Are his lips still moving?

One part Engineer
Plus one part Russian major
Equals compromise.
—————————————

I must start this with a declaration: I love my husband. I really do. He has sacrificed a lot for me. I can’t imagine life without him. He is a wonderful friend, husband and father.

But…

He is an engineer. A talkative engineer.  I can also accurately label him an uber geek. He is also a stay at home dad now (meaning limited daily conversations with people over 4 feet tall). On top of all this he is one of the smartest people I know. He reads a ton, knows something about everything (there is very little overstatement in that, trust me or ask people who know him) and, on to the point of this posting… he believes that anything that interests him must also interest his wife, me.

And here is where I must remind you of my opening declaration because…

He is driving me crazy.  He just finished telling me all about a new technology that streams 4 channels simultaneously so that he can use the new “home theater PC” he is building as a DVR and get all the channels we really want, but then again do we really need cable because in a few years things like Google TV will be the way to go, but our router won’t work for that, so I need to buy a new router since ours has been flakey and then run some cables upstairs, including Ethernet, because you know I plan to automate the whole house but I’m not sure how to do that in an 86-year-old house made of plaster but the HVAC guy figured it out all you need to do is drill holes…

What I hear? Blah blah blah cable blah blah computer blah blah spend money blah blah blah another project blah blah blah… (Does anyone remember this Far Side?)  I can feel my brain fog over while he is talking.  The words make sense individually, but strung together with the lack of punctuation (and the depth of detail), they are nearly incomprehensible by me. My eyes glaze and focus on some random spot 2 feet in front of his face. I wonder how long this will continue. I secretly send “force like” messages to my daughter in hopes she’ll come find me (“I am the mom you are looking for”). I feign needing to go to the bathroom unexpectedly.

I am a horrible person. Because I know that I bore him on my own set of topics (work, my blog, what’s on our bucket list, my blog, vacation in 2015, my blog) – I have seen him glaze over and fog as well.  Early in our marriage I called him on it because it was clear he wasn’t listening and it offended me… and here I am, not that many years later, a complete hypocrite. I should be ashamed.

Instead, I’m trying to listen and understand. I have started to reply and build on the concepts so that it looks like perhaps, just maybe, I understand what he is saying… And you know what this does? Just encourages him to go on. And on. And on.

Bless him. I wouldn’t have anyone else as a husband, and I’m pretty sure he is going to keep me around too (well, maybe not after this posting).  But what in the hell am I going to do for the next 30 years?  I’m afraid I’m going to have to buck up and start really listening, participating in his techno-geek-engineer-computer-star wars-android-linux-hacker-car stuff-motorcycle in-depth discussions and actually paying attention. God help me.

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19 Comments

  1. Lee Murray

     /  January 11, 2012

    Check out the Netgear N 900 or ASUS Black Diamond Dual Band-N 600. Both boast Gb speeds and muliple networks for proper segmentation…

    Reply
    • thanks a lot. Frank’s reply: i bought the ND3800 from netgear. It’s open source. My reply: I think you both are making up these words…

      Reply
  2. Lee Murray

     /  January 11, 2012

    The 3800 is a fine dual band as well. Think it can handle 600 Mbs plus several networks and some nice admin / filtering tools. Good stuff and hours of fun – or as you point out blah blah blah spend money blah blah blah. My wife tends to hear it the same way too.

    Reply
  3. I can totally empathize. My husband is an engineer too. God help us all. 😉

    Reply
  4. Oh my I have to add you to my blogroll! I totally understand what you mean…

    Reply
  5. Oh this is too funny! My husband does the same thing, but it’s all about dairy production and machinery (he’s a production supervisor). With his talk of T4’s and R7’s, you’d think that R2D2 ran his plant! I feel your pain.

    Reply
  6. Cindie U

     /  January 12, 2012

    As his cousin (and hers by marriage), I can attest he is pretty darn smart. Seriously wicked smart. But so is she. They are awesome together and I love them both dearly. Keep up the writing, Mo.

    Reply
  7. You are seriously a gifted writer. I love reading your posts!! This one literally made me laugh out loud. No man is perfect, but bless them for trying to be in their own quirky ways 🙂

    Reply
  8. JW

     /  January 12, 2012

    This could have been written in my house. I’m an engineer married to an English Lit major…

    Reply
  9. It must be an adorable trait at some times, like a little boy enthusiastic about his latest toys. But, you know, a grown man. Enthusiastic. About his latest toys.

    Reply
  10. Lacey

     /  January 13, 2012

    This is how my husband is… about football (which happens to be what my most recent post is about… is it husband-speak-a-foreign-language week?).
    Love the post. =)

    Reply
  11. Rebeca

     /  January 13, 2012

    Love it!!! As an engineer married to an engineer, sometimes I think is not the engineer, but the guy part to blame. I am still trying to figure out how is that they “fall in love” with an specifc operational systems?!?!?! The good thing is that “Amazon Wish List” have made my life much easier :), just click buy, not thinking required.

    Reply
  12. Katherine’s the same way, Maureen. And she’s completely honest with me about it, which is actually awesome.

    Simple solution – you should make Frankie call me more often so we can jabber about this stuff.

    Reply
  13. Cafe23

     /  January 19, 2012

    Hahaha! I love this post. It’s so honest and even though it might sound brutal, you know everyone can relate (including your husband)!

    I’ve definitely been in this situation myself before and have gotten bored or annoyed and become unresponsive. Then afterwards I feel guilty and tell myself that I should make more of an effort to engage in the conversation because this is what they find interesting and this is what they’re wanting so much to share with me. I imagine what would happen if they stopped sharing those things with me? Then I’d probably feel like shit that they didn’t want to bother with me anymore. … Or maybe it’d be a blessing in disguise haha.

    Reply
  14. Somebody may have all ready suggested this (I haven’t gotten through all the comments, and it’s almost nap time…), but my suggestion is to start looking confused really early in the dialogue. Then ask a question. Look more confused.

    Then you have to sheepishly confess along the lines of, “Honey, I’m just not as good with cars/computers/etc as you are, and I’m having trouble keeping up. I bet (insert name for a guy pal of his) would have some interesting thoughts on this. Why don’t you call him and set up a time to go bowling/to the game/for beers/whatever?”

    Reply
  1. Puppy Pirates – the Art of Conversation with a 5 year old (Part 2) « FamilyHaikus

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