My husband is smarter than me. It isn’t necessary to ply me with “Oh that can’t be true, you’re so smart!” I know I’m intelligent. He’s a genius. It gets irritating
sometimes constantly losing every argument, and yet for some reason I married the guy on purpose. One of the advantages to marrying a brainiac, is that half of that brain is mine. I get all the benefits of a guy who can take metric crap tons (yes, it’s a legitimate unit of measure) of information, analyze it, extract the vital pieces of data, and condense it in a way that is not only understandable, but useful. As much as I complain about his addiction to spreadsheets, those spreadsheets help us plan action-packed vacations, buy electronics that don’t explode days after their warranties expire, and prevent making expensive purchases that we regret immediately (with the exception of our sleep number bed–our worst purchase ever). In fact, maybe that’s his blog name–Mr. Spreadsheet? We’ll see. It’s a work-in-progress.
To be fair, Mr. Spreadsheet isn’t a genius in every area. He is one of the least observant people I know. Years ago when we were dating, we moved from one apartment to another. I’d been working my ass off trying to pack up everything before the movers arrived, and had been…oh, about 80% successful. With two hours to go, I let out a huge exasperated sigh and complained that I wished we could have had more help.
“What are you talking about?” Mr. Spreadsheet replied. “We’re basically done.”
I looked around the room slowly. A white sock lay strewn across our black recliner. Our computer corner sat basically untouched, complete with stacks of jewel cases and half-used printer paper. The corners of our living room were stacked with metric crap tons of random items not yet sorted and boxed. I looked at him carefully, scanning for hints of sarcasm, horrified to find none.
I am also much better at puzzle-based computer games, but that’s a woefully under-appreciated skill in life.
In some ways, Mr. Spreadsheet and I complement each other perfectly. He plans, I execute. He drives, I navigate. He makes money, I spend it. Perfectly matched puzzle pieces. When we went to Europe a few years ago, he spreadsheeted (can we turn that into a verb?) our vacation while I brushed up on my single year of college French and researched etiquette. He planned out our necessities and I packed the perfect suitcases. He weighed the pros and cons of hotels vs apartments while I called and booked amazing lodgings. On our perfect days, we are a team. He is so assertive and stubborn that he literally needs an emotional, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, flexible person like me to tone him down and remind him that spontaneity can also be fun on occasion. He’ll admit it. Probably.
The huge downside to having a genius for a husband is that I am constantly disappointing him. My map-reading skills are abysmal. I was excellent in math at school, but I have a mild processing delay and social anxiety, which means that if you ask me how much a $50 sweater costs at 20% off, or if I’m wearing an analogue watch and you ask me for the time, it takes me an embarrassing amount of time to tell you. I am a wonderful writer, but verbal communication has always been difficult for me. I envy my husband’s ability to command a room with his charm, his anecdotes, and his ability to make strangers feel connected not only to him, but to everyone else in the room. It’s a gift I simply don’t possess.
Possibly the worst thing about having a husband who is smarter, is that he doesn’t understand how I could have such a poor memory. The worst thing about having a poor memory is watching his face when I disappoint him. I just hate it. This morning, when I left the house to bring my boy to school, I said good-bye to Mr. Spreadsheet because I was going to do some grocery shopping afterward, and he wouldn’t be there when I returned. After dropping off my son and getting to the grocery store parking lot, I realized that I’d left my wallet at home. I drove home, cursing myself, and retrieved my wallet. On my way out the door, I decided to seize the opportunity to give Mr. Spreadsheet another kiss and let my younger boy say good-bye to “Daddo.” After our kisses, I sprang back into the car, drove to the grocery store, parked the car, reached into my purse, and realized that on the way to give extra kisses, I’d placed my wallet on the banister at the bottom of the stairs. I’d left my wallet at home a SECOND TIME. My husband doesn’t always have patience with my lesser-genius, and today, who could blame him? But blessedly, he was all smiles as he stopped at the grocery store on his way to work to deliver my wallet and my third round of kisses for the day.
Although some days it’s hard, I’m glad I married a man who is smarter than me. I have a partner in crime who will always challenge me, inspire my personal growth, and encourage me to use my talents to their fullest extent…and frankly, whenever I have the opportunity to prove him wrong, I feel pretty damn genius myself.