Group projects are the bane of my existence. You'd think that after graduating from high school, university, and a masters' program, I wouldn't have to do group projects any more. But you'd be wrong. Because I have two children in high school. Their teachers assign group projects. Ergo, I still have to do group projects. Now I know what you're thinking. Kay! Are you crazy?! Don't do your kids' work for them! Let them live and learn!
That's what I think too. But hear me out. There are extenuating circumstances, I promise.
This past weekend, our youngest had this group project, to create a booth teaching first graders where food comes from. His group was supposed to come over on Saturday. One other kid came. In the absence of the rest of the group, we parents decided to have mercy, and step in to provide assistance at crucial intervals.
One of the ways we provided assistance was to transport the project to school on Monday morning. This involved a refrigerator box, two collapsible saw horses, lumber, a box of dirt with vegetables "growing" in it, and assorted other paraphernalia including a grass skirt, posters, and a McDonald's apron that I bought at a used clothing store in Papua New Guinea five years ago. (I'm going to just leave it there and let your imagination run wild.)
But here is the crux of my story. Sunday night, as Andy and I were observing this large pile of objects in our garage, and wondering how we would convey this to the classroom, I said these words: "Well, I could follow you over to the school and help carry it in." And he said: "OK."
And folks, that's how you miscommunicate.
Did you see what happened there? No? Well, here's a little hint. I am an extrovert. This means I speak ideas aloud, verbally processing through many possibilities toward a potential conclusion. Andy is an introvert. This means he is processing internally. When he has concluded, he speaks. See it now? In my mind, I've offered one option among many possibilities. I'm not sure if I'll really have to drive over there, we could talk about it more, consider other options. Andy, on the other hand, hears a good solution and he agrees to it.
So here's how it went down. Monday morning Andy loaded the stuff into his truck, while I pulled on my sweats in preparation for my morning bout with the treadmill. I do not dress up to get on the treadmill. I had forgotten to wash my face the night before and I had mascara under my eyes. My hair was sticking up all over the place in what we fondly call "the pineapple." It was not a pretty sight. And right then, I hear, "Mom, let's go. I'm riding with you."
Seems like no matter how long we've been married, or how well we know each other, these things just happen. This one was minor and silly, but it illustrates how quickly things can go astray when you forget how the other person looks at life.
In the end, marriage is a lifelong group project. One that is the joy of my existence. I think my husband feels that way, too--even on days when he may wonder how to get me to just say what I mean.