Ridin’ on fumes
Posted: Wednesday, August 17, 2011 8:01 pm
My husband and I don’t always see life through the same lens. It’s not just a man and woman thing. No. It’s a personality thing. Most of the time our differences are beneficial. He helps the boys with math homework. I help them with English homework. He stays calm when he’s helping the boys with homework. I get emotional when I’m helping the boys with homework. In fact, the word “helping” might not be the accurate term for what I do when one of the boys says, “Who cares if it’s a noun or an adverb? What difference does it make?” My dear husband speaks carefully. I speak less carefully. He’s emotionally stable. I’m ... a lot of fun. See? It works. But sometimes our differences are difficult to understand.
I’m a fairly intelligent person, so I know when to put gas in the car. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist. That big E on the gas gauge stands for empty. SO when the little needle on the gas gauge is ON the big E it’s time to look for a gas station and fill ’er up. That is what is meant by the term “fill up the tank.” If the tank is not empty, one cannot fill it up. In my estimation, when the gas gauge is NOT on the big E, there’s still plenty of time to drive around and have fun or go get a limeade or visit a friend.
My dear emotionally stable husband doesn’t seem to understand the gas gauge or the concept of the little needle and the big E. He’s fully convinced that we have to look for a gas station WAY before the needle hits the E. I don’t think Phil has ever experienced the true joys of the term “fill ’er up.” He lives in the stability of the term “top it off.” He’s never bitten his fingernails while looking for the next exit on the freeway. He’s never heard the chug of the engine as he saw a fuel sign. He’s never prayed fervently that the next gas station was on a downhill driveway. I know. He’s probably gonna live 10 years longer than me.
I, on the other hand, have seldom known the joys of planning ahead. I can’t imagine knowing where my cell phone is 24 hours a day. I don’t know what it’s like to have my computer files organized or my life planned out in such detail. Phil experiences these joys daily.
We’ve learned a lot from each other in the last 23 years. I’ve seen Phil’s tenacity and determination pay off in many ways for our family. He says I’ve made his life a lot more fun ... even when he’s on all fours looking under the couch for my cell phone. But when it comes to the gas tank, well, we’ll probably never see eye to eye. And that’s OK. Phil will continue to sleep well at night knowing that his gas tank is full and ready in case of emergency. I’ll continue to sleep well at night knowing that though my gas tank is on empty, I married a good man who plans ahead. If we have an emergency in the middle of the night, I feel certain he’ll give me a ride in his car. I’ll just need to find my cell phone first.
For more information about Lisa Smartt, visit her website, lisasmartt.com.
Published in The Messenger 8.17.11
Lisa Smartt, The Smartt View