Every summer, when National Geographic sends me my annual renewal notice, they remind me that I’ve been a “proud member since 1972.” My mother started me on NG when I was just a kid; she was a wise woman who understood how important it is to understand ourselves in the context of the greater world. For a while in my 20s, though I kept my subscription going, I generally glanced only through the photos of each issue. Then, in my 30s, I started reading an article or two in most issues. Now, in my 40s, I’m the avid fan I was when I was a kid—maybe because of NG’s recent focus on the environment and other issues that matter deeply to me.
I fall behind on occasion and accrue a pile of yellow-spined issues to catch up on during quiet moments. So it’s only this week that I found my way to the February ’06 issue with its cover story, “Love: The Chemical Reaction.” After a compelling opening about her wedding and honeymoon, the author wrote,
My marriage is like a piece of comfortable clothing; even the arguments have a feel of fuzziness to them, something so familiar it can only be called home.
That got me thinking. There’s no question that some of the disagreements with my husband are like an old piece of clothing, familiar and in an odd way, comfortable. It’s what we know. I hear similar comments from my women clients.
So, I’m interested in your thoughts: Is that old, comfortable argument a good thing? Or is it a problem? Or is it a bit of both?