Calling communication the cornerstone of their marriage, local couple Sam and Christina Garber confessed to reporters Thursday that they never dreamed they would one day be able to talk so openly and honestly about cabinets with each other.
The Garbers, who wed in 2006 and have two children, confirmed that early in their relationship it was difficult to have a constructive conversation about anything even remotely related to cabinetry, admitting that they lacked the closeness and trust to share their true feelings about wood materials, hardware, and custom accents.
“When we were newlyweds eight years ago, we could never have had an upfront and candid discussion about custom or stock-manufactured cabinets,” said Christina, 36, adding that the couple actively avoided touchy subjects such as durability, selection, and storage options. “These are not always easy conversations to have, but we’ve grown so much closer since learning to express our needs and desires for wall-hung cupboards.”
“Even if we don’t always see eye-to-eye on cabinets, it’s nice to know that we can talk through it,” continued Christina. “It’s remarkable that we now regularly communicate our feelings regarding corbels and beveled edges. I could hardly imagine that I’d ever be sharing that kind of bond with another person.”
Sam Garber acknowledged that until recently the mere mention of cabinet door styles caused him to emotionally shut down and withdraw from his wife. The 38-year-old, who would become terse and distant when the topic of raised or flat panels was broached, revealed that he didn’t feel comfortable letting his guard down and voicing his true preference for a cathedral profile.
“Looking back, I realize that I had a lot of insecurities and was afraid that my penchant for a decorative door panel made me less of a man,” said Sam, who reportedly no longer feels vulnerable about sharing his love of frosted glass inserts. “I guess I had some old-fashioned ideas. I just didn’t understand the importance of expressing your feelings about cabinets in a healthy way.”
Christina confirmed that she used to fear bringing up her dissatisfaction with crown molding to her husband, worrying that he would be unsupportive or reject her concerns. However, the mother of two told reporters that improving communication has helped the couple overcome intimacy barriers, and Sam has demonstrated that he is actually very open to trying braid, cyma, covetto, torus, ovolo, and keel molding.
The couple claimed that the frequency with which they explicitly discuss the merits of all-oak construction and split-rail paneling has allowed them to nurture their relationship and build a level of trust they never considered possible.
Though proud of how easily they exchange their thoughts on the appeal of traditional Piedmont detailing, the couple readily admits that they weren’t always so eager to address such an intimate topic with one another. Like most young couples, learning to communicate their feelings about shelving units was something they had to work on.
The Garbers’ inability to genuinely convey their feelings on toe-kicks led to strain in the relationship, as unfiltered criticisms and built-up resentment began to take their toll. Tension escalated to such a degree following the couple’s wedding that they sought the help of a licensed contractor.
“To be fair, I had my own personal baggage that I brought to the table when it came to cabinetry, and seeing a contractor together really honed in on the source of some of those issues,” said Christina, who described growing up in a cold, repressive home where laminate shelving and sculpted drawer fronts were never discussed. “But once we got past my whole thing with dovetail joinery, we were able to move forward and successfully pick out a proper pull knob.
“It’s not easy, but sharing thoughts on alternate kinds of finishes and glass accents keeps things exciting,” added Christina, glancing lovingly at her husband. “My only hope is that we can instill these values in our kids, so that they’ll be capable of someday connecting on that kind of level with someone too.”
A couple just couldn’t debate,
On cabinets and how they should rate,
On hardware and wood,
The bad and the good,
Some tension it sure did create.
At first they weren’t quite certain,
If they should pull back the curtain,
To talk of moldings,
And the pleasure It brings,
Their feelings were truly uncertain.
The subject was strictly taboo,
Though both of them knew what to do,
With storage and shelves,
Alone by themselves,
But they couldn’t discuss it as two.
They finally resolved their ordeal,
They now talk of drawer pulls of steel,
Their lives are first rate,
When they sit down to have a meal.
© 2013 Ronald J. Yarosh
All rights reserved.