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.
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.”
(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.