Monday, March 8, 2010

What's the weather out there?

Look outside. Clear freakin' blue sky. It's 8:00 a.m.; Vincent and I are looking out the french doors into the backyard contemplating a Sunday morning bike ride. We wonder, aloud, what the temperature is out there.

And here it is, the difference between Vincent and Ivey, in a nutshell:

Vincent whips out his trusty iPhone, pulls up the local temps, and assess the data while I get up, open the door, and go outside to see how it feels.

That's it, folks -- Vince and Ivey.

I don't give a rat's ass what the numbers on some device says about the temperature. 58 degrees? What the fuck does that mean to me? Maybe 58 feels good today, maybe it doesn't. Maybe it's a dry 58 or a humid one. I won't know 'til I get out there, man, and once I do, the decision is made completely and totally, no looking back. "Feels great!! Let's ride!!" Or "Hell no! Let's go to breakfast."

Vincent assess data. He knows if he has a good response to "58 degrees" or not, if it falls inside or outside of his acceptable range. There is no need to go check and "see" if it's all right. No need to subject himself to some potential discomfort if he's already decided that's too cold nor waste time verifying it if he's already decided the weather is fine.

No amount of data is going to change my impression of the what my senses tell me so it's useless for Vince to try to change my mind if his data tells him something different.

"Honey, it's only 58, that's not cold."

"Are you kidding me! I'm freezing out here."

At the same time, if I insist he go out there and check for himself he will come back with an affirmation of what he's already determined.

"Baby, com'on! It feels awesome out here!"

"Hey, 58 is cold. I'm not going out there just to be miserable 8 miles from home."

Now if you and your spouse are both analyzers or both experiencers, then it's easier to understand and accept their judgements and reasoning about pretty much everything, especially as it relates to the twists and turns of swinging. You may disagree on the conclusion of the analysis or the outcome of the experience but you at least recognize as valid how the other person reached their decision.

But if you're different types, if you reach your conclusions through vastly different processes, it's a whole new fuckin' ballgame. You have to learn about, recognize, admit exists, commit to, trust in, and be patient with a mental and emotional decision making process that you yourself don't use!

People often talk about how their "communication has improved" thanks to their foray into swinging and my question is always "How, exactly?" Be specific; know what is "improving." You see, my impression is that only committed people who already have a damn good communication system are able to navigate swinging successfully. Oh, and please don't assume I'm saying that committed people with good communication should try the swinging idea. I'm not. I am saying that if you don't have those two things, you definitely shouldn't.)

Our communication (and in my opinion each of us as individuals) has been made better by the various revelations of our journey in very specific ways and this is one of them. I watch his gears turn, I see his assessing mind at work when we're deciding who we want to contact on our swinger site and deciding who is and isn't a good fit as a good thing. He is the one who keeps our train on the track, so to speak. He sees my ability to experience the unfamiliar without a lot of analysis as intrepid and fearless, not reckless or stupid, which opens us both to new adventures and a richer, more meaningful life.

I'm always out front, saying "The weather's great! Let's go!" or conversely "This doesn't feel right." Vincent checks the data, verifies the facts, makes sure we have appropriate clothing for the weather, and plots the course.

Each holding the other's heart safely in our hands.


  1. 58 degrees? That's a freakin' heat wave this time of year. At least around my area ;-)

    (I didn't have anything insightful to say, so I went the smart-ass route...)

  2. They say opposites attract, and probably for good reason... I know hubby helps keep me balanced! And I'm with Hubman on this, 58 degrees and I'd be all over a bike ride. Living in the the frigid north gives you complete appreciation for any weather above 30 degrees!

  3. I thought you said your brain never shuts up? That's not an experiencer :-p. In regards to swinging, I got no insight. I do think that sometimes communication is overrated. Everyone's trying to explain stuff. People should worry less about making everyone 'understand' and just trust that the people they choose to have in their lives already understand without having things explained, even if they understand differently than you. But what do I know? My wife prolly hates me. :-)

  4. Well said. Mr. Man and I are completely different in how we think and sometimes it exasperates me to no end. But we balance somehow. It works.