I’ve known my husband for 15 years and while our love for each other has matured and strengthened, there are days when I wonder what it would feel like to: 1) leap off my couch with the ferocity of a wild leopard on the hunt and body slam him and/or 2) apply an upper cut maneuver to his chin and watch him fly backwards through the air in slow motion.
No doubt, my husband, on occasion, has similar fantasies about me.
For a long time, whenever my husband and I had particularly ‘heated’ disagreements, we would wonder whether we had compatibility issues. Not only do we possess opposing communication styles and methods for coping with life’s challenges, but we also have very little in common.
For instance, my husband would much prefer to read non-fiction books about psychology and neurobiology, whereas I’d rather read trashy gossip on perezhilton.com. My partner is eternally optimistic about everyone and everything while I am (absolutely) not. I am a neat freak and my husband could care less if cockroaches established a motel in our little apartment. He is a risk taker/seeker and I am as risk averse as they come. Other than sharing an affinity for hot and spicy foods (like this Korean inspired Spicy Beef Noodle Soup), we essentially epitomize the ‘Odd Couple.’
How did we fall in love, again? And why are we still in love?
The data isn’t clear. But that hasn’t stopped us from considering the billion and one possibilities and theories.
According to a handful of studies, genetics might explain why we ‘choose’ the people we fall in love with. One study suggests that our odor-type (which is different from pheromones), coded with our genetic make-up, or rather our immunogenetic status, helps humans to find their most compatible partner. In essence, we are hardwired to ‘sniff’ out our best match.
Another study found that our genes help us find our friends. This study discovered a positive and significant correlation between friendship and possession of a specific gene (this gene is related to dopamine). No one knows yet how this relationship is possible and why the correlation exists.
So much about these studies and/or conclusions are counter to other theories, religious ideals and fundamentals. However, perhaps naively, my husband and I are comforted by the idea that genetics might explain our love for each other. My husband likes my smell and I like his smell. It’s perfect.
Accepting this conclusion as an answer for ‘why’ we love each other allows us to focus on ‘how’ we can continuously progress as individuals and partners, acknowledge our feelings and articulate our desires, and ultimately, sustain and enjoy a passionate, self-expansive, and exciting marriage. These may seem like lofty goals, but I am pleased to report that we, maybe against all odds, are making it happen.
Spicy Beef Noodle Soup
Serves 3-4 servings
9-10 cups of cold water
1 small onion, diced in big chunks
1 bay leaf
1 lb of sirloin (can use brisket as well)
4 gloves of garlic, smashed
1 teaspoon of peppercorns
½ inch ginger, smashed
1 teaspoon of salt
2 handfuls of shitake mushroom (or any mushrooms you like)
1 zucchini, sliced, not too thinly
Kale, chopped, as much as you like
3 Tablespoons of Korean Red Pepper Powder (more if you like it REALLY spicy)
1-teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 packet of Vietnamese Vermicelli Noodles
In a large soup pot, add the water, onion, bay leaf, sirloin (whole), garlic, peppercorns, ginger, the stalks of all the shitake mushrooms (we’ll use caps later), and salt. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer, with the cover on, for about 45-50 minutes.
Drain the stock. Remove the meat and let sit. Then, pour the stock (without the stock ingredients) back into the soup pot and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium/low and bring to a simmer. Add the zucchini. After 3 minutes then add the shitake mushroom caps (sliced or whole) and the kale. Let the soup simmer for another 5 minutes.
In the meantime, mix, in a small bowl, the red pepper powder, sesame oil and soy sauce. Add this mixture to the soup. Then, sprinkle in the sugar. Let simmer for another 5-7 minutes.
While the soup is finishing up, cook your noodles (read the instructions on packet).
Drain the noodles and turn the heat off the soup. Place a handful of the noodles in a large soup bowl. Add the amount of spicy beef soup that you want. Slice your beef and add to the bowl. Add some chopped green scallions and enjoy!
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