I Am a Problem Solver

I always thought of myself as being relatively smart. I mean I had been assessed to be at a genius level through IQ tests, I had been invited to join Menza (which I declined opting instead to wait for my invitation to join Womenza since I figured I stood a better chance of meeting girls in that club), I graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in two years, and I even figured out Rubik’s cube without resorting to peeling off the stickers on the cube like my brother did. Why is it then that I am constantly being outsmarted by my wife?

I am not implying that Trina is not smart. Quite the contrary, she graduated from school with honors and her grades were exemplary. I’ve concluded that Trina is “tricky smart” meaning that she somehow makes me believe I am getting the upper hand in things and then she suddenly pulls the rug out from underneath me and I am left scratching my head wondering what just happened.

Today though I think I finally got the best of her. I was in one of those rare moods where I am both motivated and creative at the same moment. I was making tremendous progress on my to-do list checking things off at a frantic pace. I was in the zone moving effortlessly between application development, design work, and writing. Things just seemed to flow.

When I get into one of these phases I am pretty much oblivious to everything around me. As I was cruising from one keyboard to another keeping three computers working simultaneously on different tasks I felt a smack upside the head.

Everything in my little world immediately came to a screeching halt as I tried to figure out what hit me. Lying on the floor was an Arizona Diamondbacks squishy ball I had gotten the night before at Chase Field. I looked around trying to figure out who threw the ball. Surely someone would not throw something at me but that seemed much more feasible than this squishy ball suddenly breaking the bands of gravity and spontaneously flying through the air right at my head.

As I contemplated the physics involved to reach spontaneous flight I heard my wife’s voice, “Hey, I’m talking to you!” Ah, I think I may have a new hypothesis to the Great Ball Mystery of 2009. “I need to leave and I need you to take the clothes from the washing machine and put them in the dryer. I’ve already set the dryer settings so all you have to do is press the start button. Can you do that?”

For a brief moment I considered faking stupid and replying with “what’s a dryer?” but I noticed that Trina was standing next to the basket of Official Major League Baseball balls which are a lot harder than the squishy ball and Trina had already proven that her aim was very accurate. Instead I just nodded while keeping one eye on Trina’s throwing arm and the other eye on the basket of baseballs.

After giving me instructions she left but not before setting the timer on the stove to “remind” me to put the clothes in the dryer. I went back to work on the computer and the thoughts of laundry completely left my head. Soon the timer on the stove began going off causing me to stop what I was doing. I went into the kitchen and attempted to turn off the oven which was already off.

I went through the kitchen checking each appliance trying to figure out how they made the timer on the stove go off. When I reached the refrigerator there was a note stuck to it that simply said, “MOVE CLOTHES TO DRYER”, yes it was in all caps. The conversation with Trina then came back to me and I headed for the laundry room.

The washer had just finished and the clothes were now ready to be put in the dryer. I reached in and took the wet clothes out and opened the dryer door. Here is where the problem began. There were already clothes in the dryer. I don’t think they had been there very long since they still felt warm. I knew watching CSI would come in handy some day.

I knew Trina would have a fit if I just put the wet clothes on top of the dry clothes and I had seen her throw a fit when the kids just took the clothes out of the dryer and put them on the floor in front of the dryer. I had a serious dilemma on my hands. Come to think about it, Trina throws a lot of stuff.

I stood there pondering the various scenarios trying to decide what my best course of action was that would get me out of the laundry room quickest. It was at that moment I had an epiphany. I took the dry clothes out of the dryer and replaced them with the wet ones from the washer. I then took the dry clothes and put them in the washer. That way no clothes were on the floor.

It was the perfect solution. It was simple and elegant. I pressed the button on the dryer and it came to life. I pressed an equivalent button on the washer and it too sprung to life. Yeah I was going to get serious kudos when Trina got home, I could already feel it. This is problem solving at its finest.


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