When the Phrase “Agree to Disagree” Doesn’t Sound Hostile Enough


There are a lot of ways Blake and I differ in personality. To name a few:  I’m calm under pressure, Blake is… less calm; I’m not great at showing emotion, Blake wears his emotions on his sleeve. In most ways these basic personality differences complement each other and make us stronger as a unit.

While we definitely have differences in our personalities, our view points on most major issues align. We share the same religious, spiritual and political beliefs. We have almost identical priorities. In fact, off the top of my head I can only think of two areas of disagreement (although I’m sure we will stumble upon more throughout life).

The first point of contention is relatively minor. It involves the importance of condiments to overall food taste.

I am not, and have never been, a fan of condiments. No ketchup, mustard, mayo, dressing or hot sauce for me… ever. Recently I’ve accepted barbecue sauce in limited circumstances but generally speaking I’m not a “dipper.” I don’t need the flavor enhancement and I don’t want it. I can taste a hint of mayo in the cheesiest of pimento cheeses.  I cannot handle the hot of hot sauce.

Blake, on the other hand, puts sauce on EVERYTHING. A $50 steak NEEDS ketchup. We buy hot sauce by the gallon. In my opinion, it’s a little ridiculous BUT we agree to disagree. No big deal… very little impact on our relationship.

The other point of contention is substantially larger.

Blake is a UNC fan, I am a die hard Duke fan. Still to this day I don’t know how we’ve made it work.

I was born and raised a Duke fan. The walls of my childhood bedroom were literally covered in Duke memorabilia and posters. One of the my biggest disappointments in life was when I found out it actually did make the most financial sense for me to attend UNC-Chapel Hill for college (gasp!)… yeah it was dramatic. Throughout my 4 years at UNC I stayed strong to my roots and continued to pull for the Blue Devils. I will NEVER change.

Blake moved to NC when he as in elementary school. Unfortunately, his russian roulette method of choosing a NC team to pull for landed him with the Tar Holes Heels. Tragic. While he hasn’t been a life-long fan, he does have a solid 20 years of fandom under his belt and seems uninterested in changing his allegiance. Sadly, he most likely will NEVER change (although I haven’t given up total hope)!

When we started dating, we were aware of this glaring difference in opinion. We found out quickly we could not hold a calm conversation where either team was involved… if the conversation was about both teams it ended in a heated and unresolved argument every time.

When college basketball season starts I can feel the tension build. Duke and UNC are guaranteed to play each other twice per year… sometimes three times (thankfully they have yet to meet up 4 times in any given year).

When we got married we knew this huge point of contention needed to be addressed.

I promise to honor and embrace our differences as I do our similarities/ even if that means we have to watch the big game in different rooms. ~ Excerpt from our wedding vows

We do have to watch “the big game” in different rooms. We’ve tried to watch it together, all attempts have been unsuccessful.

We are both logical and fairly grounded but when it comes to The Rivalry, neither of us are graceful in our disagreement. The phrase agree to disagree doesn’t seem hostile enough.

Tonight will be tense. I will watch The Game upstairs, Blake will watch The Game downstairs. If it’s a close game we may not speak until morning. But we will stay married… after all we love each other more than we love our respective teams (most of the time 🙂 )

Go Duke!



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