversy surrounding the Sochi games. We went back and forth on boycotting the games, but decided that watching and engaging in discussions about the gross inequities is more our style. Brooke Cartus explained it really well in her blog here.