Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Reading (01/25/07)
By Marlene Bonney
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“Well, did you read the instructions?”
“Instructions! I don’t need to read instructions—this is just a simple project. What do you think I am, stupid?”
The fact is, as a wife, mechanical things are not a visual concept that I can easily grasp. However, if I read and follow directions carefully, I can usually figure out how to put together bookcases, how to install batteries in children’s toys and the intricacies of programming VCR’s.
What is it with husbands, anyway? They ask you to make sure you have a map along for a journey, but refuse to read it! After driving around in a foreign city on seedy side streets for an hour, they ask YOU to read the map for them! Why not just read the thing to begin with?! Because they think they can feel an innate sense of direction inside them for their guide, that’s why!
Now, don’t get me wrong, I can empathize. I am the first one to admit that I don’t have a drop of directional sense in my body. I have come to the conclusion over the years, that I am directionally challenged. For instance, if I come upon a “closed road—use alternate route” sign when I am out driving, I go back home. When I read a map, I have to turn it in the same direction of the car or I get confused. When I was in college, there were two exits to the lobby from the dormitory floor rooms, one on each end of the hallway; and I was always getting mixed up as to which one led to the FRONT lobby where boyfriends and other guests of mixed gender were received with the one that led to the BACK laundry rooms. My problem was the lack of signs to read to remind me which exit was which! I can tell you from experience how embarrassing it is to be in pajamas dragging a basket of dirty clothes into the lounge containing couples and suitors!
I once was out fishing with my soon-to-be husband, who was trying to create a directional pull in MY system. His first remark was,
“Now, look up at the sun—where is it?”
“Up there”, I dutifully responded, pointing up with my index finger.”
“I mean”, he laughingly said, “Is it toward the east or toward the west?”
“Left”, I stated as the boat drifted around in a circle, “No, I mean, right—no, definitely, left”.
What is it with husbands, anyway? He gave up and went back to baiting his hook and that was that. The only reason I know which is north and south in my city is because I live on N. Hampton St. and S. Hampton is to the left of us; so, voila! I can figure out the rest because of reading these trusty old street signs!
What is it with my husband, anyway? He is the cook in our family. I am the designated baker, which I do well, but only because I read the cook book and follow the written specifications exactly. I asked him once to teach me how to make his renowned gravy, and he proceeded to tell me to put a little water and some flour into a shaker, add just a little of this, and a dab of that and mix with just a flick of the wrist like this, and only have the burner flame turned up like this. I was able to do much better when I read directions from what is now my favorite dummies recipe book!
What is it with my husband, anyway? He says he can read me like a book, and he hasn’t read a book since high school! Now, if there was only a book I could read on how to teach someone to read who already knows how . . .
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