OCH: Opposites Attract (Except When They Don’t)

Rebecca and PhineasThis post is part of the Odd Couple Habits series, in which the idiosyncrasies of my relationship with Phineas will be revealed, to our mutual embarrassment and hopefully to your enjoyment. 

When Phineas and I first met, we weren’t immediately aware that we were complete opposites. Part of it was that people tend to see in others what they want to see (until they’re proven wrong). Another part of it was that we kind of misrepresented ourselves. For example, I thought that Phineas was a intellectual guy who read books by Carlos Ruiz Zafón and wrote short stories in his spare time (he’d put one up in a Facebook note that was pretty good…since then, he hasn’t written rien). He encouraged this image by offering to read my novel-in-progress, which culminated in our first 12-hour-long “date”. As for me, Phineas thought that I was an innocent, naïve girl who would never think of skipping class, drinking, or hooking up. When we started dating, we realized that our differences extended to every facet of our lives. I think I once told my therapist that the only things Phineas and I could bond over were 1) food and 2) sex.

Au contraire, here’s a list of the many things we can’t agree on:

  1. Movies. I’m not kidding when I say that we’ve broken up with each other over film preferences multiple times. The first few times we watched animated movies together, I was compliant because I figured it was a rare occurrence. And I really did enjoy How to Train Your Dragon and Up. After all, they were excellent, well-executed films that happened to be animated. Then, I quickly realized that Phineas liked certain genres (i.e. animated, Jackie Chan, musical) no matter the quality of the movie. This was something with which I could not comply. No, there is no way in hell I’m watching Ice Age 4, which received a measly 37% at Rotten Tomatoes.
  2. Music. Where do I start? I like indie rock, à la Arcade Fire, The Magnetic Fields, and The Decemberists. The most mainstream stuff I can take is Modest Mouse and Mumford & Sons. Phineas likes mainstream. He also thinks that Arcade Fire’s vocals hurts his ears. When he’s feeling edgy, he goes for Adele. Otherwise, Fall Out Boy is his favorite. Thank god we both can enjoy musical “trash” once in awhile — don’t be shocked to catch us jamming to Gangnam Style.
  3. Food. Alright, so I said that Phineas and I could agree with food. That needs a caveat: sometimes. We love many of the same restaurants — Tomukun, Jerusalem Garden, Kang’s — and we both love ethnic foods of all kinds — Indian, Japanese, French — but we still manage to disagree plenty. If Phineas goes grocery shopping on his own, he ends up with: three boxes of spaghetti, tomato sauce #1, tomato sauce #2, three boxes of Hamburger Helper, and ground beef. If I ask him where the fruits and vegetables are, he laughs in my face. On the other hand, my body is a sensitive bitch and if I don’t constantly nourish it with vitamins, I end up with canker sores and indigestion. This is why I do all the grocery shopping.
  4. Sports. I always thought that I’d be the cool girl my boyfriend was so proud of because I actually liked football. Phineas doesn’t like football. I love watching tennis. He doesn’t. I love playing racquet sports — tennis, squash, badminton, you name it. He doesn’t. I used to do ballet and I still appreciate it, but he prefers modern dance. Not interpretive dance, mind you, but hip-hop. He plays volleyball and kendo (I know you don’t “play” kendo, but I always say that to make him mad). What kind of man plays volleyball?! Okay, I know that’s sort of sexist, but I grew up at a high school that didn’t have a boy’s volleyball team.
  5. Hours of the day. I know this sounds ridiculous, but hear me out. Phineas does not believe in mornings; I do. If left alone, he’d happily sleep at 2 am and wake at 11 am. Again, my body is a sensitive bitch, so if I don’t get 10 hours of sleep, I physically fall apart. This means that I’m adamant about getting to bed by 11 pm. This also means that by the time it’s 9 am, I’m raring to go. Hey, let’s hit the gym! Let’s go get brunch! Let’s study at a café! Hello, Phineas? Where art thou, Phineas? Phineas status: MIA.
  6. Languages. As many of you know, I love languages. I speak English, Mandarin, Spanish, French, and Catalan/Italian conversationally. I always thought it’d be hot for my boyfriend to speak in foreign tongues and I thought he’d think it was hot for me to do so too. Not Phineas. He finds it annoying when I speak in a language he can’t understand. French in bed? Forget it.
  7. Cold remedies. Every Asian person in the world knows that when you’re sick, you avoid spicy/fried/cold/sweet foods. Those all aggravate sore throats and induce coughing fits. Phineas doesn’t understand why I don’t want Five Guys when I’m sick. When I insist on something soupy, he suggests soondubu jjigae. Soondubu looks like this:
Soondubu Jjigae

Although this is one of my favorite Korean dishes, you’re seeing that right: red = spicy. Image courtesy SheBlogsHeRambles.

Of all the ways we can disagree, these seven are just a small sampling. They say that opposites attract, but I say: be careful. If you’re the type that avoids conflict, then do not date your opposite. If you’re like me, though, who thrives on drama, then proceed at your own caution.

Are you attracted to opposites? How has dating them fared for you?

Au revoir,



2 thoughts on “OCH: Opposites Attract (Except When They Don’t)

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