I have met many couples on my trip. Fresh couples, aged couples, heterosexual and same-sex couples, legally married couples and couples living together, first-time couples and couples on their second third, even fourth round. Although being a couple presents many challenges, as our high divorce rates illustrate, I’ve witnessed couple after couple whose strong relationships demonstrate why humans tend to pair off. Healthy couples share a solid foundation from which to face life; a bond that simultaneously knits them together and allows them to individually thrive.
Kim and Eddie Feeley’s affection seeps into every word and action. They’re young, not yet thirty, but unusually stable for people their age, especially in a place like Seattle. They met at Seattle University, dated, and married at the university chapel. Kim studied planning and is now the Disability Officer at Seattle University. Eddie went on for a Master’s in Applied Math at University of Washington and teaches at Seattle Country Day School, where he also couches Ultimate Frisbee. They’ve each worked at the same place for over five years. Kim can walk to work from the townhouse they purchased a few years ago. Eddie cycles to school. These people are grounded.
Yet, being grounded liberates them. They are huge gamers and cyclists. They travel extensively, meeting people in the gaming and cycling communities and extend themselves to others, as they did by inviting me to their home. They are among the best informed and most engaged people I’ve met. The surety of their relationship enables them to stretch and stretch and stretch.
They talk about tomorrow as they speak of everything: with enthusiasm, mutual respect, and a tendency to fill in each other’s thoughts.
How will we live tomorrow?
Eddie: “Kim’s awareness of other peoples’ needs is very high. She puts them ahead of her own. Her concern rubs off on me.”
Kim: “I have an acute awareness of our environmental issues. The water wars are already happening.”
Eddie: “I think we are doing a good job; the human race will do just fine.”
Kim: “We conserve, but we haven’t had to do anything to force us to make real change.”
Eddie: “We, being Kim and I, we will continue to doing what we do. Kim brings awareness, I bring the optimism.”
Kim: “ I don’t know what the future will look like, but I can tell you it won’t look like the ‘ecotopias’ we drew in college. All of the cities we’ve developed came about before we were concerned with sustainability.”
Eddie: “In the future we will have more micro-communities that have the bulk of what you need.”
Kim: “I hope we will be equitable. If Eddie and I were poor, we couldn’t live in this neighborhood where we can walk to two grocery stores. It’s so much harder to be poor.”
Kim: “Honestly, I try not to think about the future because it stresses me out.”
Eddie: “We balance each other out.”