9.11.2007

My husband laughs in the face of Tylenol

When my husband and I were first dating, we had a conversation about things we know we're especially good at. I always think it's fun to hear people evaluate themselves. And the more random and useless the skill the better. My husband didn't immediately grasp the concept of the game though. He attempted to tell me he's pretty good at everything. I explained that that was an incorrect answer. You're supposed to list stuff you're "especially" good at. You can't be "especially" good at everything. By definition, to be especially good at something you need to have stuff you're not especially good at.

That conversation lingers in the history of our relationship because I gave him some examples to get him started. The first one was Ms. Pac-Man. I think I'm above average at Ms. Pac-Man. Except then my husband claimed he was above average at Ms. Pac-Man, too.

We stopped for pizza shortly thereafter and there was a Ms. Pac-Man machine right next to the cash register. Game on. Clearly. My husband barely got out of the second round. I set a new high score on the machine. Now he understands how to compile a list of things he's good at. He started by eliminating Ms. Pac-Man from the list.

He has many other skills however. Skills I openly acknowledge I suck at. Skills he clearly excels at. My personal favorite is his tolerance for pain. If my husband were a car, he'd be a big Hummer. And his engine light would be on. But he'd just keep on driving and driving despite the light. The light would be a minor issue and maybe he'd plan to have it checked the next time he got the oil changed but why stop. And the gears grinding and the smoke coming out and the sputtering and gasping? Yeah, sometimes that happens. But still, no need to stop. Because, really, it's not impairing his forward progress. It's just pain. And, I guess, meant to be endured.

There is no finer example of my husband's view of pain than the time he got dental work without pain medication. He said the dentist gave him a shot to numb the area locally but that it didn't work. He kept waiting thinking it would eventually take effect. Only it didn't. So he just sat still the whole time the dental work got done like there was nothing out of the ordinary going on. Um. Yeah. That's pretty much beyond ridiculous. My husband claims the dentist was sorta impressed when he found out. I'm thinking my husband is confusing "impressed" with "creeped out" but who knows.

Being married to someone with a high pain tolerance is interesting. It's a plus when there's a painful task that needs to be performed. Like, say we go on The Amazing Race and someone needs to chop off their finger with a butter knife to win a million dollars, that's all him. On the other hand, complaining to him that you have a headache is sort of pathetic. I feel obligated to preface all my complaints with, "Look, we can't all have dental work without pain medication." That's what you call a show stopper. Dental work. No pain medication. You do the math. And feel free to tell me your most random useless skill. And be sure it's one you're especially good at. Because I'm not afraid to call you out and show you up at the nearest Pizza Hut. Just ask my husband.

11 comments:

no way said...

This game is so fun! I used to play this with my high school students while they were painting. It was a good way to learn more about them and keep them focused. As for my personal skill, it's parallel parking. Right or left side of the street. And step aerobics. I am truly uncoordinated, but I can step like a pro!

childlife said...

I love this game too! Your Ms. Pac Man story was hilarious - I don't think guys initially have an intuitive understanding of this game. I once told my husband I was good at Scrabble. He claimed he was a 'pro'. We got out the board and he has refused to play me ever again. Likewise, I will never again race him on a super difficult Suduko puzzle... humiliating in the extreme.

Happy Working Mom said...

My husband is the same way with pain and medicine! He "claims" medicine doesn't even work on him, so why take it?

I'm really good at naming the product or company a commercial is advertising before the name is revealed. How's that for a useless skill? It all started with a game I would play by myself when I was little....

Chaotic Joy said...

I think men generally view themselves in higher esteem than women. So when you ask them what they are good at, they will have a list of a dozen things before you know it. Where women are more critical. If a woman tells you she is particularly good at something, than she typically actually is. I thought this post was great by the way. Very funny as usual.

ablondeblogger said...

As a low-pain-tolerance person, I LOATHE high tolerance to pain people! It's SO not fair!

Sarah said...

Frogger was my game on Atari. I could ROLL it.
I can still hear that Frogger music....

wordgirl said...

Useless classic tv trivia...yeah I can SO do that. I also have a fairly high threshold for pain, but nothing like that of your husband. It's unusual because men (contrary to popular myth) do not deal with pain well at all. Also...Scrabble. Anything with words.

a happier girl said...

no way - Wow. I bow before your parallel parking expertise. Mostly because I'm terrible at parallel parking. I once stopped the car next to a good spot and let my husband get in and parallel park us into the spot rather than try myself.

childlife - I agree men don't grasp the concept of the name something you're good at game. My husband clearly didn't.

happy working mom - Other than entertaining other people watching TV with you that's pretty much the most useless skill ever. I love it!

chaotic joy - Very nice analysis! I think you're totally right.

ablondeblogger - Tell me about it.

sarah - Frogger! I totally remember the music, too. And that little noise everytime the frog jumped too. Of course, I sucked at the game. But I remember it fondly.

wordgirl - Yeah, while my husband might not move or complain to the dentist but he feels comfortable letting me know about his aches and pains. He doesn't stop what he's doing of course. He just lets me know about it.

Damselfly said...

:) I only got to the pretzel stage in Ms. Pac-Man.

I can still do the splits and a no-handed cartwheel!

Rachel said...

I can wiggle my nose. I know a lot of people can kind of flair their nostrils out and call it wiggling but my entire nose can go side to side like a bunny. My kids think I'm pretty cool.

a happier girl said...

Impressive party tricks! I love the bunny nose wiggle! I'm jealous. How am I supposed to impress people with my Ms. Pac-Man skills as a cocktail party. Your skill doesn't require a large 80s video game and an outlet to plug it into. Very nice. And doing the splits is pretty awesome too. Some people might not call that a party trick but not me. That's a party trick I wish I had.

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