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Sunday, July 05, 2009

And a Happy Independence Day to you and yours. We had a delightful day. We were fairly loungy and lazy (a rarity for us) until the afternoon when our friends Sara & Greg and Larissa & daughter Abby joined us. We brought a picnic dinner down to the park (about a ½ mile walk from the house) and played and hung out until the fireworks at 10.

The Martin boys were champs. Matthew – always the cautious and sensitive one – was a little apprehensive. Loud noises have always made him nervous, so we brought my big rocker-type, sound-cancelling headphones for him to wear. That seemed to do the trick as shortly after the show started Matthew yelled, “Hey! I like fireworks. Actually, they’re awesome. They’re awesome because they’re beautiful.” (Look, we know I like to embellish a bit, but I promise you that anything put in quotations is verbatim what these little people said. Half the stuff that comes out of their mouths is too good for even my imagination to come up with).

Now, quick change of topic: I wish to address the differences between men and women. And they are different – these differences – ever so different. I’m by no means an expert on all the idiosyncrasies of the genders, but I do have a fair amount of experience what with having a fair amount of guy friends, two brothers, a dad, a husband, and two boys. So, let me just state outright that Mike is a phenomenal father and spousal unit – totally hands on, devoted and wonderful. OK, now that I have that out of the way, let me also say that Mike is a man. Obviously. And therefore he shares some of the generic qualities that all Homo sapiens of the male persuasion seem to exude. The most prevalent issue, I think – the biggest difference between us (man and woman) – is man’s inability to multitask. He just can’t. Just plain and simple, he is incapable of thinking or doing more than one thing/task at a time.

An example: this afternoon I started a load of laundry, I took out the garbage on my way outside to get the sprinkler going to water the flowers, listened to an audio book while I did the dishes, talked on the phone while I moved the sprinkler and then moved the laundry, thought about dinner plans when I walked up to take care of my out-of-town neighbor’s yard, came back home, turned off the sprinkler, and folded laundry while watching Mike and Matthew have their ‘bonding’ time (playing the Lego Batman game on the Wii). I made sure to carry the laundry on my way up the stairs and deliver it to rooms before I cleaned the kitchen floor which I did while occasionally reading through emails.

Now, this, I promise, is not to illustrate all that I did this afternoon, because it was, for the record, pretty dang productive and impressive (and not necessarily completely typical of a Sunday afternoon). What I wish to show is how, when I start one task, I am immediately thinking about starting another project or am already working on the undertaking of said additional project. I plan my time so that I can get the most bang for my buck, so that I can be as productive as possible, SO THAT I can just sit and relax at some point…to read, or write, or watch a movie, etc.

So, I’ve given you an example of what I did. And realistically, I did a fair amount of that (the first several tasks, maybe even about the first half of the list) in approximately 30 minutes. When we were getting lunch prepared this afternoon Mike put chicken in the oven…and commenced…to pace. I looked around the kitchen – the piles of post-4th of July crappola heaped on the ‘peninsula’ – and said, “Um, I would love it if instead of pacing you helped me put this stuff away.” OK, so, I have since learned, after our ‘discussion’ that there is a better way to ask him to a.) stop pacing and b.) start helping. I am, of course, a little perplexed as to why I even need to c.25-h4) ask for his help in the first place. But I was informed that, literally, this would be his typical thought process during this scenario: I have successfully put the chicken in the oven and set the timer, so now it is my duty to wait for the timer to inform me that the chicken is done at which point I will turn off the timer and remove the chicken from the oven. Now, I wait for the chicken timer to ding. I am waiting upon the chicken.

(Yes, this is my interpretation of his thought process.)

Dude. Do you know what I could do until the chicken was done? I could have a whole bathtub grouted (if I knew how to grout), or an apron sewed (if I knew how to sew); a child birthed (if I was capable of birthing a child); I could have the entire world saved from the evil of mankind (if I was capable of miracle-working). That’s how freakin’ productive I am, my people. But instead: We wait. For. The Chicken.

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