Saturday, August 22, 2009

Answer to a Six Year Old Question, With A Reprise

When I was engaged, not to Avram, and we had the "Hey, we're engaged!" conversation with my parents, Don, my step-dad, asked us a question. He said that someday there would come a time when we did not agree, fundamentally did not agree on something. We would be on different sides of the fence, and would see no way over to be on the same side. What would we do then?

I gave some non answer, and kind of fudged it all over, and moved on, because I honestly had no clue. I was just 20 years old, and although I logically agreed with his question - obviously throughout history people and cultures all over the world have fundamentally disagreed to the point of bloodshed and war, I had never personally in my life reached with point with a boyfriend or fiance, let alone a husband.

And then I got married. Well, then I broke up with that fiance a month before the wedding, eight months later met Avram, and a year and half after that got married. But let's not be necessarily complex, here.

Through the course of our marriage, we have had several times where we have not seen a situation or subject the same way. The hypothetical opinion ones, like Circumcision, we have learned to set aside until if/when they ever become pertinent to our lives. Other times we have had to find some way to move beyond the impasse. Even before our marriage, whilst we were engaged, I wanted to buy a car, and Avram did not much want to. He did not have a driver's license and thought we could survive a while in Provo, even married, without a car. I thought that there was no way I could plan a Salt Lake wedding while I lived in Provo, and having to take the bus to Salt Lake every weekend, when it turned into a three hour one way trip, and I was going crazy. Plus, factoring in grocery shopping, and lack of roommates who have cars and we can mooch off of, I felt the car buying way was clear.

Car buy we did, and it turned into a larger hassle than even I wanted, but in the end a car we had, and still have, and since America is not really set up for public transportation anyway, it has done us well. Here Avram bowed to my ardent wishes, and I felt strongly enough to carry the both of us through the experience.

Then we move forward to graduate school for a master's degree. Avram got into Oxford with a half scholarship. He got into Fordham, a University in New York, with a full one. He wanted Oxford, his life long dream. I wanted Fordham, with financial security. We never did get on the same side of the fence, instead we tried another fun tactic - bargaining. I have always wanted to someday be a foster parent, and adopt children who get lost in the system, and aren't cute infants, and never have a family. Avram, although he understood all this, was rather unsure about its application to our actual future. I told him, I would make a deal. We could go to England, and he would solemnly swear we could someday be foster parents, and adopt, if it came to that.

He swore, and I packed my bags for England, both of us content with our side of the bargain.

Fast forward another two years. We finally found out that we are pre approved to go forward and look for a house. And we are on two sides of a fence. This fence is particularly large and unwieldy. More accurately, buying a house or not are the two sides of the fence, and we as a couple, although leaning to opposite sides, are still both firmly entrenched on the fence itself. And neither of us feels strongly enough to pull for our respective sides. So, we are currently in negotiations. Both of use can see a lot of advantages and disadvantages to owning a home. And if we don't buy, there is nothing lost, no risks. But no gains either.

I'll let you know when we topple off the top into a decision. In answer to Don's question, when we fundamentally disagree, or have a real dilemma, we spend a lot of time talking about it. And makings lists (well, that one is just me). And praying.

Update: After lots of the aforementioned, we have decided officially, irrevocably, (ecumenically, grammatically...) that we are going to forgo buying a house until after our Student Days. The reasons are many, among them impressions after prayer, my source of babysitting income becoming undependable after October, and worries over being too "house poor." I still would like to live in a house, and so we have determined that at the point in the unspecified future we do move out of our town home, we will pursue renting a house or duplex, instead of moving into another three bedroom town-home. Then we will have a yard, and yet will not have to sell the house when we leave Columbus. So let it be written, so let it be done.


  1. Neil and were in the same situation a year and a half ago. So we went house shopping, and were not terribly moved to buy a house. Till we looked at this one. We walked in and we knew it was right. I hope that, in whatever direction, you get that kind of confirmation too.

  2. I think buying a house is one of the decisions that seems easy - but not. So many couples run into this commitment and get way over their head. I am so proud of you for being "real" and not letting the preassures get to you. Tyson and I won't be able to buy house due to our 4-plex basically being lost due to Meth use. Anyway, we are seeing the Lords hand in this. you will too

  3. Hey Thora!
    The whole house thing is such a tricky one! I've mostly been ok with renting but Ian's felt like he's failed in some way since we don't have our own house when his parents had one by this time in their marriage. Then we saw my sister and her husband buy a townhouse that fell in value a month after they bought it with the crazy market and then all of these problems came up that they had to fix. True, we haven't ever had the greatest landlords that fix everything, but when the dryer died we didn't have to fork out $400 for a guy to fix a small spring. (why are tiny fixes so much money?) Anyway, I think it's wonderful the way you and Avrum handle things. Especially because you've realized you can't handle every situation the same way. When Ian and I were dating he would always ask me a ton of questions about kids and life and I would respond going on and on like I do but when I would ask him the same question back he would say, "It would depend on the kid/situation" and that was it. That really bugged me but I also came to realize that you can't plan ahead for every decision and so Ian was being pretty smart - but he was also learning a lot about me while we talked about things. I wish you guys the biggest luck with all of the hard, difficult, crazy decisions that come up in life. I hope the decision to visit Utah again soon wont be a hard one - we miss you guys!!