Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fritz and I are different




Like that's a newsflash.

But sometimes the fact obtrudes itself a little more obviously than usual.  For example, yesterday I swung by our local bank and chatted with the manager about biking through the drive-thru.  An enjoyable and possibly fruitful conversation.  We may get at least a bike rack out of it.

Fritz thought I ought to have organized a series of bikers to keep lining up in the lane and making a nuisance of ourselves until the bank was forced to change.

(And I'm the one who gets the credit for being the rebel around here?)


Or this morning when I'm folding clothes, waiting for the sun to rise and for my mind to stretch and yawn and come to something like attention (and yes, this is after walking the hills for half an hour and cooking a pot of oatmeal -  but the sun's not up and my mind is strictly diurnal).  At last an idea begins to rise to the surface and I walk toward the kitchen to share it with Fritz.

Fritz is eating his cereal, having finished his usual mutter about what are those dark things? because I put raisins in again this morning.  Now, he's staring fixedly at yet-another flyer that's come for Eldest from the University of Puget Sound. Staring fixedly, to be precise, at a picture on the flyer of Mount Rainier. 

It's that time of morning.  I stare fixedly quite frequently this time of (not yet) day myself.

I bring the idea I've been cogitating over to the surface.  I say, "Hey, I think we should go to Ikea and look at little square tables. And get some more of those wooden hangers. Yeah?"

He taps his finger on the picture of Mount Rainier.  Talking is often a little much for me in the morning, too.

I say, "Nice picture."


He says, "Do you realize that half the atmosphere is here in this space between top and base?"

I say, "Oh?"

He says, "That's half the atmosphere by mass.  Of course it extends much further."

He keeps talking as I head back to the dryer.

Where I happen to have pencils in the tin cup on the sill and also a small flattened brown paper sack that held squash seeds.  I have to take dictation -- because this is too much him -- and so I fold clothes and jot, fold and jot.  Because I'm afraid I won't be able to remember anything of what he's saying from the other room on my own -- as my brain is still lingering somewhat closer to my pillow than the rest of me is.

He says, "I find this earth very fascinating.  And for example, Venus.  Which is about the same size but has an atmosphere substantially more dense.  If we were placed there it would crush us.  And it's a lot hotter.  500 degrees at the surface."

That's what Fritz thinks about in the early morning.

An hour later, when YoungSon comes down to where I'm writing - helmet, raincoat, backpack ready for the bike to school - I jump up and grab my pannier.  Stuffing in swim gear, towel, clothes to volunteer at the school in, which means also hair-dryer, make up, another pair of shoes, nice sweater . . .

"Are you sure you have enough time to get there?" says Fritz. 

(Because we bike, not to Young's school, but to his old school where the bus to his present school gathers up kids from all around town . . . it's complicated. The point is, we have to get there before Young's bus leaves.)

"Yes, yes," I say.  "Of course.  Kisses.  See you."

Well, I could have made it.  Probably.  But YoungSon can still pedal only so fast. 

The amazing thing is that after (1) we turn and head back home the Back Way rather than the Usual Way to Young's old school and then (2) I change my mind and decide we can make it to the Young's present school if we go the Alternate Route and then (3) turn the corner that connects the Back Way to the Alternate Route, I glance behind me to see that YoungSon is keeping up and notice as traffic data only that a large vehicle has pulled over to the curb just ahead of me . . .

And it's Fritz.  Who is not halfway to work, but here.  Because he'd determined we'd likely not have enough time.  And who, truly frighteningly, plotted out not only my dithering over Usual Way vs. Back Way, but also  my sudden whim to take the Alternate Route and try for Young's present school.  Thus showing up at the very same corner at the same moment we do.  Where he has YoungSon load his bike on the bumper rack and pile in.  Saving the day.

See what I mean? 

Different.

4 comments:

Emma J said...

Have a mentioned Fritz and precision?

He had me change density to mass - though density is what he said this morning. "But mass is, actually, more accurate."

And now, "One more thing: I hadn't wanted to exaggerate. But I rechecked and Venus is more like 800 degrees. But you could say 500 C . . . right?"

Right.

(lee-lee!)

Filigree said...

The Co-Habitant and I are like so totally different. He thinks wrapping handlebars is easy and shellacking them is hard. I think that wrapping is hard, but shellacking is easy. Also he is male and I am female. It can be difficult. And yet, we use these differences to our advantage and make things work. A clear case of "opposites attract"!

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

How very funny.

Please tell Fritz I wished no less than a hundred times I'd have stayed in that astronomy class with him rather than trying to brave Physical Science 100 on my own in an online class. Truly. I wished and wished and wished.

I love that Fritz is the same as he was 40 years ago.

Melissa said...

I love the accompanying pictures - different presentations of the same image, and both beautiful. But, I can't help but notice, one is correct and one is a permutation of correct. Which is how I sometimes see my matrimonial differences...

What interesting conversations you and Fritz have, and I am very impressed he not only is thinking coherently so early, but thinking on such weighty (not dense, apparently) topics.

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