Lesson #5: Simplicity Over Functionality

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 at Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I know it has been a while since my last post, but it seems Jen has been pretty careful lately to avoid bloggable events. This past weekend we both went to separate destinations, Jen went with Erika to ACU Homecoming and i went to the family ranch to go hunting. Due to Jen's accommodations and her expectation of the weather being cooler, Jen decided to take the sleeping bag that i had bought for her two years ago. Well after our weekends away, in sharing our experiences, Jen mentioned that her sleeping bag was warm enough it could work in sub-zero environments. Now when i bought her this sleeping bag, i knew that if we went camping it would most likely be in Texas and more likely during warmer times of the year. So i bought this specific bag with the warmer weather in mind. You see this bag is made to keep you warm when the whether is in the 40s, but also has built in zippers that open up mesh panels on the sides of the bag if the weather is warmer. This functionality was fully explained when i gave Jen the sleeping bag, but in her warm uncomfortable sleeping this weekend, was never used.

Now i don't know if it is gender specific, but when i make a purchase I typically buy the more functional of products and in the life time of using those products will use the functionality. Jen however is simplistic, a fact that was further reinforced when after three months of living together, Jen still had yet to learn to use my TIVO. It is an older model, so it only records one show at a time, but while it is recording, you can still watch previously recorded shows. This annoyed Jen because if she ever wanted to watch her shows she would need to do it in the living room. To fix this occasionally she would record her shows on the TIVO. One morning she was fed up with not being able to watch a different show and she stopped my recording. Well a couple days latter, when attempting to watch the stopped episode i was confused as to why it only recorded the first 7 minutes and to avoid my typical investigation, Jen immediately confessed. While i was initially annoyed, i understood she meant no harm because she thought it was a rerun i had already seen, and I was ready to drop the issue until i learned that she stopped my show in order to watch one of the few shows she had previously recorded. To this we could only both laugh about.

The lesson I've learned is that Jen is self-aware that functionality is not important to her. Jen is a very smart person, but i guess believes life is wasted navigating through cluttered functionality that is rarely used. In Jen's world sleeping bags and DVRs are all the same, and if they don't comply, she either does not use the additional functionality or avoids learning the alternate altogether. I've met girls that have just a few purses, but functional ones with many pockets. Not Jen, she would rather own 20 bags in different sizes in case she needed to bring more stuff. Furniture, Jen prefers the basics, no fancy recliners or large entertainment centers. Jen does not want our DVDs out in the open, but thinks a big entertainment center with storage compartments looks worse. Her solution, multiple decorative boxes and baskets spread through the entire house. This makes finding DVDs an adventure. For her functionality is not important, and beauty and fluidity is found in the simple.

Lesson #4: Don't ever assume...

Monday, August 18, 2008 at Monday, August 18, 2008

This is my second olympic post, but i could not help it.

Tonight, Jen and i were watching the men's 400 meter hurdle final and were exicited to see the US men sweep the competition. After the race was over and we were watching the atheletes celebrate, Jen noticed Angelo Taylor, the american winner in his sunglasses scanning the cheering crowd.

Jen then inocently asks, "Is he blind?"

I could only laugh. Not only would it be an amazing for a blind person to complete and win a 400 meter race, remaining in their lane the whole time, but a hurdles competition...?!?

But there is the lesson, while many of us would never question an impossibility, Jen occasionally does. In that question, we can be reminded that nothing is impossible and we all should be thankful for that reminder.

Lesson #3: Priorities in Competition

Thursday, August 14, 2008 at Thursday, August 14, 2008

All week Jen and i have enjoyed watching the Olympics together. After five straight evenings of watching the many swimming competitions Jen finally came to this realization...

"You know, i could never be a swimmer."

In the second, after hearing that statement, i had to ask myself if i should say something along the lines of, "baby, you can do anything if you really want it" or a similar loving statement that would win some points my direction. But from our years of dating, i knew if i tried that type of statement, i would be more likely to get a negative reaction.

It is is actually laughable to think about, because she really could never be a swimmer. You see, Jen has extreme fear of diving, even jumping into water from a slightly elevated position is sometimes an impossible thought.

So i knew it would be safe to respond "Why because you can't dive?"

To which Jen responds, "No, because i would look terrible in those swim caps!"

So the lesson is...

You can dream and strive to achieve those dreams, but if don't think you can look good doing it, let the dream go.

Lesson #2: Deceptive Marketing

Wednesday, August 13, 2008 at Wednesday, August 13, 2008

If you live in or near Austin and you watch too much TV like Jen and i do, you would probably recognize the line from this local KIA dealership...

"If I can't beat a new car KIA deal in Texas, I'm just gonna give it to ya!"- KIA Bill

This statement really peeves Jen, because "There is no way he would give a way a free car." Which is of course an obvious statement, because any car deal is better than giving it away for free. She feels it gives car buyers a sense of false hope and you should not trust someone who makes a statement that they will never be able to actually prove.

I know i was, i was surprised to... Is there any humanity left in this world? Now we have watch out for car dealers giving us false expectations.

KIA Bill, what happened to you? Several years ago when you started this ad campaign, you at least wore a suit. Now in your most recent commercials, you don't wear your coat, your sleeves are rolled back, you are wearing a tie, but your shirt isn't even fully buttoned. We put some trust in the suit, but now you have exposed your self and your lies!

Jen's best alternate slogan would be, "I'll beat any new car KIA deal in Texas, but I'm not gonna give it to ya!"

Now that is hope crushing reality that we all need...

For fun...

Lesson #1 : The Towel Virus

Tuesday, August 05, 2008 at Tuesday, August 05, 2008

I would like to start by pointing out that while this is not the first life lesson that Jen ever told me this is the ultimate thought that inspired this blog's initial creation. Also, due to the cyclical nature of our relationship and conversation topics, i am fairly confident that previous taught lessons will reemerge with new and fascinating insights. And of course be shared with you...

The Towel Virus

This is one of those lessons with absolutely no founding...

Jen and i had been dating for almost nine years before we got married nearly two months ago. Like many newlyweds, we received lots of new home essentials and this week we got brand new towels. Prior to these new towels, we had been living off the many monogrammed ones we received after we graduated from high school 8 years ago. Now that we have brand new towels there was the ever present question of what do we do with the old ones...?

While most would argue that the towels were old and it was their time to go. Jen decided to go a different direction with her argument to me. She said "we should let them go because they smell old and they could be carrying some sort of a towel virus" This was the first time i had ever heard of such a virus or its many varieties, but then again my knowledge is severely limited when it comes to towels. We of course laughed about it because the point of a possible virus was unnecessary and if such a virus does exist, the towel virus currently must be in a dormant stage, because there have been no reports of affected persons.

I would also like to add that when pondering such a virus afterwards, the very first health problem that came to Jen's mind was that the virus would cause your breast to fall off. So if this happens to you or someone you know, quarantine/burn their towels immediately.