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“I’d get an idea and wouldn’t know how to make it work, and she’d figure out how to make it work.”

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source: describing his wife, in “Toshi Seeger, Wife of Folk-Singing Legend, Dies at 91,” by Douglas Martin, New York Times, July 11, 2013.

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medium: Obituary

“…I’m extremely happy with her, and part of it has to do with the fact that she is at once completely familiar to me, so that I can be myself and she knows me very well and I trust her completely, but at the same time she is also a complete mystery to me in some ways. And there are times when we are lying in bed and I look over and sort of have a start. Because I realize here is this other person who is separate and different and has different memories and backgrounds and thoughts and feelings. It’s that tension between familiarity and mystery that makes for something strong, because, even as you build a life of trust and comfort and mutual support, you retain some sense of surprise or wonder about the other person.”

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source: “A Couple in Chicago,” interview by Mariana Cook, The New Yorker, January 19, 2009.

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medium: interview

notes: Interview originally conducted on May 26, 1996 by Mariana Cook, who visited the Obamas in Hyde Park as part of a photography project on couples in America.

“You may depend upon it, that a slight contrast of character is very material to happiness in marriage.”

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source: The Table Talk and Omniana of Samuel Taylor Coleridge (London: Oxford University Press, 1917), 59.

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medium: nonfiction

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