“BOOM!” he shouts at the top of his lungs, flexing both arms and holding a one-man pose-down in the kitchen. I’ve learned not to react, not to encourage him. I can’t even say something like, “Put the safety on and come to dinner, please.” Doing so only leads to statements like:
“Do you have any duct tape? Because I’m ripped!”
“Do you have any dirty laundry? Just put it here on my washboard.”
Give me strength. (No pun intended.)
There was a lot of this going on during our recent vacation together, which is another blog post entirely, as the painful emotional and mental machinations we go through to get through a flight or a road trip without my trying to leap from whatever vehicle we’re in will no doubt make for some good reading. In short, by the time it’s all over, one of us decides we’re not speaking to the other ever again. Don’t we sound like a lot of fun?
So we were sitting on a tarmac, delayed (as usual) from
Switching to the in-flight magazine, I saw Alex flip to the Sudoku puzzle, a first for him. Twenty minutes later, I looked over at the same, blank puzzle. Twisting his pen, scratching his face, he was obviously pained about the whole thing. I took a look over his shoulder and casually entered some numbers—in pen, an event that irked him so that that veins in his forehead were blocking the exit rows.
“Wait!” he cried, snatching the magazine away from my reach. “How do you know that’s even right?”
“You don’t, it’s just an educated guess based on the rest of the numbers.”
“But it could be wrong.”
I left him to his self-torture for another twenty minutes, at which point I had to look again. Still no numbers. “If they had seen you doing these puzzles, they would have called them Slowdoku,” I said, tickled at my own joke. There it was: the point he stopped talking to me for the rest of the trip.
And this is basically what sums up our relationship, ourselves. Alex is afraid to make guesses, fearing they may be wrong, thus rendering the whole thing a failure. And I insist on just going ahead with the guessing, damn the consequences, because at least then you can go on to figure out if you’re right and fix what isn’t. I ask you, which is worse: A blank puzzle, or a messed up puzzle?
Am I oversimplifying everything? Probably. Is it kind of accurate? Absolutely.