Earlier this week, a friend and I had what might qualify as an exchange of serendipity. She (Amy) wrote a blog post about change on a day that I was frustrated with the amount of change and particularly the pace of change in the technology that surrounds me and with which I make my living. Hers was such a simple message, but it reminded me of why I love what I do. It reminded me that I love a changing environment and that I would be bored to tears in a job that never changed.
If you’re wondering about the growing disconnect between what I’ve written so far and the title, hang on.
The other half of the serendipity exchange came after a few comments on Amy’s blog. I started off with a small bit of encouragement in a comment that I left for her. I know how comments, even short ones can mean a lot to a blogger but I didn’t want to go into the reason her post had helped me. Amy responded, thanking me for the support, I responded, Amy responded (you can read the comments if you’re interested) and it seems that my comment helped her discover something that she wasn’t looking for. Serendipity exchanged…but wait, there’s more.
Amy mentioned that sometimes, she doesn’t know why she’s posting something, but she “just knows” that it’s the right thing to post.
She just knows.
She just knows?
She. Just. Knows!
Ugh, I hate that.
Of course I don’t really hate that, but it’s frustrating when women just know stuff. Don’t start in on me – I’m not being all sexist and stuff here. I’m just speaking from experience. My experience, in which most men want to figure things out, want to know the reason, want to work through the logical path from A to B to C and so forth into the upper reaches of the alphabet if necessary while many women in my life just know stuff.
Way back in the ‘80s, I had a 1977 Dodge pickup truck that was losing antifreeze. There was never a spot on the ground, or at least not one I could pick out and identify as antifreeze. The truck wasn’t overheating (until the level of antifreeze in the radiator was too low) and there were no signs of antifreeze in the engine compartment. The hoses were new, added when the water pump had recently been replaced. Suspecting a leaking head gasket, I changed and carefully inspected the oil. No signs of antifreeze. Frustrated, I stood there looking at the engine for what I might be missing. My wife walked up and quipped “maybe there’s a pinhole in one of the hoses.”
I think my response was:
“Yeah that must be it, a piiiin hole in the hose, cuz that happens.” Although maybe the last few words were merely in my head.
You all know how this ends; there was a pin hole in one of the brand new radiator hoses. I didn’t discover that fact for several weeks, and I have yet to live that experience down.
I have also yet to learn how to just trust my wife’s intuition. Actually, I mentioned that in an earlier post. Amy and I also had a comment exchange after that post, which ended with her saying:
“…When are you guys just going to get it that women are “wired” differently and that our “hunches” are usually (99.9999999%) right?”
Note: ‘guys’ is plural because Amy and her husband have been married almost as long as my wife and I have been (a long time) and, apparently, he doesn’t get it either.
But, from my point of view, there’s nothing to “get” – you can’t just know stuff. Still, the number of times that my wife has suggested the right cause for a problem or the best course of action in a situation (a situation where, I might add, she has no earthly qualification to suggest such reason or approach) is – a – large – number.
Earlier this year, a couple of women in our office suggested that the garbage disposal was making a funny sound. “Making a funny sound” is a signature statement of a woman who just knows something. “The thing is grinding garbage, what kind of sound do you expect it to make?”
I turned the disposal on. I listened. I tossed a few ice cubes in and listened. It sounded fine to me. Still, I was so haunted by the number of times my wife has said: “Do you hear that?” “Did you hear that?” or “My car is making a funny sound” that I almost just had the disposal replaced.
This morning, I mentioned to my wife that I have to deal with the building manager to try and find a plumber to replace our garbage disposal. Because I don’t hide much from my wife (because she will find out eventually) I told her about the earlier “warning” I had received from the women in the office.
“Why didn’t you listen to them?”
“Because, the new one comes out of my budget, and I can’t just go spending money without a good reason.”
OK, I get it. I had a good reason. They just knew.