Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Spaghetti Brain

As I may have mentioned before, my mentor is from Egypt and English is his second, third, maybe even fourth language. Because of that, he describes things in very frank but funny ways. The most recent example is the concept of spaghetti brain.

Men's brains, he explained, are compartmentalized. There's a compartment for work and a compartment for home and a compartment for the ball game and a compartment for food and a compartment for each and every other thing a guy does in his day/week/year/lifetime. For men, this sometimes causes issues because they need to put everything in one compartment away before opening another compartment and once they've put the things back in the compartment they can then open the next one and take everything that's there out. This is why, according to him, a wife cannot hold a conversation with her husband while the football game is on. He simply isn't in the conversing compartment and since the game is not over yet he can't put away the football compartment for the conversing one just now.

Women, on the other hand, don't have compartments. Everything is connected, somehow. The wife can't have a bad day at work and come home and have an okay day with the family. If someone at the office was mean to them, everyone they come in contact with knows it because they all suffer from the fallout. That's why women can't have a bad hair day and still have a good day, if the hair is bad then everything for the rest of the day is bad, worse, and terrible. This, he says, is because women don't have the compartments men have. Instead of neat little boxes they can pack and unpack, women have everything all tangled up together in the same space where it can knot up on itself and cross wires and make things incredibly confusing. Which is why they even want to hold a conversation while the football game is on.

According to my mentor, women are always like this. (Keep in mind, there's an exception to every rule.) At any given moment a woman could be having a great experience or a terrible one based on something not even remotely related to where she is and what she is experiencing at the moment.

The funniest part about this entire speech was his drawing out what he was talking about, but I don't have those on hand.

In any case, I felt it important to tell you about spaghetti brain because it has been a surprisingly effective communication tool for my husband and I. "Is this a legitimate request for solutions, or are you just being a spaghetti brain?" he'll ask me. And, as infuriating as it is in the moment, it enables me to tell him "I suppose I'm just being a spaghetti brain" and from there he's able to listen and sympathize, cuddle and comfort, or just walk away, depending on what he can handle at the time.

Allow me to note that him electing to simply remove himself from the situation is absolutely infuriating when I'm spaghetti brained, but the fact that he's *just* brought up the analogy makes me take a step back and question how reasonable I am or am not being. Which usually gives me enough time to calm down to a point where he is capable of handling me. It's done wonders for my temper issues (which were admittedly terrible until just recently - *I* probably would have divorced me before now) and for our ability to communicate. He can gently tell me that I'm being unreasonable without giving me a verbal backhand, I can communicate that I'm not functioning on logic without having to say "Dear, I'm not being logical at the moment and because you married me I'm afraid you're just going to have to put up with it" and we're suddenly diffusing arguments before they get heated.

As another note, I had not realized just how many arguments were about nothing at all, just me being spaghetti brained and him trying to fix the apparently broken processor that is my mind and me getting mad at him for trying to fix me.

So I guess the point of all of this is: If you want your marriage to go smoothly, get a wildly successful and slightly eccentric Egyptian as a mentor.

1 comment:

  1. Good point. I have a South African currently and He does pretty good for us. But different strokes..right? :)

    Very well written btw. I anjoyed the info and how you got it out there. Nicely done