Life With A Nerd

If you have spent much time with us, you know that while Steve and I have a lot in common, we have a very important fundamental difference. He is a nerd. I am not.

Now if you know Steve, you know that he is not the typical nerdy guy. He is very athletic and outdoorsy and has a great sense of humor. Our friend Paula says he is the most charismatic nerd she knows.

Steve is a scientist, and majored in math and chemistry. I’m more of the creative type. Now I can do math, quite well in fact if it has to do with financial statements. Although the only “F” I ever made in school was in Algebra, I made a very good living for many years as a surety bond underwriter doing financial analysis. But I am not a numbers person.

Steve’s brain just works differently than mine.

Here is a conversation we had a year or so ago. We were in the plane, and Steve was giving me an explanation of all of the gauges and numbers that go along with flying the plane. He gives me this explanation pretty much any time we get in the plane. I think I listened the first couple of times. Maybe.

Anyway, he is going on and on about this and that, what this gauge does, what that number means. When he took a breath I looked at him and said:

“You know that when you start talking in numbers I quit listening? I look at you and see that your lips are moving, but I am not hearing a word you say. Because you are talking lots of numbers that don’t mean anything to me, and my brain shuts down. So if you want to keep doing this because you enjoy it, you go right ahead. But I’m telling you right now, I’m not listening.”

He understands this theory, but that doesn’t stop him from explaining things to me that he feels that I “need” to know. So I let him talk, and I either listen or not.

The big difference between us is he wants to know and understand the whys and wherefores of the process, and I really don’t care. I just want the end result.

Which leads me to the reason for this blog. See the picture below.

This is what was in the jeep when I started it up to take Keely to the bus stop. She wanted to know what the orange peel was doing in the jeep.
“Steve left it there.”
“Because he likes to watch it dry.”
“Oh, OK”
(Keely understands this completely because she is a nerd too)
(And you don’t want to be around when Kat, who is majoring in science at the University of Louisville, and Steve get together)

Anytime that man eats an orange, he leaves the peel out. So that he can watch it dry. For real, he is fascinated with watching an orange peel dry. I just don’t get it.

But it doesn’t matter if I understand. It’s a part of who he is, that mixture of personality and interests that works so well with mine. We both know how incredibly lucky we are to have found each other at this stage in our lives. Instead of being irritated by our differences, we acknowledge them and laugh about them. I think that is where age and maturity really help in a relationship. We don’t try to change each other.

Of course I couldn’t change that nerd aspect of Steve Cox if I tried for the rest of my life. And it really comes in handy when something goes wrong with the computer.

4 Comments on “Life With A Nerd

  1. Wait until I have time to tell you about one of my first jobs in a lab running tests to determine the effect of weather and other environmental conditions on ground concentrations of pollutants from coal fired steam plants. One of the variables is ozone and this was many years ago when portable ozone detectors were either expensive or not practical for some other reason. We used “real” rubber bands cut to a certain length left stretched between two clamps and left exposed for X number of days to the sunlight. In the presence of ozone and sunlight rubber bands develop cracks that can be roughly correlated to the ozone concentration if you have solar data. Place the rubber bands after exposure under a microscope and then count the cracks in the rubber bands. That count will give you a rough estimate of the concentration of ozone. Really kewl counting cracks in rubbers all day under a microscope. Wait I should rephrase that.


  2. I am glad you two found each other and I can relate to the differences thing-sometimes it just makes things fun and it sure gives us a lot to laugh about.


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