Saturday, June 18, 2011

Date Night, Part 1b: Life partners teaching life skills

Quick story: Every once in a while Martin and I will get a gift certificate to Whole Foods from one of my generous Aunts. I love Whole Foods, but I don't love their prices. So Gift Certificates are always lovely (ahem). So, one time, Martin and I decided to browse through the pastry section, take a stroll down their mini cold "beer barn" (do you know what I'm talking about? it's awesome right?) and treat ourselves to a luxurious, close to $6, fruit smoothie. I got the most innocuous one they offered, banana and strawberry, so as not to spend our precious free money on something that I might not like. (I may be boring, but I am thrifty and rarely disappointed) And Martin, well Martin likes to live on the wild side and got something with Acai Berries in it, whatever that is. We are standing and waiting on our smoothies, and we notice that another young couple is doing precisely the same thing. Standing and waiting. Funnily enough, our smoothies and theirs were done at the same time. And, funnily enough, the other couple had ordered the exact same smoothies as us(There are at least 15 different combos, so this is not such a small coincidence). It just so happens that the woman and Martin ordered the same weird Acai drink and the man and I both ordered the normal flavored one. At almost the exact same moment we all realize the sort of co-winky-dink nature of this and mumble pleasantries like "great minds think alike" or something to that effect, EXCEPT for the other man. Do you know what he said? Man, talk about awkward, foot-in-mouth moments. He turns to me, in a fake private moment type manner and says...he says..."Looks like we married the wrong people, hehehe." Wow, that guy. Wow. You think that's one of the moments in his life he will always remember, that he was the one who said something so awkward to perfect strangers? Well, if he ever happens to read this... -don't worry about it dude, we still get a good laugh at your expense, you will always have a special place in our hearts... although you might want to talk to your wife about where you stand in hers.

Oh, standing in people's hearts and where you do. I love my husband. I really do. He is an incredibly intelligent, bright, practical person (and caring and sensitive and all that other stuff, but that's not pertinent here). He knows at least 3 languages fluently, can play the guitar fairly well, play a great game of soccer, do math, and is quite the writer. He is a renaissance man, he truly is....sigh.

And me. Well, let's see here...

I am practical, most of the time. I can speak one language fluently! and two others well enough to ask for the bathroom and a taxi... so there's that.
I played the piano for a bit, I know where to find the key called the "middle C." That's good, that's good.
I played the clarinet for a couple years, I'm proud to say I haven't lost's still in my closet, yes, yes, good....
I can kick a mean soccer ball, field a grounder, and at one point I knew a cheer or two, that's alright... for a girl...
The last math I understood didn't involve numbers or require pencils and I made a C+, so I passed, yes, mmhmm, good...
I write this blog which ebbs and flows, ok, decent, good...
Are you done? Yeah, I'm done.

Martin does everything he knows how to do, really well. Generally, this doesn't bug me. I don't care that I can't read music, carry a tune or play an instrument. And I don't care that I can't do any math above a 1oth grade level. BUT, when it comes to skills that I *have* to know, and don't...this is where things get shady.

I know I have to learn a new language, learn to drive a standard (just in case) and a whole mess of other things, like knowing kilos, and celsius, and military time and what not. I know I do. And I will. I'm already starting. That's not really the problem. The problem is, that my spouse, whom I love and admire, already knows all of these life skills, and *he* is the one teaching me.

Have YOU ever had to have YOUR spouse teach you, what I would consider, "life skills?" Like, as in, things you *must* know? How does that make you feel? Does it make you feel excited? Does it make you feel lucky to have the teacher living right in your own home? Does it make you feel like you have won the lottery to have this "life guru" right there from which to glean wisdom and knowledge?

Nope, it sure doesn't. At least not for me. It should. And yeah, I feel guilty about that. But, I can't be excited or happy about it. I can do it, and be ok with it. That's what I can do.

It's no fun to have the person that is supposed to be your teammate in the game of life teaching you things, and watching you flounder through them. Stalling cars, and using the wrong verb tense, and adding 64 and 32 incorrectly. It's embarrassing, and condescending (he's not condescending, but it feels like it) and , and, well... humbling. Grumbling.

And generally speaking, it makes me feel like this...

I don't know.

In a nutshell... It's like having to learn to speak, recognize numbers, and walk upright all over again, and being taught by the one person you want sitting next to you in class, not up at the front writing stuff on the chalkboard.

Does that make sense?


Naw, naw, it's cool... But I promise, if he figures out a way to give birth, I am NOT learning how to drive a stick shift. So THERE!


  1. I can relate to the part about being taught by your spouse...But that first part...doesn't that guy know opposites attract?

  2. Hi Mom! Writing comments as ME, now, are you? I guess I forgot to log off on your computer the other day... ;)