Saturday, May 14, 2011

Eyewitness

The cats are not allowed up on this
table. This picture must have been
taken during one of the few
moments in which the cats
were not up on the table anyway.
Everybody knows that if you ask multiple eyewitnesses about an event, you're sure to get discrepancies. I'm hoping David and I are never witnesses to a crime because we would never be able to give the police a coherent statement. He would say that the crime happened at midnight, and I would remind him that the sun was shining at the time. He would say that we were downtown when it happened, and I would remind him that we were at home. He would insist that the event happened during the Mesozoic Era and I would remind him that the dinosaurs had all died out by that time so it had to at least have been the Paleozoic Era.

In other words, we have very different interpretations of the same facts. But I don't want to say that David's interpretation of events are completely wrong. A successful marriage -- which I think we have, by the way, even though we're both still slightly grumpy about actually being married -- involves give and take, and seeing life through the other person's eyes. So with a nod towards continued marital harmony, I will instead say that David's interpretations of events are on occasion, not completely wrong. See? That's the hallmark of a healthy relationship, right there. (Note that I used the singular of "occasion," because there's only been that one time that he wasn't completely wrong.) 

One nice thing is that when David gets things wrong, it's often because he is mistakenly crediting me with accomplishments that I didn't actually achieve. For example, I once caught him telling a group of friends that I have a commercial driver's license. That is totally false. In fact, I sometimes think I would be better off if I didn't have any driver's license at all, based partly on the fact that I still just haven't gotten the hang of traffic circles. (My apprehension of traffic circles means that I will probably never reach the level of European sophistication that I would like to achieve, but I'll just eat a bunch of pain au chocolat to try to make up for it.)

Also once I overheard David telling someone I got an athletic scholarship to college. This is wrong on so many levels it's hard to pick just one, but I'll start by saying my college didn't offer athletic scholarships. And there is absolutely no way I would have gotten an athletic scholarship had they been offered. On the other hand I did go to college -- so in David's eyes, his story was basically correct.

Unflattering picture of Baby W,
taken by Stella. She's also taken
plenty of unflattering pictures of
me, but I won't be posting those.
I say all this because David and I have very different assessments of our children's developmental abilities. David thinks that Baby W has a vocabulary of five to ten words, can nod his head yes or no, can sing and dance, and program simple yet profitable iPhone apps. I, on the other hand, think that Baby W's main achievement at this point is timing his diaper blowout to occur three minutes after you've changed him.

David is convinced that Baby W knows several sign language signs. We taught Stella some sign language when she was a baby, and have been working on the same signs with Baby W. David in particular has been trying to teach Baby W the sign for "dog." David insists that Baby W has mastered the gesture, and I'll go along with that, but here are some of the things that Baby W has called "dog" just today: airplanes, trees, ants, cars, swings, the occasional dog but that might just be coincidence, cats, me, his lunch, and individual air molecules. 

But of course there are lots of things that David and I do agree on -- important things. Like how to raise our children, what kind of family we want, and how to be kind to each other. And there's never any disagreement about the most important thing we want out of life: pain au chocolat.

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