<editorsnote> Nerds, meet my buddy Layne. I forget how we first started talking … I think it was on twitter, and then we totes became besties on Facebook, and then we started reading each other’s blogs and like commenting and like and like and like … this chick is RAD annndd she’s a ginger. No, seriously. Welcome to the world of Layne and the thoughts that are inside of her head. HIT IT GIRL! </editorsnote>
I’m sure all of you can agree that there would be many perks to dating a rocket scientist, whether male or female, rocket scientists come in handy for various reasons. Dating anyone with a decent grasp on mechanical, engineering, and/or technologic issues always has its pros. Common sense helps too, but unfortunately, I have a knack in forgoing common sense in the quest for instant gratification. I have been dating a rocket scientist (yes, he works for NASA and no, he does not wear a pocket protector.) for about three years, now, and the following are moments when I couldn’t have been more relieved that my counterpart has a certain je ne sais quoi. Shall we?
1. The time my laptop had to be upgraded from Vista to ANYTHING BUT VISTA. Purchasing a Vista laptop was a sketchy moment in my technologic history, I know. And yes, I do in fact, rue the day I did. When I was convinced that at four years of age, my laptop was no more useful than a paperweight, my boyfriend offered to upgrade it to windows7 for me, something which I have never had any luck with (upgrading to a new windows OS, that is). For example, several (*cough* more than ten) years ago, when I got my first laptop to go off to college with, I was cheerfully and happily running Windows98(se). Well, when it came time to upgrade to XP, things went all kinds of wrong. Hard drives had to be partitioned and it took no less than six hours for the damned thing to power up and load my new XP desktop. I mean, once it was up it ran fine… but getting there was miserable. Fast forward to this past May, and the look on my face as I am remembering that horrible experience while the boyfriend is spelling out all the reasons why I should just go ahead and upgrade from Vista to Windows7, and you can imagine my hesitance to do so. Thankfully, with the help of an external hard drive and several bottles of wine, I made it through this upgrade with only one minor meltdown when I thought I had lost all of my email. I didn’t. Everything went better than expected.
Score a point for the Rocket Scientist!
2. The time I had to put together an Ikea desk. [insert lame joke here about being mechanically challenged] The execution of assembling any Ikea furniture, lamps, etc. is usually hit or miss. Either it’s ridiculously easy or insanely difficult. When we tricked out the closet of his man-cave (turning it into an aptly named Lady Cave), I found the perfect not-too-deep, but wide enough to utilize as much of the available space in said closet desk on Ikea’s website. We headed to the Houston location and picked it up, hauled it back to his house and began the dating task of assembly. This project would have been impossible to accomplish alone, as the length of the desk would have made certain steps in the process very awkward. Mainly, attaching the base assembly to the leg assembly. Also, anyone who has ever put anything from Ikea together knows how easily you can end up mixing up parts or installing them backwards due to the ambiguous drawings. These particular drawings were intensely useless due to a number of drawer rails that all looked alike. Thank the gods for the Rocket Scientist, who is used to gleaning all-important information from nearly indecipherable Swedish illustrations. Had I been left to my own devices, I would be typing this atop a cardboard box and not a perfectly assembled desk.
Score another point for the Rocket Scientist!
3. My first major hike. Back in June 2010, we went on vacation to the Sun Valley, Idaho area. It’s beautiful there, and during the summer months, the hiking is amazing. There are tons of places to do day hikes with access in and around Sun Valley, Ketchum and nearby Hailey. My first hike was ten miles. TEN MILES. Five miles up and then right back down. Thankfully, my boyfriend was prepared, because I was not. In fact, I was so unprepared, I’m shocked that I did not kill myself on that mountain out of sheer ignorance. Let’s just say that I made an executive decision to cross a stream by foot and not via the slimy, moss-covered tree-bridge ten yards upstream due to the fact that I was terrified of slipping and falling into the stream which I was convinced would result in a broken leg. And when I determined I would remove my hiking boots and socks and placed them on my hands to WALK THROUGH the stream (which was rapidly flowing at a seasonably warm 30 degrees), of course, as soon as I reached the absolute MIDDLE of said stream, I lost my balance, promptly plunged my boot-covered hands into the stream to break my fall, and rendered all my prior cleverness utterly moot. #Fail.
Why was this a good moment to be dating a rocket scientist? Well, I’ll tell you! Two words: contingency plan. (No, seriously. In the world of NASA, no two words are more revered.) While I was wearing heavy cotton socks and non-water proof boots, he was wearing ultra-light moisture-wicking socks underneath another pair of smart-wool hiking socks. Socks that, after removing and tucking inside of his own boots, he was able to throw ACROSS the stream (!!!!), and so were left perfectly dry. So that after I painfully and bare-footedly made my way across the stream, and my boots dried out on a nearby sun-bathed rock, my boyfriend was able to let me wear the lightweight socks he had under his wool ones, which also allowed me to start back down the mountain before dawn (and of course, avoid being eaten by mountain lions and/or a bear).
Three cheers for the rocket scientist!
But, before you think rocket scientists know everything… let me tell you about the time that the Rocket Scientist was glad to be dating someone with a mild case of obsessive-compulsive disorder. (Me.)
It started when he noticed that the baseboard around the sink area of the kitchen seemed to be warped, which led to the discovery that said warping was caused by water. Surely it’s the sink, right? He checked all of the connections under and around the sink… no leaks. Uh oh… that meant the leak could be somewhere in the wall, like between the sink and another pipe. Or the foundation. Double uh-oh. He starts to consider the possibility that he may have to cut some exploration holes in the wall. At this point, I stepped in and asked him several questions about other possibilities. Could it be the dishwasher? He insists that it can’t be, he checked everything. Even pulled the machine out and looked around the back of it. No water he said. I interrogated him some more and encouraged him to contact a professional, rather than going full DIY. Cue overzealous neighbor with a skill-saw and several hours later, there are no less than four holes in the drywall following a length of pipe. No leaks. But there is a fine layer of drywall particles ALL OVER THE HOUSE.
Meanwhile, the dishwasher has been running. Water is appearing on the subfloor beneath the now-removed warped baseboards. I insist that it MUST BE the dishwasher. He gets irritated, stating again that he already checked the machine. I push him to check again. So, he pulls the dishwasher out again, and I suggest we let it run a cycle while pulled out away from the wall and counter, so we can watch for water. And then it happened. As the cycle reached a point where the machine uses a small pump to drain the dirty, soapy water out of washer, and I’m face-down on the floor with a flash light, I see a tiny stream of water shooting out of the back of the machine.
EUREKA! It’s the dishwasher!!!
You guys, I would love to say that I was a perfect girlfriend and resisted the urge to say “I told you so,” but seeing as there were several holes in the drywall for no reason, after I begged him not to take a power-tool to task on the walls, I couldn’t help myself. I did the full-on Grace-from-Will-and-Grace “Told You So” dance:
But he still loves me, even after that. So, yeah… I would say the perks of dating a rocket scientist are pretty good, y’all.
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