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.