Friday, May 16, 2008

Julie is counting on me not knowing how to respond on this thing!

And she might be right- but I am certainly going to try. For the record I love Julie's blog and think she is a witty and engaging writer. She is also normally very accurate in her portrayal of life with her three boys. Unfortunately, I find it necessary to present a more complete picture of what happened a few days ago- now known as the "key incident".

I won't rehearse in any detail the events leading up to this debacle, Julie has done a great job setting the stage for what happened and why it was an issue to begin with. She has also been very forthright with her struggle to juggle our unique key situation. For the record the key situation could have been remedied a long time ago and this "key incident" may never have happened if she would have simply consented to purchase a new key.

Flash forward to the morning in question. I arrive at work and am met with a hostile email from an Independent Study student (a high school student) who is accusing me of erroneously assigning her a failing grade. This is graduation time for high school students and they are particularly upset about failing grades since they are usually a credit away from being able to "walk" with their class. All too often I get a memo from the Independent Study office asking me to grade an assignment by noon or some ridiculous deadline. I had a professional and contractual obligation to meet.

Additionally, I had a meeting that had been arranged for me that morning at 9:00 am with two of our graduate students. The purpose of the meeting was to provide instruction on a project that they were starting that same morning. Again, it is my responsibility to supervise the graduate students and was, again, under a deadline

To further complicate matters I was also facilitating a Webinar (a workshop broadcast over the Internet) beginning at 10:00 am. Several advisors were going to show up in my office for this seminar. Prior to this meeting (the likes of which I had never "hosted" before) I needed to download software and configure my computer so that we could actually participate in the workshop. Those who know me know that I am not technologically minded in the least!

That brings us back to Julie's phone call a little after 8:30 am. What is a guy to do? I offered to come and get her at noon and she declined that offer. Not only did she decline but said something to the effect that she had a lot of laundry to do and it wouldn't bother her if she had to stay home! There was absolutely nothing in the tone of her voice that led me to believe that it was critical for me to bring the keys to her right away. I had no indication of her need to be "rescued".

Something else you need to understand is that I am always bugging Julie by reading into her tone of voice (or facial expression) more than is actually there. So the one time I missed a tone is the one time I should have picked up on one! Again, what is a guy to do?

Now, as soon as I started my "lecture" I knew I had started down the wrong path and had made a fundamental error- a rookie mistake. I apologized for that. Offering the number of the bus that could bring her to campus- also a mistake.

So, at 9:00 am I called the house with an offer to bring the two grad students with me to take Julie her keys. I figured that we could meet in a car as easily as we could in my office. Julie, by her own admission, did not pick up the phone. One more time- what is a guy to do?

Therefore, Julie's characterization of a husband unwilling to "bail her out" in time of need is simply not accurate. Remember that the day before I did leave work to take her the keys. I am more than willing to help Julie out in time of need.

This brings us to the question of "the frontal lobe". I did not accuse Julie of not using hers, however, I did propose that she has come to depend upon a friend- Sue Robinson, to act as her frontal lobe.

You see Sue, bless her obsessive little heart, is a chronic worrier- she makes me seem mellow. For the last year or more Julie hasn't needed to remember anything because Sue makes lists for her, leaves sticky notes for her and calls her twelve times a day in order to remind her to read her lists and sticky notes. Finally, Sue will often just perform the task for her anyway, just in case Julie forgets.

Hey, it's a great service and who wouldn't appreciate having an extra frontal lobe just hanging around as back up. The problem is atrophy. If I never use a muscle (okay I rarely use a muscle and thus speak from experience) it gets smaller and can no longer perform a needed task. This is my worry about Julie and her frontal lobe.

Julie is one of the smartest, most capable and independent women that I have ever met in my entire life. She is 10-15 I.Q. points ahead of me (and I have the testing results to prove it), so this has nothing to do with intelligence. In this department Julie wins hands down. I am simply saying that if Sue were to be truly helpful, she would allow Julie's executive function mechanism to function more regularly- that's all. She might also try to persuade Julie to buy another key!


Kristi said...

...and it just got better!!!

KJae said...

Now that's the most enjoyable post I've read in a while! Welcome to blogging world, technically-challenged-let's-just-call-you-a-TARD, Phil! I must say that your first experience with posting has been spectacular.

We both know I'm never one to be on your side, it's just an unwritten rule. But I was kind of sticking up for you, even blaming Sue (for no apparent reason, by the way). It ends up that your story matches more closely with how I had envisioned the entire thing unfolding. Again, WEIRD! There are some forces at work here that we can't deny, and I most certainly don't dare shake things up by going against it.

1) Ju - - Why not buy a dang key?? I would think the money spent would be well worth the frustrations that have led up to recent happenings. You're too stubborn and because of that you're now found on the list of people with "marital problems."

B) Those two boys kind of creep me out. They're cute boys but they look a little too like mugshots! Did they know they were entering your blogging world?

iii) Go Phil, Go Phil!!!!!!!

4) How much trouble am I in now??!?

KJae said...

Gosh, Corky....I must say that you have quite a way with words! When you throw words like: erroneously, contractual, facilitating, download and configure (yeah right, by the way), fundamental, atrophy, and my favorite.... executive function mechanism around, well, you kinda seem schmart!

Tell me, do you really know what all of them mean or did you have your two boys write it for you?

Julie said...

Be careful . . . since one of Phil's work buddies thought it was a good idea to bring the entire staff into this, those two guys just might end up reading this. Just so you know, those were BYU ID pictures and all of ours look like that. Maybe I'll post Phil's ID picture. Now that would result in a family feud.

Julie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KJae said...

I'm not scared, I admitted they were "cute boys." Now don't get excited fellas, I'm a morbidly obese married woman with three children.

Post Corky's badge!!!!!!

Buell Fam said...

You guys are hilarious! I have been dying for Jeff to post on our blog. I guess I just need to pick a fight with him and start a blogging war!