“How do you boil an egg?” my wife asked.
The question shocked me.
Granted, I do most of the cooking because I am retired and she still works, but how could she have forgotten something as simple as that?
Use it or lose it; I guess.
“You really don’t know how to boil an egg?” I asked.
“You misunderstand the question,” she said, “I asked how YOU boil eggs.”
I had to think about that.
Well, you start with eggs and water, then I suppose a pot and a stove are involved somehow and after a while, Voila, you have hard boiled eggs.
“In other words,” she said, “you don’t know how to properly boil an egg.”
“Is there a proper way?”
“Of course, there is a proper way to do everything.”
And right there is the root of 90% of our conflicts. Her upbringing compels her to do what she is supposed to do, the way she is supposed to do it.
I just wing it.
I do that because I am utterly incapable of following directions. If something calls for stepping logically from A to B, I will eventually get to B but not without first visiting G, W and several letters that are not even in the Latin alphabet.
I am not completely sure why I do this. I have been told it has something to do with attention deficit disorder and while that may be true, I have no trouble focusing intensely on things I am interested in and that rarely includes stumbling directly from A to B.
Instead, I begin thinking, why A?
And whats up with B, anyway?
And don’t W look interesting?
Then I start wondering, how does all this alphabet business work?
But the fastest way to get knocked off the tracks is to wonder what this thing is supposed to be like when I am done.
Instructions never tell you that.
For instance, have you ever had a recipe tell you what something is supposed to taste like? Can words even describe what delicious is?
But to be fair, most of the time, instructions work.
If by working, you mean so-so.
It is experience that delivers Wow!
I truly believe that much of the dissatisfaction of our modern age comes from doing things the proper way without properly knowing what it is we want to do.
Which brings us back to eggs.
I got thinking, if there is a proper way to hard boil eggs, maybe I should know that. So I Googled: How to hard boil eggs and read the instructions off to my wife.
“That’s not the way I was taught,” she said.
Then holding up an egg, she explained, “this is what happens if you do it that way. See? The egg white sticks to the shell and makes it almost impossible to peel.”
“Uh darling,” I told her “that happens to be one of the eggs you boiled last week.”