My husband and I both had to fill out autobiography paperwork this past week. We had a guideline of questions to follow. I wrote mine in essay style, detailed paragraphs. He conserved words and ended up with (mostly) complete sentences. No fluff.
OK — he doesn’t like to write. I finally decided he just approaches tasks in a simple way. I am a little more complicated.
This was further proved when my high school son brought home a problem solving puzzle from science class. He had to create a tube which had four objects dangling from their respective holes. Each object (my son scavenged Legos and pink yarn) was attached to the string inside the tube. Whenever you pulled a Lego, it moved a different Lego. Some moved others but only on condition. It was very intriguing.
I sat down to help him, we were both pursuing our own ideas and trying to bounce ideas off of each other. I made him clarify and reiterate. I asked several questions. In 15 minutes I had about a dozen strings tied together in different ways. One connected to this string, but not that. Another connected to those three but not the fourth. I used a new string to connect it to the fourth…
Sweet kid that he is, my son said he’d give it a try. We couldn’t move it from the pile where I designed it to the tube without getting it all messed up. I never righted it. It was a pile of hot pink spaghetti.
Later that evening my husband sat and listened. He just looked and thought. Then he picked up two strings and said “What if…” then my son said “and I could…”
Well, they were done. It only took two strings.
Now I wonder: what makes me think of him as simple and myself as complicated? Maybe the raw truth is that he is straightforward and I am convoluted.