Wednesday, May 28, 2014

"Do You Swing?"

The simple answer is NO.

I shouldn't have to justify my life choices, but I'm going to take a moment to share what it's like to be me and be asked that question.

I was a child genius, and I'm still pretty smart. By following me on social media, I'm sure you've gleaned that I'm always up to something. Actually, it's more like I'm up to fifty somethings. My brain rarely shuts off because I'm pondering, problem solving, postulating. My mother learned how to rein me in at a young age by providing me with charts and lists. This gave me focus. This kept our entire house from becoming land of the creative crazy. I still live off charts and lists so I can stay focused and complete tasks, giving me creative discipline.

I get overwhelmed easily. I don't always understand things that aren't black and white. I scored high on science, math, and logic on my standardized tests, and noticeably lower on reading comprehension in school. I need some structure to stay focused. I need stability in some aspects of life so I can handle the randomness of creativity and problem solving. I like stability.

I study menus before I go out to eat. Part of it is because food is my porn. (I like to imagine how things would taste. I like food.) Another part of it is that I have a lot of food allergies and dislikes. I need to know what I can actually eat off the menus so I don't inconvenience everyone with questions that hold up the order. Once I find something I can eat, I usually get the same exact thing every time I go to the restaurant. I know what's in it. I know I can eat it without getting hives or diarrhea or blisters on the back of my neck. I know I like it. It becomes something stable. I like stability.

I turn people down when they suggest I eat fish. "C'mon, it's really good for you. You'll like it." They seem to think they can change my opinion, or if I try their fish then I'll see that I've been wrong my entire life. They don't realize I have eaten fish in the past. I've caught, cleaned, and cooked my own fish. I'm far more familiar with fish than folks may realize. They may think this is my first time to be offered fish. "No, thank you" doesn't seem to work. "Because I'm not interested" doesn't always kill the topic. I turn down people who suggest I eat mushrooms. "Why don't you eat mushrooms? "Because I'm allergic." "What happens when you eat them?" It's not polite to say I get the raging shits and feel miserable for the rest of the day. I like stability. I like enjoying my food and feeling good after consuming it. I like what I like.

I've been with Andrew for more than half of my life. I like stability. He's my steak cooked medium without mushrooms, no judgments for wanting extra greens, no shaming for saving room for dessert. I don't have to explain or justify why I like this but I don't like that, why I do this but I don't do that. I don't have to jump through hoops to impress him, to do anything that would make me feel unsafe or uncomfortable, to try to apply my poor reading comprehension skills to sort out what something means because it isn't incredibly simple. I like my steak. I don't share my steak.

He doesn't share either. He's like the male version of me in many ways, only he got a better reading comprehension score and wasn't good with the math. He saves complication for writing plots and characters, not for real life. Stability. Simplicity.

We don't swing. Too many complications, too confusing, too much unwanted problem solving. Neither one of us wants to work that hard. We'll just be over here enjoying our steaks together.