Monday, February 7, 2011

Let's Get Physics-Al

No, that title doesn't quite work, but oh, well, you know. Anything to get a little Olivia Newton John in all of our lives.

Somehow (and I'm really, really not sure as to how), my husband has gotten interested in physics. I mean, he has always been a Star Trek fan (since he was in the womb, apparently) and has always frequently discussed (mostly to himself since I don't know what the frack he's talking about) how certain things from the show could happen IN REAL LIFE and all of this. But it has been a fleeting conversation topic. However, lately, he has become OBSESSED with physics. He has started bringing home books and DVD's and tivoing all this stuff on it. He has started subscribing to physics journals on his Kindle. And for crying out loud, he has started beginning nearly every conversation with "Well, string theory says this....."


Because lest we forget, Matt has a masters degree in literature. In books. In things without numbers.

(When you get any kind of degree in literature, I should add, you automatically receive a t-shirt that says "NUMBERS SUCK" that we all wear to functions where we sit around and drink port and discuss the finer points of James Joyce.)

The funny thing about all of this is, is that he is teaching our son to love physics as well. So the two of them literally come home from school/work and talk about physics until they go to bed. Sometimes there is an errant French lesson thrown in. And, on Saturday, I came home from a shopping trip with the girls (where we talked about Justin Bieber and just where Madison gets off being mean like that), and they were watching a Nova dvd about M Theory and Sam was playing a trumpet. And Matt was kind of halfheartedly fiddling with a book with sudden outbursts at the wit of Stephen Hawking. And I was like, "What are you guys up to?" And Matt was all, "Oh, you know, the usual." For real? The usual now involves trumpets and NOVA? Ok, then.

On Friday night, Matt and I went out on a very non-physics date. We were on our way to pick up the kids at my mother in law's when he started another conversation with some shit about string theory. I ended up saying, "You know, this doesn't interest me in the least. In fact, when you start talking about it, my brain just turns off. Not because I'm not really interested in what you are saying, but because I absolutely cannot process it." And that is the truth. Any thing like this, I do.not.get. It is like that part of my brain decided after college calculus to leave and join the circus where it drinks a lot and does its best to get rid of the tiny bit of college calculus that still resides in its innards. We end up talking about it, and we come to the conclusion, together mind you, that the reason for this is that I am much too firmly rooted in present reality to be able to enjoy anything really. Basically, I am a miserable old fart who lives, cloaked in a magic veil of practicality, unable to tear herself away from the mundane and the hum drum. So there's that.

I am realizing all of this about myself after we get the kids stowed safely in the car. And we're still quietly discussing the fact that I don't give a shit about other dimensions and what that says about my inadequacies in life when all of a sudden Gabby busts a gut laughing. And we're turning around and scrambling, wondering if maybe she pushed Sam out the back. She proceeds to tell us thather friend has a cousin who says she has heard of a fear of ducks watching you. (I'm sure the internet could tell you if this is a valid fear or not, but that isn't the point.) And we're all mulling this over, when Gabby starts laughing, again like she is insane, and says "What if there was a duck just watching you all the time? But it is wearing an invisibility bolo tie."

That's all it took. I cracked up, miserable cur or not. And I thought, if this is my reality, who needs the cosmic?

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