Thursday, May 29, 2008

Gardening - me, uncharacteristically methodical, him, uncharacteristically hasty!

Having worked with Josh a few times in the garden, I can make a hasty conclusion that his approach is more big picture to my tendency to be a perfectionist.
When we planted the cherry tree, he dug a pathetic, shallow hole. I insisted on something deeper. Maybe it's easier for me to be more exacting because I don't have to do the work; in the case of the cherry tree hole, he was forced to make it bigger at my behest.
I don't know if I can change my garden personality. Today for example, I got really upset that he tried to transplant multiple bulbs at one time into shallow holes, while I spent a lot of time preparing a nice trench for them. After that, I gingerly placed each bulb into their new deep home. Because I started working pretty late in the day, I quickly ran out of light and that forced me to stop working. Otherwise, I feel like I could have spent all day staring at my trench trying to perfect it. Similarly, while we were weeding, Josh took out a few of them, in a lackadaisical, half-assed way and then he abandoned the task and quickly moved on (or got distracted) to something else. It was interesting to see this hasty side of Josh, as he's normally a lot more patient and deliberate.
I went to work at full speed, determined to pull them ALL out. I felt a lot of consternation if I didn't do something just right - if the top part of a weed came out but not the roots, I was very critical of myself. After I cleared the area in a major way, I lamented to Josh how I could spend all day weeding this bed and still feel like the job was not done.
My approach was time consuming and inefficient, but doing it any other way made me feel like I was doing something wrong. Take cooking, for instance, he is more of a perfectionist, taking great care in preparing meals, while I'm more of a speed queen.
I have a hypothesis - for activities that we do all the time, maybe because we are more skilled and have more practice, we can and tend to do those with haste or finesse. On the other hand, for activities that are new or occasional, we feel a little intimdiated by the foreigness so we approach them slowly and deliberately like a nerdy beginner. And for the biggest hastiest conclusion of them all -- because I tend to be a hasty person, maybe that means I tend to feel comfortable simplifying everything while people like Josh take the time to consider each situation uniquely? I do feel like I can get to the crux of a situation quickly, in fact, I enjoy forming conclusions from very little evidence. I guess I'd make a poor scientist, because I'd rather spend time intuiting than actually setting up an experiment. Or maybe I just need to figure out areas where I have good intuition, then I can beat out any slow-assed scientist any time. I think I can read into people's emotions and intentions a lot better than Josh. Somehow, I can create a lot of context out of thin air, while he places a lot of emphasis on words. I did read somewhere that words count for only 7% of meaning, things like body language, tone, etc. account for the rest. If that's true, that's good for me, because it's harder for me to pay attention to words. I prefer to read faces and tones.
I think I'm going hastily end my long rambly post.


farnk said...

Hmmm...uncharacteristic is the right term in this dmestic scene of role reversal. Maybe Josh was testing you to see how serious you actually are about gardening. Strange things happen in marriage.

js said...

One possibility is that with things that we are "expert" at, we tend to play closer to the boundary line of what "adequate" is ... i.e., in your inexperience, you may not know how deep a hole you really need to dig, so you overcompensate by digging really deep?