If two are alike, one is unnecessary

I’m drawn to the same things over and over again in my choice of style…in dress, in home decor, in color scheme. Clear glass vases, decanters, serving pieces call to me. Always have, always will. I love the crispness of khaki and white and cranberry. You could follow a paint trail from Michigan to Colorado to Alaska and find similar color swatches in all my homes. I’ve been known to buy a second pair of shoes that I love, to have as back up, and…just because I love the first pair so much.

But you know, when I do that, I end up saving my spare pair because it’s my spare. If I use them, I won’t have them. Ok, at the risk of exposing my craziness, I’ll bet I’m not the only woman who does this. I’ll bet a lot of women paint the same colors as they move from house to house, or find themselves buying another piece of (fill in the blank here) because they just couldn’t resist.

But as I sort my stuff, prepare for a move, I have to be honest here. I don’t need duplicates of wine decanters or cake stands.

So what’s the point of this, other than a little self-examination and personal pledge to buy less, (or at least buy different!)?

I had a conversation recently about what’s better for relationships: having a lot in common, or bringing very different personalities together? You know, the idea that opposites attract versus the reality that common interests draw people together. I heard, “If two are alike, one is unnecessary.” I thought of my multiples of possessions. Then I thought about the couples I know. True, some seem to have a lot in common. But most seem very different, in personalitiy, in interests, in likes and dislikes.

A successful partnership draws on the strengths of everyone involved. The goals of the partnership are shared, but the talents had better be unique to each person on the team. You don’t need multiple people who have the same skills (stay with me here, this is a small partnership, I’m not talking about corporate giants). You need diversity, flexiblity, and the insights that each person can share with others, based on a unique point of view, a unique skill set, unique tastes.

So it is with personal relationships, I believe. Yes, you must have interests that draw you, and common goals if you are in a marriage, a family, a friendship. None of these relationships work without cooperation or shared desires and values. But I go back to the thought that two things (or people) who are alike make one of them unnecessary. I like the point this drives home. It reminds me to celebrate the individual gifts and talents in my own relationship, to acknowledge that my husband is good at things I am not. And my strong points stand out because they are different from his.

So next time I’m tempted to buy yet another vase, or decanter, next time I’m in the paint department at the hardware store, I’m going to do it. I’ll choose something different, a new color. Because if two are alike, one is unnecessary.

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