Matt is the most rational and un-excitable person I know. He doesn’t emote. I think it’s a nerd/programmer thing. I’ve only known Matt to cry twice: early in our relationship when he was falling in love with me and realizing how awesome I was (I would pause here and tell Matt I’m sorry for embarrassing him, but this is nothing new, so we’ll move on), and during my first hospitalization when I was told I was having surgery (I was sobbing, he only shed a few tears). I semi-recently asked, “Why don’t you cry over me like you did when we met!?” To this, he arched his eyebrow, laughed (devilishly), and chided me with, “Kathryn…that was a long time ago! It’s different now.” He then excused himself to get some almonds to munch on. So much for romance.
Matt and I are very different: namely, he is very nice, and I can be very temperamental. He calls it emotional. If we have a run-in with a rude individual I might go to him afterwards, “God, what an ASSHOLE!”. He will listen to me, and then I always end with, “Well, DON’T YOU AGREE??!” to which he’ll usually respond, “Yes; he could have been nicer.” Sometimes he disagrees but tries to be diplomatic, but it always comes out very condescending like: “I see your point, but maybe you’re looking into it too much. Maybe so-and-so didn’t realize how they came off.” This is when I usually explode and tell him, “No, Matt, you just don’t get it!”
Matt once tried to teach me how to drive stick. Actually, it was more like five times, and they all ended horribly. The first time was in his rickety old truck only a few months into our relationship. I liked him, so I didn’t want to scare him off, so I decided NO MATTER WHAT I was going to keep my emotions in check. I think I only cried once that day.
The next few times were nothing short of disastrous. Matt had gotten a new car – which was of course manual – and decided we would try again. This time things when smoothly until I stalled. And then stalled again. And again and again and again. Then I yanked off his Spongebob air freshener and threw it out the window. And then I cried. We have since decided that his next car will be an automatic.
Before I got more seriously sick with Crohn’s, I decided I was going to get my MBA. I cannot articulate why except for “everyone is doing it” and “it can’t hurt”. Because I have absolutely no business background and my GMAT scores were just okay, I was admitted on a provisional basis: I had to receive a B in my first class – statistics – to be admitted into Penn State’s program. This would be no big deal if the class wasn’t STATISTICS. Because I have no business background, and my last class solid math class was pre-calc in 11th grade, and this class was said to be the equivalent of "two undergrad classes in half the time" I decided I obviously had to find a way to cheat. Unfortunately, I was not clever enough to think of exactly how, so I solicited Matt's help. Matt is good at math and uses it for his job. He says things like "it's the only universal language" and it's "beautiful and absolute" and it "exists outside of its application" (I don't get the last one, either).
It didn't go well. First of all, the class was abstract and I'm not sure how we were to use it in the business world. Or any world. Every Tuesday and Thursday I'd come home from class close to tears because I did not understand it...at all. And every Tuesday and Thursday night Matt would look over the chapter and walk me through it. He found most of it easy, but I was very pleased when he was tripped up a few times, and took the opportunity to shout, "YOU don't even understand it! That's how AWFUL it is!" or, when I was feeling particularly frustrated and mad, I'd snidely and very flippantly say, "Well, well, well, I guess you're just as dumb as I am." Look, I was mad.
I think it's impossible to learn something from someone whom you love. Like a child, I'd cry, throw my books down, and walk about the room when I didn't understand something...which was often. I'm not someone who enjoys a hearty challenge; I enjoy things I'm good at. Like watching t.v. Or choosing what jewelry to wear for the day. Not statistics. I put my MBA on hold when I got sick, and have yet to pick it back up.
But you know what? Thanks to my better half, I got the necessary B in that class.