Posted by: Patrice Fitzgerald | January 7, 2009

Tuning In

My Dad was a radio engineer.  At least, that’s what he called himself, though I think his 1942 Harvard degree was in science. But he started with a crystal radio set which he built as a kid with his brother, listening to HAM operators around the country, and ended by working on NASA’s communication satellites orbiting high above the earth.  He got a couple of patents, and one had to do with airplane collision avoidance.  When I was young, my ears heard talk about that invention as “Collision of Oidance.”  

Where is Oidance, I wondered.

Here in 2009, I am in the sixth month of my new marriage.  We are learning each other’s ways, and trying to balance the urge to connect, love, forgive, mesh… with the need to stay independent, to stand our ground, and to be able to bring something individual to the partnership.  Some parts of Richard I already know very well, and some still surprise me.  

Though we dated for almost three years, it was always in the romantic mode of seeing each other once or twice a week.  We still wore our best clothes (well, I did!) and mooned and swooned at the opportunity to be together for a short while.  Bill paying and laundry went by the wayside while the lover was around.  It was one long honeymoon.  Since both of us had one child still at home (for at least part of the week) we mostly arranged our rendez-vous days when kids weren’t in the picture.  Very cozy and lovey-dovey.

And now we live together.  The bill-paying and the laundering all happen in the same house.  We get all the deliciousness of knowing that we can snuggle up together in bed every night, along with the ordinariness of knowing that it’s just another night in bed together.

The newness is wearing off.  As it does, we are forging a new partnership, one with some echoes of past partnerships.  I learn about myself as I get to see how I feel in Marriage No. 2 — and how that compares to how I felt with my first partner.  And it turns out that some of my “stuff” (just some?) is all about me!

I think of it as tuning in a radio station — the way one used to tune in a station.  We roll a little bit past the ideal communications point, going way too far to the right, then way back to the left, then in smaller gradations right and left, back and forth, fine tuning each time.  Eventually we will lock on to the best possible frequency for making ourselves heard.

We want to be ourselves.  Ourselves in partnership.   We tune in, slowly, our communication better every week, every day.  As close as possible, but honest.  

We are seeking collision avoidance.


  1. We somehow manage to avoid most Oidance!

  2. And occasionally we seek out collisions.

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