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Rarely There

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Monday, August 20, 2007

I'll take the root canal, please

D, as we all know, is a man of few words. Not because he has nothing to say. But, because he fancies himself a minimalist.

Don't get me wrong... he is the smartest, funniest, most creative guy I've known since grad school... Most of those days, under the influence of a beer or two, he was unstoppable with his commentaries on politics and science and policies and world peace and designing new submarines and such.

However, when completely sober and dry, with his mind sharp as a tack, brimming with grand thoughts, he prefers to let loose only about a few words an hour. I knew that side of him and accepted it as it outweighed all the other good qualities he has.

Well, turns out, that while I am at peace with this side of his nature, it does lead to some frustrating moments in daily life unless I learn to curb my curiosity or learn to play 20 Questions :-)

For instance, we were getting ready to go visit his dad - about an hour's drive away. We got in the car (this was before Baby arrived) and he pulled out of the driveway. Noting that we were not going in the general direction of the highway we needed to take, here is what ensued:

Me: Aren't we going to dad's?
D: Yes.
Me: I thought so. But why are we going this way instead of that?
D: I need to make a stop.
Me: Oh, for gas? the tank's full, looks like... are we stopping at a store?
D: Yes.
Me: Which store?
D: Freddie's maybe...
Me: Oh. What for?
D: To get something for my dad.
Me: Like what? Food? Gift?
D: I don't know yet.
Me: Oh. if we are going to shop around, I need to pick up a few things as well.
D: No. Let's do that later.
(By now we had pulled up at the parking lot of the store. We go in - he goes straight for the beer aisle while I just hang around the produce section by the checkout. He comes back with a few six packs of beer and I meet him at the checkout)
Me: Hm. We are taking beer for your dad?
D: Yes.
Me: Why didn't you tell me when I asked you?
D: I didn't know then.

And that's the truth. He was never snapping at me or acting irritable. He just gave the simplest most direct answers to my questions without volunteering any extra information!

That's the minimalist side of him that I am still learning to accept.

In my mind, as we are pulling out of the driveway, I would expect a, "We'll stop at Freddie's to get something for my dad and then head out" or something to that effect instead of having to play this 20 Questions, or simply accept the mystery and wait for it to resolve itself...

Moments such as these is when I want to scream, "I'll take the root canal, please"!

But, he doesn't do it to annoy me. He is that way with his parents too. My mum-in-law says he has been that way since a teenager.

When we need to discuss important things, he is generally very attentive, and gives his invaluable input. At those times, I am grateful for the concise and succinct way in which he puts his thoughts across in words.

On thinking a lot about this for about half-a-dozen years now, I realize that I wouldn't really want to try to change him (as if that were possible!). I mean, I would fight tooth-and-nail if he picks something about me that he wants to change. And, it is true that neither of us is perfect - we'd be boring if it were so - and in many ways that I care about, I truly believe D is a better human being than I am.

From what I gather, apparently the feeling is reciprocal, and I guess that's all that matters.

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Anonymous Deej said...

ROFL-ed at the "I'll take the root canal please"! My brother's like that - I keep telling to all and sundry that talking to him is like pulling teeth!

2:59 PM  

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