Ladies, I honestly don't know how/when he learned how to do this stuff. That's the funny thing about being with someone for nearly thirteen years: I still only know a tiny fraction of this guy who I'm married to. Yet, I am certain that nobody knows him better than me. Interesting paradox. (That's a paradox, isn't it? Should I be using a different word? Where's Croul when I need her?)
Me: "Uhhhh, I think so?"
Ron: "THAT'S why you had to learn functions in calculus. You can't understand any of that without calculus. See? Calculus really isn't that bad! Do you remember how functions work?"
Me: "Can we talk about Socrates now?"
Ron: "You're right: we should have gnocchi for dinner."
One of my favorite Ron stories ever: We are sitting in first period Italian class in twelfth grade. It's approximately 8am. Ron has been awake for about 35 minutes. He sits behind me, and he is face down on his desk with his eyes closed waiting for Signora D to begin the lesson. It's after the midpoint of the school year, so everyone has submitted his or her college apps and some people have already narrowed into a major. I've been hearing Ron talk about becoming a mechanical engineer since I started dating him six months prior. Finally, I can't stand it anymore. I have no idea what a mechanical engineer is/does, so I turn around and ask the top of his head, "Ok, so what do mechanical engineers do?" Ron sits up so fast he almost slams me in the chin.
Ron: "You don't know?"
Ron: "Huh. Ok. [He begins moving his hands around as if he's working on a rubiks cube.] Engineers ... [very long pause] ... they ... build sh*t."
Ron: "They build sh*t. Like, do you need a knee replacement? Well, guess who designed your new knee? An engineer worked for years on that knee: What material is lightweight and durable for half a lifetime? Is the material remotely affordable? Can it withstand this or that body weight and allow certain range of motion? Or, ok, let's say you want to buy a new power drill. ["I don't."] Yeah, but let's SAY you do. An engineer selected all those parts to work a certain way and maybe even designed new parts to make the drill work better than any previous drill. And, you know, stuff like that can get really hot when you use it, so the materials have to be able to withstand heat and friction, you know, stuff like that."
Me: "Ohhhh ..."
Ron: "You didn't know that?"
Ron: [big shrug] "Oh."
Speed forward eight or nine years. I notice that Ron not only watches "Lidia's Italy" (his favorite childhood TV show ... not kidding ... well, maybe it was "Laurence Welk"? It's probably Lidia. Can you tell Ron didn't have cable as a kid?) and "America's Test Kitchen" very intently, but he watches even more intently "This Old House," "New Yankee Workshop," and "Rough Cut Woodworking with Tommy Mac" on a pretty regular basis. For some reason, this makes me nervous. Especially when he mutters things under his breath while watching such as, "Oh easy. I could do that"; "Ohhhhhhh ... that's how they build that??"; "Ok: I get it."
GET WHAT??? BECAUSE I WATCH BRETT BARA CROCHET STUFF ON TV AND I DON'T "GET IT" AT ALL!!! I WATCH INA ROAST A FRICKIN CHICKEN AND I DON'T GET IT!!! GIADA JUST BAKED A GODDAMN CAKE AND I NEED TO REWIND IT THREE TIMES TO "GET IT"!!
WHAT ARE YOU GETTING??? HOW DOES YOUR BRAIN DO THIS??
Whatever the problem is, Ron just sits down and GETS IT. It's fixed/done/over. He doesn't agonize. He barely studies. He hardly pays attention. But when he focuses on something like a laser beam for five minutes, the project miraculously gets finished and finished PERFECTLY.
Ladies: I don't know how he does it. If I could explain it to you, I would. I'm not sure if it's genetic or learned behavior or what. One day, he's watching Tommy Mac and the next day my kitchen is transformed. It's embarrassing because I can't even touch it. If my life depended on it, there is nothing I can do that well. If I'm good at anything, it's only because I've spent years and years AND YEARS (practicing, sobbing, practicing some more, throwing tantrums, screaming, yelling, cursing, practicing again) trying to become sorta good at whatever it is. Ron blinks and it (whatever "it" is) appears. It makes my head spin--I can't grasp it.
There's no sense in analyzing it too much. (Too late for that.) I guess when he said he wanted to become a guy "who builds sh*t," he really was being serious for a change. I wish I knew my talents that well. And, I wish I knew how to tap into them with so little angst and stress.
HA! Maybe that's it? Ditch the angst and you get stuff done? Relatively quickly?
He's going to be really embarrassed when he reads this, and twice as embarrassed when he sees all of your nice comments. I guess it's most funny because all of this is just a manifestation of him just being himself.
I wouldn't change him for the world.
Thanks, Ron : ) Especially because the whole family (but I mostly) shamelessly exploits your talents. If you ever need me to crochet something for you or to bake a cake for you, you would ask me, right?
And thanks again, everyone, for your nice compliments!