Sunday, June 1, 2014

Berries and Mastodons

This week I came down with a weird summer cold, which I caught from my other son when he came to visit last week.  Much more of a chest cold than a head cold, but the main symptom which laid me out for a couple of days was a total, aching fatigue -- the kind that puts you into bed for at least a day, and on the sofa for at least another one after that.

While I was convalescing, Big Ag took over all the crop watering and berry-picking, which proved an interesting test to our marriage.  For while I was grateful for all the help he provided (which he did in addition to his own farm chores) when he returned the first evening after berry- picking, I was mortified to find he'd picked at least a pound of unripe berries, which would now be useless for anything.

I wanted to shout at him and then just cry when I saw all those beautiful, unripe berries in that big basket.  But instead, I just quietly threw them in the compost when he wasn't looking and thanked him for standing out there and picking all my berries after an already long day of work. I didn't shout or cry, because it would have been unkind and undeserved.

In the end, the over-picking actually worked out well, since it gave me a couple of days to convalesce without having any berries ready to pick at all, since anything close to being ripe had already been picked off.  And by the time I went back down to our rows of olallieberries, raspberries and blackberries three days later, there was a decent enough harvest that the ones we threw out won't matter in the end.

But this does prove my theory once again that most men are well-suited for big picture, stalking-a-mastodon-off-in-the-distance kinds of tasks, and most women are better suited to fine detail work, such as berry-picking or something like embroidery.  I don't understand how he could not tell the difference between the ripe and unripe berries -- both by sight as well as by the feel of the berry itself when you grasp it between your thumb and forefinger. But then again, sometimes he doesn't understand why I can't visualize a big-picture plan he has as well as he can.

This is not an across-the-board assessment, of course.  There are some men quite gifted at fine-detail work, so please don't think my theory holds out in all instances.  I'm the first to tell you it doesn't.  But in general, I have found it to be true ... perhaps 75 percent of the time?

Now Big Ag has my cold and is simply working through it -- perhaps because his big-picture mind doesn't focus on the fine-detail aches and pains of his ailment as much as I did when I was sick, and he's therefore better suited to soldier on, despite his discomfort.

But it also proves out another theory -- that opposites attract for good reason.  And whether you're picking a life partner from the opposite sex or your own, finding someone with a different skill set than your own is wise for many, many reasons.  

Not the least of which are berry-picking and mastodon hunting.


  1. Sounds like you two have a wonderful understanding of each other! So happy you didn't jump up & down & scream at him for picking the wrong berries. Sometimes we just have to look at 'the thought that counts' theory & just move on. After all, it's just berries gone to waste, but at least they were used.

    1. It was very difficult lol. I did let him know, eventually, that a lot of the berries were not ripe, but didn't put any emotion into it when I told him. I wanted him to know I was grateful he picked for me, but didn't want him heading out to pick again until he'd had a primer on berry-picking! But as my mom pointed out, he grew up in the Arizona desert, so didn't learn much about wild berries. Not his fault!

  2. Haha soooo true. I am in the approximately 25% of hyper-detailed men, but I agree with your assessment. It never ceases to entertain me the differences that many men cannot see. But I have to try, try, try to ever see a big picture. Which was what made the salon so difficult. Every little problem was A CRISIS and I totally lost sight of what it all really meant, in perspective.

    1. Yes, that's me, too. But look at it this way...we'll always be the ones to find the ripe berries on the bush! : )