I’ve been married for not even two weeks and, while I probably had inklings of this, it has become already prominent that Alison and I have two different modes of operating. She seeks finality, whereas I seek comprehension. I must add that I honestly had no idea what a good picture to go with this post would be, so I figured that the best option would be a cute kitten. (Because nothing beats cute kittens)
Before I get into our modi operandi… While we were on our honeymoon Alison and I were watching TV and getting ready to watch the Pirates of the Caribbean. Somehow we made our way to Animal Planet and (this is probably where I got the cute kitten inspiration from) it was showing “Too Cute! Kittens”; Alison couldn’t turn away. Normally this wouldn’t be a super huge deal, except that Alison hates cats. I’m not going to lie, the cats were cute, like really cute, like “AWWWWWW that is TOOO CUTE!!!!” They really didn’t have to think that hard to come up with a title for the show.
So Alison and I have two different modi operandi.
First day of the honeymoon, we’re down at the beach and need to get groceries. I figured we’d make a day of it, get lunch at a nice cafe and then buy groceries. The cafe was great, open air and at the Port St. Joe marina, felt “right” for a honeymoon. As we are leaving we get in the car only to find that the key won’t turn the ignition. So we jiggle, wiggle and finagle it and the key just does not turn the tumblers, ultimately the steering wheel locks and we are no longer able to jiggle, wiggle and finagle.
SO we call the auto club she’s apart of; they put us in touch with a mechanic, mechanic says he needs to do some research; we wait 45 minutes for a call finally I call back and get a busy signal; we wait 45 more minutes for a call back and finally I call again. This time he picks up, and hasn’t even done any research (pretty sure he was the only guy working or something); ultimately he tells us there is nothing he can do. We call the auto club again and nobody connected to them would tow us, because they’d have to tow us an hour away to the Toyota dealership in Panama City.
So now I’m at a loss.
Someone tells us to call the dealership and they would definitely get someone to tow us, which was true. So we wait around for about an hour and the tow truck arrives and we ride back to the dealership with him; we find out its not an easy fix and so we need to rent a car (We get a van by the way, odd I think. I’m married one day and, providentially or not, I’m driving a Town and Country. Which by the way was annoying to drive due to the high whirr, or whatever; of the engine; I’d much rather hear the lower growl of pistons.) Ultimately the car was fixed two days later and all is well.
So now for the modes of operation:
I want comprehension; I don’t know why. Honestly, I think it gives me a semblance of control. If I have a grasp of a situation I know how to think ahead and make decisions and somehow control the outcome (which is more than likely an illusion, and perhaps I can write about that later). Anyways I was just totally stressing out the whole time until we called Toyota and they were able to get us towed. Why? Because I was at a loss at every turn. I couldn’t figure out why they key wouldn’t work, and the mechanic wouldn’t call back and then when I did get in touch with him he couldn’t help.
WHAT WAS I SUPPOSED TO DO!?
Of course then we called Toyota and they put us in touch with the towing company who was on their way. Now I know a time (1 hour) and two possible outcomes (its a simple fix and we get the car, or its not and we have to rent a vehicle). For whatever reason me knowing that put me at ease, regardless of the hour wait for the tow and the possibility of a days wait for the car.
On the other hand…
Alison was totally calm until we had to wait for the tow. She is, for whatever reason, totally resigned to being OK and calm when not having answers. Whereas she has to tell me to calm down, because there is nothing in our power to fix the situation. Then I have to calm her down when she sees that the end might not be here for 2 days. Again, for whatever reason, she gets anxious when she sees the possible outcome of a given situation and has to wait for it to arrive.
Personally I think this can be a very good thing, at least one of us will have our heads on straight in a situation similar to the one I described.
Of course it can also be really annoying. There’s nothing more annoying at times than having to interact with a calm, cool and collected person dealing with the same situation as you and you are at your wits end pulling your hair out. It’s like you want them to be company in your misery (because: insert cultural proverb here).
I guess we’ll see how this plays out for the first several years of our marriage while we figure out how to deal with each other…
until next time!